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Electrical Wire and Cable

3 Way Switch Diagram

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Summary: 3 Way Switch Diagrams Fully Explained. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Easy to Understand 3 Way Switch Diagrams

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 found at one end of the switch by itself. This terminal is usually identified by a darker colored screw.

The pair of screw terminals at the opposite end of the switch are for the pair of wires known as "travelers", (also known as "jockeys").

The "travelers" actually pass the electricity between the two 3-way switches, as well as the 4-way switches, shown in the 4-way switching wiring diagrams.

Type NM Cable Contains a Ground Conductor.
The ground conductor is required for all applications as well.

The ground conductors are always bonded together to insure the integrity of the ground path.
If you are using metal boxes, the ground conductor must be attached to each box by using a threaded ground screw or provided attachment.

The frames of the switches which have a ground screw are to be attached to the ground conductor as required.

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3-Way Switch Wiring Diagrams


Easy To Understand
Fully Illustrated and Documented
Eight 3 Way Switches Diagram Variations

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First my easy to understand chart
helps to identify the 3-way switch
system for the application:



3-Way Switching

Please Note: To illustrate the wiring of these 3-way switches, Switch Boxes and Fixture Boxes are not shown but are obviously required for every application. These diagrams are shown as using the Type NM Cable wiring method.

3-Way Switching provides switching from two locations

3-way-switch-diagram-1 Diagram #1 shows the electricity source starting at the left 3-way switch.
3-way-switch-diagram-2 3-way switch diagram #2 shows the electricity source starting at the fixture. The white wire of the cable going to the switch is attached to the black line in the fixture box using a wire nut. The white wire becomes the energized switch leg, as indicated by using black or red electrical tape.
3-way-switch-diagram-3 Diagram #3 shows the electricity source starting at the right 3-way switch box, the same that has the cable going to the fixture.

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More about Wiring 3way Switches

Learn more about Wiring 3way Switches

See How to Wire it Right!

Learn more about Electrical Wiring
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Methods of Home Electrical Wiring
Wiring Diagrams for Switches, with 3-Way, 4-Way
Wiring Diagrams for 120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlets
Wiring Diagrams for GFCIs'
....and much more.
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