How To Fix Your 3-Way Switches


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Common Problems with 3-Way Switches and How to Fix Them: Basic Wiring Method for 3Way Switches, 3-Wire Cable Connects the Switches, Easy to Understand 3 Way Switch Diagrams.


Wiring 3Way Switches

Electrical Question: I have a problem wiring the 3way switches in my hallway.

This electrical wiring question came from: Ted, a Homeowner from Baton Rouge, LA.
Additional Comments: Love the site!

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

How to Wire 3Way Switches

Application: Wiring 3Way Light Switches.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Materials: Make sure the replacement light switch has the same amperage and voltage rating as the original switch, and is fully compatible with the electrical circuit, the light fixture and the type of light bulbs being used.

Three Way Switch Basics

The Wiring Components of 3Way Switches

Common Problems with 3Way Switches and How to Fix Them

NOTE: This is one of the most common methods for wiring 3-way switches, however there are several other wiring methods as described in the following resources

More about Wiring Three Way Switches

3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram

wiring-a-3-way-switch
Easy to Understand 3 Way Switch Diagrams
3 Way Switch Diagrams Fully Explained. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

For more information about Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring
Licensed Electrician Reveals the Secrets of Successful Electrical Troubleshooting Methods used to solve the majority of the home electrical problems and wiring failures encountered.

How to Use Electrical Testers
digital-tester

Understanding Electrical Testers

When working on home electrical wiring using voltage testers can play an important part in electrical safety. Electrical testers enable you to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock.
Types of Electrical Testers

You Can Fix Your Three Way Switches TODAY!

electrical-wiring-diagrams



 
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How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How To Fix Your 3-Way Switches”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Richard,
    If you have replaced existing three way switches then you will need to review the wiring configurations with the diagrams provided in the wiring diagrams section of this website.
    If you have added a three way switch to a single switch application, or this is new wiring then be sure you are not wiring a neutral wire into the switching configuration.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  2. Richard says:

    I have a 3-way switch problem. One of the switches trips the breaker while the other works flawlessly. Both switches are brand new.

    Thoughts?

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