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Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Wire Three Way Switches Part 1

3Way Switch Wiring Diagrams

3Way Switch Diagrams #1, #2 and #3

wiring-a-3-way-switch
Summary: The key to three way switch wiring depends on two main factors. These first three wiring diagrams in this series will help you identify the power feed and the switch wiring leading to the light fixture.


3 Way Switch Wiring Diagrams



The Key to 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.

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 wiring method.

Electrical Wiring and the 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.

3-Way Light Switch Wiring


3-Way Switching provides switching from two locations
3-Way Switching Diagram

3-Way Switch Wiring Diagram #1 above, shows that the electric circuit source power is located at the left side 3-way switch box. The cable wires lead to a second 3-way switch box on the right side.

threewayswiitchdiagram#2

3-Way Switch Wiring Diagram #2 above, shows the electric circuit power source comes into the light fixture box. The white wire of the cable wiring is marked with black electrical tape, and is going to the switch. The other end of this wire is connected to the black wire of the light fixture in the light fixture box. The white wire marked with black tape becomes the energized switch leg.

3-way switch wiring diagram #3

3-Way Switch Wiring Diagram #3 above, shows the electric circuit source power located at the right 3-way switch box, and this switch box also has the cable that goes to the light fixture.

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