3 way switch hook up, installing a 3-way switch with wiring diagrams

Understanding Three-Way Wall Switches

Connect feed wires in the first switch box. Four-way switches have four terminals. Either way, the directions are the same. Note that the shadings of the wires in the illustrations represent actual color. The other two screws, usually a lighter brass color, are known as the traveler terminals.

Be sure to mark the white wire as noted so if any future repairs or replacement is needed, whoever goes into the box will know it is marked as a hot wire. Loop it around the screw and fasten it down like any other cable. Or, as shown here, they can be wired so that the cables run through both three-way switches, been dating for 3 then to the light fixture. The ground wire is pigtailed with a wire connector at the switch boxes and the ceiling box.

Three way switches have become very popular because it adds convenience and ease to lighting in large rooms, hallways and staircases. The first thing you will need to determine is where the power is coming from and where the switches are positioned. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This is a very important step.

How to Wire a 3 Way Light Switch (with Pictures) - wikiHow

Wiring A 3 Way Switch

This third wire allows power to run to your second switch even if the first one is off. Hook the red one up to the side with you black power wire, and the black on the identical screw on the other side of the switch. Option Two Three way switch with the power going through the light.

Electrical Made Easy

If you need more than two lights, just keep pig-tailing the white and black wires to keep the circuit going. The red wire then goes with the other three to connect both switches. Make sure your fuse is turned off while wiring this kind of wire! Screw your two boxes and light fixture into place, then gather your supplies. This way, you will ensure all connections are made properly.

Cables lacking a green insulated wire use the outer metal jacket as the ground conductor. This means that there is a black hot wire, a white neutral wire, and a bare copper grounding wire. You want to zig-zag them, so they come about a bit like an accordion. The methods shown here are some of the safest and most versatile, though not the only options. Secure to the center of the stud, in the wall, so that it will not be hit by drywall studs later on if you were to hang anything near the light.

Not all switches are made for three-way wiring. It is connected directly to the metal strap of the switch, and it may be located on the bottom of the switch, as shown here, or it may be on the side or another location. Select the proper cable type.

Over time, these pressure connections fatigue and eventually fail, so the use of screw terminals is preferable. Select the proper wire size. Connect the ground wire to the circuit ground wire s with a wire nut or other approved connection see How to Connect Electrical Wire. Check all wire nuts for tightness and exposed neutral and hot conductor surfaces. However, if all the existing ground wires connect to one bar and all the existing white wires connect to a different bar, maintaining separate ground and neutral connections is required.

Installing A 3-way Switch With Wiring Diagrams

  • Do this by threading a special green, hex-headed grounding machine screw into a pre-tapped hole in the metal box, or use a special green ground clip.
  • Connect wires in the light fixture's box.
  • Red - This is a switch wire or traveller wire, used to carry current inside the switch.
  • Curve the ends of every black and red cable into small hooks.

Hook the curled end of the wire under the screw, then tighten down the screw to hold the wire firmly in place. Here I am showing how to hook some lights up in series. After making all your connections, fold the wires neatly into the box.

The size of all the wires in any circuit must be the same size. How to wire a split receptacle. It is not, however, authorized for use in all installations, such as being embedded in concrete or where exposed to the risk of physical damage. The Grounding Screw Terminal. The red traveller wire is connected to the third terminal on both switches and runs between them only, not to the fuse box or the light.

Understanding Three-Way Wall Switches
Can t I just connect two regular light switches to each other

Keep twisting until the wires are secured and the nut stays in place when let go. Flip off power in the room you're working. Note that wiring configurations can vary greatly depending on how the circuit is arranged.

Use a voltage detector to ensure that you're not going to shock yourself once you start working. Only two-wire cable with ground is needed for the boxes at the lights. Green or Bare - This is a ground wire that grounds the entire current.

End-of-Run Lights Controlled by Two Three-Way Switches These end-of-run lights are controlled by two three-way switches with a two-wire cable power source coming through the first three-way switch. This must be done at each and every box that a cable enters and at each device that provides a termination point for ground. The power is routed first through the light ceiling box and then flows to the switches.

Electrical Made Easy

Note there are slight differences with the wiring at the light fixtures. Replace the drywall, coverings, etc. If the switch box is metal, it also must be pigtailed to the grounding wires.

How to Hook Up a 3 Way Switch
3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram
How to Hook Up a 3 Way Switch Z-wave Zone

Once again, the white neutral wires are simply joined together, and the grounding wires are joined together with pigtails connecting the switch and to the box, if it is metal. Armored cable types are very similar with only slight variations. Hey, doing it yourself is great but if you are unsure of the advice given or the methods in which to job is done, relationship don't do it. Three-wire cable with a ground wire is used for this connection. Fold all wires carefully into the boxes and secure devices and fixture with screws.

  1. This way, all the wires can be used with no waste.
  2. The cable should also have a ground wire, or a total of four wires in the cable.
  3. The last screw is the common terminal.
  4. Some light fixtures with a chain pull have a ground connection.
  5. They consist of a metal jacket formed by an interlocking, helically wound band of steel or aluminum around two or more insulated wires - including one white, one black, and often one green.
  6. In fact, I wired my whole home myself with no prior experience and I didn't get shocked even once.

3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram

The switches operate both lights, but the wiring ensures that if one bulb should burn out, the other will still work. This screw is usually in the upper left side of the switch and is painted black, but check the guide that comes with your switch if you're unsure. If a larger load is to be connected, the appropriately larger sized wire and circuit breaker or fuse must be installed instead. Connect the black insulated wire to the shunt or common terminal screw of the switch once again, not enough dating the common screw terminal is the different colored screw from the rest of those on the switch.

Install A Three-Way Switch

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