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Electrical Wiring for Light Fixtures and Three Way Switches

How to Wire Three Way Switches: Common Problems When Wiring 3Way Switches, Wiring Connections for 3Way Switches.



Guide to Wiring Connections for 3Way Switches

Electrical Question: We have 2 sets of 3 way switches. One controls the top and bottom of our stairwell, the other controls our kitchen lights.

I hope this gives you enough information. The reason I haven’t simply changed out switches is because it felt odd that I would have the same problem in 2 different locations in the house.
Any information you can offer would be very much appreciated.

This electrical wiring question came from: Carrie, from Concord, North Carolina.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Carrie.

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120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
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Questions about Electrical Wiring for Light Fixtures and Three Way Switches


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  1. Kim says:

    I have a three way switch issue. I have two switches that have a four wire line between them. The problem is that there is a three wire line running to the fixture and in the fixture there are three lines meeting there.

    There are two white wires with wire nuts on them individually. The black wires from the two power feeds are nutted with the white from the switch. The black line from the switch is connected to the black wire on the light. All the ground wires are nutted and connected to the white side of the light. How do I attach this to a new light that needs a black, white, and ground wire?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Kim,
      If the wiring to the switches has not been altered then it would be best to test the wiring at the light fixture box to identify the connections for the light fixture. The ground wires all connect together as you have described, however the neutral wire of the circuit and the return wire from the three way light switches must be properly identified.
      Please see the Three Way Switch Wiring Diagrams section of this website for additional assistance.
      I hope this helps you,
      Dave

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