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ByDave Rongey © Ask the Electrician 2017 Author, Licensed Electrical Contractor
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3 Way Switch Wiring Variations

How to Wire Three Way Switches and 3-Way Dimmer Switches

3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Variations
Electrical Question: I am wiring a circuit using 3 way dimmer switches.
The power goes to the first switch, then to a number of cans in the ceiling, then to the second switch.
I pulled 12/3 as I would with a single fixture, but am confused as to how I wire the multiple fixtures, since there is not a solid traveler from the powered switch to the remote switch.

Background: Mark, a Homeowner from West Caldwell, NJ
Additional Comments: Thanks!

Dave The Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Mark.

How to Wire Three Way Switches and Dimmer Switches

Mark, you just explained the problem – the way that you have wired does not provide the necessary travelers between the 3 way switches.
Sure, you can run the travelers through the light fixtures, but this is not the ideal way.

Vital Components of Three Way Switch Wiring


How to Wire 3-Way Dimmer Switches

3 Way Switch Wiring Explained
3 Way Switch Wiring Diagrams
3 Way Switch Diagram
3 Way Switch Diagram
In response to the requests for this information, I have developed a comprehensive,step-by-step guide designed to walk you through the identification and wiring of your 3-way switches.

« Don’t Call an Electrician Until You Try This Electrical Voltage 5.5 Readings on a Circuit »

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