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Old 05-06-2019, 01:46 PM   #1
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Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


Hello
At the bottom of my stairs is a 3-way switch. There is a nearby closet that I would like to illuminate with a switched light.
Can I get constant power from that switch to supply another normal switch for that lamp? Or constant power to a lamp with a pull-string?
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


There are two 3-way switches and often one of them has the power feed. If that is the one close to your closet then possibly yes. But power could have been fed to the other switch or the light. If you take a look at the wires into that 3-way box and maybe a picture the electrical pros will be able to give you a definite answer.

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Old 05-06-2019, 01:54 PM   #3
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


Depends on how it is wired.

You need to pickup the constant hot and the neutral at the same point. Depending on what method was used to wire your 3 way, you may be missing either the constant hot, the neutral, or both.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #4
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It depends on if there is both hot and neutral at that switch box. You may only have 2 travelers and a neutral + switch leg out. 50/50 chance.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
There are two 3-way switches and often one of them has the power feed. If that is the one close to your closet then possibly yes. But power could have been fed to the other switch or the light. If you take a look at the wires into that 3-way box and maybe a picture the electrical pros will be able to give you a definite answer.Bud
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Depends on how it is wired.
You need to pickup the constant hot and the neutral at the same point. Depending on what method was used to wire your 3 way, you may be missing either the constant hot, the neutral, or both.
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Originally Posted by Wiredindallas View Post
It depends on if there is both hot and neutral at that switch box. You may only have 2 travelers and a neutral + switch leg out. 50/50 chance.
thanks guys. So, if I open up that switch box and can measure voltage at the black wire, does that mean that the hot is there?
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


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thanks guys. So, if I open up that switch box and can measure voltage at the black wire, does that mean that the hot is there?
Not for sure.
If you open the switch and there are only three wires, all of them attached to the switch then no.
If there are more then three wires and there are two or more whites connected together and NOT to the switch then maybe you can do it. It depends if those wire are power in from the panel or power out to the light.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:28 PM   #7
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I finally got around to exploring that junction box. There is 1 wire coming into the box, with a black, white, and red wire with nothing else.

So can i run a wire in there to power a switched light?
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:31 PM   #8
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


No, there is no neutral in that box.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
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No, there is no neutral in that box.
That white wire is not a neutral?
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


No. If the white was a neutral, it would not be attached to a 3way switch.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:09 PM   #11
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


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Originally Posted by NABRIL View Post
That white wire is not a neutral?

No, it's not a neutral. It's a traveler wire that carries the switched hot between the 2 switches.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:19 PM   #12
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


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That white wire is not a neutral?

This is referred to as a "dead end" 3-way. Not only don't you have a neutral - the hot may change from one traveler terminal to the other depending on which state the other 3-way is in.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


Constant power is onlt available at one end of a three way arrangement,
So it all depends on which end you got ?
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Constant power is onlt available at one end of a three way arrangement,
So it all depends on which end you got ?
It looks like this switch is the very end
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:35 PM   #15
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Re: Can i get constant power from a 3-way switch?


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Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
Constant power is onlt available at one end of a three way arrangement,
So it all depends on which end you got ?
Constant power is not always available at one of the switches. Power could be in the fixture and then constant power is not available at either switch.
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