» Wiring Book Home Electrical Wiring Book
» Have an Electrical Question? Ask the Electrician
Wiring a 3 Way Rocker Switch
By Dave Rongey
Summary: Electrical Switches Question:
A careful look at how to wire 3-way rocker switches.
How to Wire a 3Way Rocker Switch
Question about Wiring 3-Way Switches:
I have wired my three way switch the way you have shown in the 3-way switch wiring diagram and for some reason I am not getting power through to the light on one side of the switch and I'm not sure what to do about it.
Please help me. I am using the wide button rocker switches and each has a black screw in the same position and two brass screws the same as in the 3-way wiring diagram.
The switch does not work no matter what order I put the wires in.
Thank You, John R.
Hi John - Great Electrical Repair Question!
When looking at the rocker switches it is very easy to use the wrong terminal for the point or black screw, especially if you're using the push in terminals on the back.
Remember that the brass terminals are for the travelers between your two 3-way switches, the black terminals are for the power and the wire leading to the fixture.
From here I don't know which wiring scenario your actually using, where your power originates at or where your switch leg for the light fixture is located with respect to your layout
If you don't get it working, please let me know more about your wiring layout or which diagram you are using on the website.
This link will take you to the diagrams:
3-Way Switch Wiring Diagrams
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
|Wiring Light Switches Questions and Answers|