» How to Wire it Right: Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
» Need Electrical Help? Get a Quick Reply! Ask the Electrician
Wiring a 3 Way Switch
By Dave Rongey
Summary: Electrical Switches Question:
I need to convert a single pole switch to a 3 way switch. I do not have access to add a 4th wire.
How to Wire the 3Way Switch Traveler
Electrical Switches Question:
I need to convert a single pole switch to a 3 way switch.
I do not have access to add a 4th wire. Can I use the ground wire as the Traveler (Red wire) and then ground the last switch in the run to the box it is in? The power will be coming from the light. Christian.
Hi Christian - Great Electrical Repair Question!
Your thinking is very creative, however because the ground wire is most likely not insulated and because you would be interfering with the integrity of the bonding of the grounding system I advise you not to use the ground as a traveler because this could become a fire hazard. The ground wire must remain the ground wire and may not be used for any other purpose.
My recommendation is that you investigate the possibility of installing the required 3-Wire cable with a ground to get the 3-way wired correctly. A three wire cable is typically installed between the two 3-way switch locations to provide the switching using the traveler set which is not part of a single pole switch.
Here is a link to some 3-Way Switch Wiring Diagrams that should be very helpful.
Another option may be to purchase and install a set of Lutron 3-way light switches which will work very well for most any application.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
|Wiring Light Switches Questions and Answers|