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Not too tough

Posted by Mongo on October 8th, 2001 12:45 PM
In reply to 3 way switch by troy baller on October 8th, 2001 11:44 AM [Go to top of thread]

Know what you're doing...ensure that the circuits are dead...standard disclaimer...and get an electrician is this seems at all confusing:

It's really not too tough...draw it out on a piece of paper to make things more clear.

First, ensure that both of your switches are 3-way switches. 3-ways typically have a ground screw on one end of the switch, a SINGLE screw on one side, and TWO screws on the other side.

First, your power source will enter the box for Switch #1. The wire should be 12-2 or 14-2...a bare copper ground wire, a white neutral, and a black power. Connect the black wire to the SINGLE screw on one side of Switch #1.

To connect the two switches, use 12-3 or 14-3 wire. To connect Switch #1 and Switch #2, use the red and black wires in the 12-3 or 14-3. Connect the red and black to the side of Switch #1 that has TWO screws...the red to one screw, the black to the other screw. Run this same wire to Switch #2, also connecting them to the side of Switch #2 that has two screws...the red to one screw, the black to the other screw.

To run the power from Switch #2 to the lights, change back to 12-2 or 14-2 wire. Connect the black wire to the SINGLE screw on Switch #2, and run that black wire to your lights.

Go back and pigtail all grounds, grounding the switches/boxes/lights as required. Go back and pigtail all of the neutrals as well. Mechanically twist the wires together, then secure with a properly sized wire nut. Cover w electrical tape if you desire.

There are ways to do this just using 2-conductor wire between the switches, but using 12-3 or 14-3 and carrying the neutral gives flexibility down the road should you desire to rewire or add X-10 (or equivalent) automation.

If this doesn't make sense, ASK MORE QUESTIONS. I'd be more than happy to email you a diagram.

Again, do not proceed if you are not well-versed in working with electricity. You can get zapped or cause a future electrical fire.

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