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Old 06-27-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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How do I wire this 3 way swtich?


So I have a three way switch that is run with 12-2 wiring. The supply wire comes into the light first and then goes to one switch. Im not sure how the other switch is wired into this. Here is a picture.



Wire coming from the right is from the breaker box. Wire on the left goes to switch 1. Again, switch 2 is seperate but I dont see how the wiring gets to there. Im simply trying to replace the old ugly light and am not sure how to hook up the wiring. It used to work before I touched it...

Thanks!
Shane
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Before reading what is below the dotted line, consider these questions.

What is connected to each of the red wire nuts?
Did you add the wire nuts or were they there to begin with?

**********************

1. Connect the white supply wire (neutral) (from the right) to the light fixture white.

2. Connect the black switch return wire (from the left) to the light fixture black.

3. Connect the other two wires together.

4. Connect all bare wires together using one wire nut: from the right cable, from the left cable, from the light fixture, and a short length attached to the box using one of the screws holding a cable clamp.

If you need short lengths of wire to make things reach, use colored wire if any of the wires you are bundling it to are not white. Use white wire if all of the wires you are bundling it to are white and not in turn connected to colored wires or switches.

Put a band of black tape near the end of a white wire connected to a switch or connected to a colored wire.

(not visible or shown) Assuming it all worked before, there should be a 3 wire cable going between the two switches. Assuming it works again after you hook up the new light fixture, it should not be necessary to look at anything else.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-27-2010 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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A. There are no ground wires.
B. The cable clamp screw is not an approved grounding method.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #4
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The other wire nuts were already there.

Ive read through your description a few times but an a bit confused. I only have three wire leads. A white that comes from the breaker panel side, a black that is nutted w/ the blacks from both cables (breaker panel and switch) and a black that is taped w/ white at the end that is nutted w/ the white from the switch side. Thanks again!
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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Remove all three wire nuts allowing any short lengths of wire to fall away.

Then follow my steps 1, 2, and 3. You may need to get back some of the short lengths and use additional wire nuts to make things reach.

By the way, how were the wires connected originally? The old light fixture I presume had two wires going to it while you had three loose wire ends in the box.

Alternate method of connecting ground wire to box; they make little metal clips, usually green stained or anodized (not green oxidized), that clip over the rim of the box. Without ground wires, you would ignore this part.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-27-2010 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:32 PM   #6
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If that black marked with the white tape is part of a switch loop it is miswired. The white should be the fed to the switch. The black would be the switched hot. NEC 200.7.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:35 AM   #7
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Thanks Allan. That works perfectly. Im still confused on how it worked in the first place but oh well.
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