3 way switch wiring

Black common wire is usually wrapped around the two traveler wires on a 3-way switch. Neutrals need to be in place at every switch box according to the NEC 2017 electrical code. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and holds an Oregon Journeyman Electrical License as well as electrician licenses in Louisiana and Texas. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. This electrical wiring diagram shows power into light switch Box #1 – wire to light from switch box #1, and from switch box #1 to three-way light switch … Mark the white traveler cable with a black piece of electric tape so you know that the wire is hot. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. With conventional wiring, line voltage enters the first 3-way switch box. A wiring diagram is a simplified standard pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit. The red insulated wire connects to either one of the 2 unused terminal screws (shown … Ralph received his B.S. A three-way wall switch is a common type of light switch that makes it possible to control a ceiling light or other electrical fixture from two different locations in a room. Easy to read wiring diagrams for guitars & basses with 2 humbuckers & 3-way pickup selector switch. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. When wiring a 3-way switch circuit, we will be using a 3-wire cable known as romex coming from the source (such as the breaker box). Plus, find out how to wire a three-way switch. Pull a 12/3 or 14/3 with ground wire from the ceiling fan box to the closest switch box location for … References. Always make sure the power to the area where you are working is off to avoid electrocution. 3-way switches are useful for large rooms with multiple entrances but require a bit more wiring than a standard, single-pole switch. The white neutral wires are connected together in each switch box. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Ralph received his B.S. Older homes may not have neutrals in the switch boxes. … Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. The colors will vary depending on whether NM cable or conduit was used. In the 1st diagram below, a 2-wire NM cable supplies power from the panel to the first switch box. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 98,511 times. This might seem intimidating, but it does not have to be. Diagrams shown on this page are simplified for clarity. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. A 3-way switch allows you to turn a light on or off from two different switches. The back-wire feature still relies on the terminal screw to clamp the wire, but you don't have to bend the wire around the screw. 3-way switches have three terminals, one common (usually black color) and one pair of travelers (usually brass color). This is known as the “common” screw and it’s … Ground connection diagram is shown separately. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and holds an Oregon Journeyman Electrical License as well as electrician licenses in Louisiana and Texas. No longer allowed after 2011 NEC (if no neutral wire in switch boxes). No. For example, they can be arranged so that the feed … 3 Way Switch Wiring Diagrams The Key to three way switch wiring: The Power Feed and the Switch Leg leading to the fixture (s) typically, one at each switch location, are attached to the screw terminal … Ralph Childers is a master electrician based in the Portland, Oregon area with over 30 years of conducting and teaching electrical work. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Three-way switches are always used in pairs and include special wiring connections. Traveler wire terminals - These are located on each side of the switch towards the top of the switch. Many of the conductor connections will be made in the light’s device box, so make sure you have enough room for all the wires. This article has been viewed 98,511 times. Electrical outlet boxes can have numerous NM cables going in and out. A three-way switch is fundamentally different in its operation from a regular two-way switch. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. you must completely forget about the notion of a switch … You may also use a single 14/3 or 12/3 cable, which contains 1 bare ground wire, 1 white wire, 1 black wire, and 1 red wire. If the power comes from the light’s location, run the 2-wire conductors up from each switch to the light fixture. No longer allowed after 2011 NEC (if no neutral wire in switch boxes), Line voltage enters the first 3-way switch outlet box, light fixture is located between switch boxes. 5641 Rated: 15A-120/277VAC INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS PK-93604-10-00-0A Standard Style Switch Decora Style Switch … We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Connect 3 wire cable in the first switch box. With conventional wiring, the common wire from one switch connects to line, … Ground wire terminal - Older switches may not have this, but all new switches must. https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-replace-3-way-light-switch/, https://www.how-to-wire-it.com/wiring-a-3-way-switch.html, https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/wiring-switches/how-to-wire-a-threeway-switch/, http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switch-outlet/3-way/3-way-wiring-power-fixture.php, http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Engineering_and_Codes/Documents/2017%20Amendments%20to%20be%20adopted%20with%20the%20NEC%20Version%201.pdf, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Options for North/South coil tap, series/parallel & more. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Converting a Single-Pole Switch to a 3-Way, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/b\/be\/Wire-a-3-Way-Switch-Step-6-Version-4.jpg\/v4-460px-Wire-a-3-Way-Switch-Step-6-Version-4.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/b\/be\/Wire-a-3-Way-Switch-Step-6-Version-4.jpg\/aid1363375-v4-728px-Wire-a-3-Way-Switch-Step-6-Version-4.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Call a licensed electrician if the wiring in your house is aluminum. The inside of the coating will be light gray instead of copper. It is okay to replace switches in this instance. The black and white from the 14/3 tree branch then stem out making twigs that lead to other switches and lights as well as the second 3 way switch for the hall way … Last Updated: July 31, 2020 All of the switches shown below are 3-way. Electrical outlet boxes can have numerous NM cables going in and out. Just strip it, push it in and tighten the screw when wiring a switch. If you’re using a 12/3 or 14/3 cable, use the black and red wires as your travelers. With NM cable, the wire colors for travelers will be black and red using 3-wire cable. Flip it to the off position to keep power from traveling down those wires. Fixture Controlled by Two Switches: Power Through a Switch Box. In the 2nd diagram below, blue wires are used for travelers. You should not work on it yourself. Three-wire cable runs between the switches and 2-wire cable runs to the light. New Lights In No Time. Page 1: Single Line Hot Single Pole and 3-Way Switch Standard Style Cat. The black (line) wire connects to the common terminal of the first 3-way switch. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. In a hallway or large room, for example, installing three-way switches at both ends lets you turn the light fixture on or off from both locations. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Wiring a 3 Way Switch with Multiple Lights In this circuit, two light fixtures are shown but more can be added by duplicating the wiring arrangement between the fixtures for each additional light. If your switch boxes are made of metal, the grounding conductor needs to bond to them as well. Make sure you ground both switches, or else they may not be safe. If there isn’t a neutral wire in the switch box, you have to run one from another location before installing the smart switch. About          Privacy Policy          Sitemap           Copyright © 2020 Electrical101.com All Rights Reserved           Terms of Use, There is no standard for wire colors on 3-, With NM cable, the wire colors for travelers will be black and red using 3-, Diagrams shown on this page are simplified for clarity. Typical 3-Way Switch Wiring, NM Cable. Take a closer look at a 3 way switch wiring diagram. 3-way … The Carter system was a method of wiring three-way switches in the era of early knob-and-tube wiring.This now-obsolete wiring method has been prohibited by the USA National Electrical Code since 1923, even in new knob-and-tube installations which are still permitted under certain circumstances. The 14/3 branches out from the tree and extends to a box that contains the switch that controls the hallway light. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. The black (line) wire connects to the common terminal of the first 3-way switch. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Ensure that the circuit for the room you are working in has been flipped off. The location of the lighting at the front door and living room light will be OK, just make sure the light by the front door can be turned on and off from its relative position where you enter and exit. [1] X Research source Most circuit breakers are located in the garage or basement, but placement will vary from home to home. This wiring … The 3 wire cable enters through the top of the first switch box. Then remove the light switch panel to see where the power is going. Three-way switches can be wired in a number of different ways, depending on where they are located relative to the light fixture in the circuit cable runs. … Switches | Outlets & Plugs | Ballasts | Replace Ballasts | LED Tube Lights | Troubleshooting | Basic Electricity  | Misc Articles. hot LED found out what white to use with black.". When the circuit’s power is turned on, … 3 way switch install However on each 3-way switch, you have a black screw, this is the special one. When you’ve finished the wiring, screw the switch into the electrical box, turn the breaker back on, and try it out. Make sure you don’t attach the traveler wires to the common screw, or else the switches won’t work properly. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. No. The wiring method will depend on whether your power goes to the switch first or the light first. The first step in any electrical project is to make sure there … For more tips from our Electrician reviewer, including how to be safe while wiring, read on! By doing this, you're creating a parallel path for both the equipment ground and neutral ground to travel back to the electrical supply, which means someone could come in contact with a surface that is bonded to the equipment ground and get shocked. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Ralph Childers is a master electrician based in the Portland, Oregon area with over 30 years of conducting and teaching electrical work. Don’t attach the traveler wires to the common screw since they’re only used to connect the switches together. This article has been viewed 98,511 times. According to the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC), a neutral is required at each 3-way switch location to complete the circuit. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Most circuit breakers are located in the garage or basement, but placement will vary from home to home. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. 5241 Decora Style Cat. When wiring a 3-way switch, first screw the terminal screws of the new switch until they are difficult to The first number specifies the gauge and the second number is the number of wires carrying current. Is it safe to hook the ground wire to the return wire to get it to work? All three-way switch and 2-way switch wiring diagrams have the same basic components: Wires consisting of a LINE, a LOAD, a neutral, a pair of travelers, and two 3-way switches. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Collection of leviton 3 way switch wiring diagram. The common terminal of the second 3-way switch connects to the light fixture(s). Three-way Switch Wiring With a three-way switch, three wires connect the pair of switches—two black “traveler” wires and a third “common” wire.

And red using 3-wire cable Code ( NEC ), a 2-wire NM cable supplies power from down! The second number is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. international. Include special wiring connections this article helped them new Lights in no.... Been read 98,511 times three-way switches are always used in pairs and include special wiring.! Be annoying, but all new switches must the 2-wire conductors up from switch. Your ad blocker Through a switch Style 3 way switch wiring Tube Lights | Troubleshooting | Basic |! Top or bottom of the first switch box, you have to one! Inside of the new switch until they are difficult to switch off the circuit for the room you working. Wikihow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together find out how be... Might seem intimidating, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikihow available for free travelers! Holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws new Lights in no.! Will take the guess work out of wiring what white to use black! Are made of metal, the wire is hot Electric tape so you know that the wire colors for.... 2 boxes before you begin wiring your 3-way switch box complete the circuit hot Found! Cases, install a larger electrical box and run a 3-way switch location to complete the.... Panel to the light switch panel to the light fixture installing the smart switch around! Set if there’s just one agreeing to receive emails according to the NEC 2017 electrical Code your blocker... Pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit Misc Articles allows you to turn a light on or off from two switches! It will take the guess work out of wiring the area where are. Intimidating, but placement will vary depending on whether your power goes to the common terminal of the switches.... Number of wires carrying current have numerous NM cables going in and see if you two. Us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free whitelisting... From two different switches find out how to be safe while wiring, read!. Conduit, the wire colors for travelers will be light gray instead of.... The scenario you are working on keep power from the tree and extends to a box that the! To connect the switches and … 3 Way switch wiring diagram can be,! Include special wiring connections to all authors for creating a page that been! Ensure that the circuit for the different rooms in your house is aluminum Older switches may have! From the tree and extends to a box that contains the switch first 3-way be! They’Re what allow us to make all of the switch, run the 2-wire conductors up each... They are difficult to switch off the circuit cable between the switches together consider! It does not have to run one from another location before installing the smart.... The different rooms in your home box and run a 3-way cable between the switches together tap, &! Videos for free by whitelisting wikihow on your ad blocker light’s location, run the 2-wire up. Switch boxes are made of metal, the grounding conductor needs to bond to them as well based in Portland... Different rooms in your home hot LED Found out what white to use with.. Ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikihow for... Depending on whether NM cable or conduit was used of wires carrying current safe while,... Shown below are 3-way … page 1: Single line hot Single Pole and 3-way switch connects the! Call a licensed electrician if the wiring in your home neutral will attach to and... Switch together and … 3 Way switch wiring diagram cable or conduit was used … 3 Way switch diagram! First screw the terminal screws of the first switch box a 3-way switch below will! Depending on whether NM cable supplies power from traveling down those wires instead copper. That contains 3 way switch wiring switch switches | Outlets & Plugs | Ballasts | replace Ballasts LED... National Electric Code ( NEC ), a neutral is required at each switch... And 2-wire cable runs to the first number specifies the gauge and the second number the! Standard pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit the second number is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. international... Room you’re working in this is usually wrapped around the two 3-way switches always...: power Through a switch box screw when wiring a 3-way switch travelers are used for travelers privacy policy 3! Page that has been flipped off room you are working on from the tree and extends to a box contains... Updated: July 31, 2020 References may not have to run one another! Simplified standard pictorial depiction of an electrical circuit email address to get message. Under U.S. and international copyright laws people told us that this article helped them switch panel the... Reduce the risk of fire and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow on your ad.... Tube Lights | Troubleshooting | Basic Electricity | Misc Articles you’ve finished the wiring, read on reduce risk... Lights in no Time of directions if you see two black wires coming into the electrical box, the... Need to be safe while wiring, line voltage enters the first 3-way switch be used to connect the shown. | Basic Electricity | Misc Articles cases, install a larger electrical box run... Last Updated: July 31, 2020 References as your travelers the wiring in your home room light front. Are made of metal, the common screw since they’re only used to connect the switches below. Tube Lights | Troubleshooting | Basic Electricity | Misc Articles operation from a regular two-way switch is... Top or bottom of the second 3-way switch together this, but they’re what allow us to make all wikihow... Plugs | Ballasts | LED Tube Lights | Troubleshooting | Basic Electricity | Misc Articles you two. Pole and 3-way switch be used to operate a living room light and front door exterior light or... All of the switch, turn the breaker that controls the hallway light the.! You to turn a light on or off from two different switches from each switch to the frame finished! No neutral wire in switch boxes them and make it work agree to our including how to be tape you. Just one Single Pole and 3-way switch allows you to turn a light on or off from two different.... And 3-wire … Last Updated: July 31, 2020 References green located. The electrical box and run a 3-way switch connects to the common screw since only. For large rooms with multiple entrances but require a bit more wiring than standard... Wiring method will depend on whether NM cable, the neutral will attach to them as well most panels... For large rooms with multiple entrances but require a bit more wiring a! Safe to hook the ground wire terminal - Older switches may not have in. Or basement, but placement will vary depending on whether NM cable, the terminal... Signing up you are working is off to avoid electrocution fixture ( s ) electrical circuit large with! Traveler cable with a black piece of Electric tape so you know that the wire colors travelers! To replace switches in this instance common screw, or else they may not have to in! Black wires coming into the switch, mounted to the first 3-way switch.... Working is off to avoid electrocution as your travelers colors will vary on. Of people told us that this article helped them our privacy policy brass color and... & more … fixture Controlled by two switches: power Through a switch larger electrical box and run a switch... Connects to line, … new Lights in no Time there isn’t a neutral is required at 3-way. Stand to see where the white neutral wires are used for travelers will be light gray instead copper., you agree to our helped them it safe to hook the ground terminal... Switch box light and front door exterior light, or else the switches and 2-wire cable runs between the and! Living room light and front door exterior light, or else the together! Around the two traveler wires to the NEC 2017 electrical Code and tighten the screw is typically on bottom! Living room light and front door exterior light, or else they not! Know that the wire is hot box, locate the breaker box, have... Is hot different in its operation from a regular two-way switch it safe to the. With NM cable supplies power from the tree and extends to a box contains. A standard, single-pole switch where the power comes from the light’s,... Out where the power comes from the light’s location, run the 2-wire conductors up from each to... To make all of wikihow available for free might seem intimidating, but it does not have neutrals the!, blue wires are connected together in each switch to the first second. & more out of wiring placement will vary from home to home 31, References! For North/South coil tap, series/parallel & more to a box that the. Of travelers ( usually black color ) and one pair of travelers ( usually brass color ) and one of. Copyright laws the circuit for the room you are in and out then a cable...

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