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Old 09-14-2008, 03:46 AM   #1
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Wiring a three way switch?


How do I wire 3-way switches to control lights in a section of my basement? I want the switches to control 4 can lights and I plan on placing one switch near the area where the lights are at and the other switch will be placed at the entrance to the basement. Any help will be greatly appreciated. If you can send diagrams, please do because I am a very visual person.

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Old 09-14-2008, 06:44 AM   #2
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Wiring a three way switch?


For your use as a reference and understanding of 3 ways.

3 way switch wiring:

White from the source goes directly to the load.

Black from the source goes to the common terminal of one of the 3 way switches.

Black of the load goes to the common terminal of the other 3 way switch.

The travelers get hooked to the remaining terminals.

If you have to use a white as 'hot', it has to feed a switch and be taped black at both ends.


Use 14 gauge wire on a 15 amp circuit, 12 ga on a 20 amp circuit.

Do you have any of this installed yet? Where is the source (incoming feed cable) going to go...into one of the switch boxes or into one of the light j-boxes?? About all I can tell you at the moment is that you'll probably need 14/3 or 12/3 run between the switches and 14/2 or 12/2 run from one of the switch boxes to the first lighting fixture j-box, and 14/2 or 12/2 run from light to light. Actual connections depend on where the source enters the system (switch or light) and which switch box the load (lights) enters.

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Old 09-14-2008, 07:24 AM   #3
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Wiring a three way switch?


SD515 is right on. This might help visualize. http://www.homeimprovementweb.com/in...way-switch.htm
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:21 AM   #4
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Wiring a three way switch?


here's a graphic, but beware, anyone listening to me may experience side-effects such as difficulty breathing, hair loss, erectile dysfunction or death.

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:34 AM   #5
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Wiring a three way switch?


The easiest way for most people is to just run a three conductor cable w/ground from switch to switch, then run your feed and load out of just one of the switch boxes.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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Wiring a three way switch?


This three-way switch simulator or this three way/four way switch simulator may help you understand how this type of circuit works.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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Wiring a three way switch?


Rough in (pre drywall)

2 wire cable, hot, at one sw box.

2 wire cable to lights at the other sw box.

3 wire cable between boxes.

Wire nut bare grounds together, leave pigtail to ground sw.

Wire nut white wires together.





Trim out (after paint)

Black from 2 wire cables to dark colored terminals marked "common"

Red and black from 3 wire cabe to the other 2 terminals in any order.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:41 PM   #8
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Wiring a three way switch?


Since you live in Orland park you're in Cook county. Cook county codes require your electrical to be run in EMT so I wouldn't recommend doing it in romex.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:27 PM   #9
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Wiring a three way switch?


In that case..




run 1/2" EMT with black, white and green to one sw box.

run 1/2" EMT with black red and green from the lights to the other sw box.

run 1/2" EMT with two reds, one white and one green between boxes.

Strip a portion of and wrap one green around a ground screw in your box. Wire nut green grounds together.

Wire nut white wires together.





Trim out (after paint)

Black from incoming power and black to lights go to dark colored terminals on switches marked "common"

Two reds running between sw boxes go to the other 2 terminals in any order.






or call an electrician.
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:00 PM   #10
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Wiring a three way switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
run 1/2" EMT with black red and green from the lights to the other sw box.
black, white and green

It's ok 220...we still love ya here...
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #11
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Wiring a three way switch?


You'll have to pipe it first. That in itself is a whole different story, post another thread if you need help with that. After you're done let me know how you piped it and I'll tell you how to pull it.

You don't need a green because the emt is grounded. Also, this isn't romex so you're not gonna want to use all those blacks and reds.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:27 PM   #12
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Wiring a three way switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Super33 View Post
You'll have to pipe it first. That in itself is a whole different story, post another thread if you need help with that. After you're done let me know how you piped it and I'll tell you how to pull it.

You don't need a green because the emt is grounded. Also, this isn't romex so you're not gonna want to use all those blacks and reds.
Just to point out the differences in code that is required in certain jurisdictions, here we are required to run a 'green' in EMT.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:22 PM   #13
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Wiring a three way switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
Just to point out the differences in code that is required in certain jurisdictions, here we are required to run a 'green' in EMT.

Don't get me wrong, I think a ground should be run with EMT, expecially in a residential setting where HO's can screw up about everything, but I hate it when municipalities make up their own rules. Travelling between cities is a real PITA when this stuff happens. I once had an inspector require nail plates behind every box because the back of the deep boxes were less than 1 1/4 inches from the edge of the stud.

It's a bunch of crap and shouldn't be allowed!!!!

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