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Why is it Called 3-Way Switch

Why is a 3-way switch so named when it only operates from two locations?

Electrical Question from Bill about 3-Way Switch Wiring
Background: Bill, a Electrician from Tulsa, OK

Question: Why is a 3-way switch so named when it only operates from two locations?


Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Bill.
Three Way Switches

Bill, the original title:  “Three Way Switch”  has to do with the original identification of how the wiring was brought into the configuration when 3-way switches were first developed. Due to creative minds and new wiring techniques we now know that there are several methods to wire two 3-way switches ans still accomplish the same result.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:
How to Wire a Switch

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Wiring Diagrams
Wiring Diagram

Electrical Wiring Diagrams

Articles about Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.

You identified your project to be about 3 Way Switch Diagram, so you might find this information useful:

3 Way Switch Diagram
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.

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Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

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3-Way Switch

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