Replacing and Wiring Three Way Switches
How to wire three way switches with wiring connections and wiring diagrams.
Connections for Three Way Switches
Electrical Question: One of two three way switches which control several fixtures in my shop went out.
- I bought two so I could replace both. Replaced one, circuit OK. Replaced second, circuit not work from that switch. Hooked up both as old switches were. So, one works, one does not. HELP!
This electrical question came from: James, from Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Dave The Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question James
How to Wire Three Way Light Switches
- James, identifying the wiring of your three way switch configuration is the only way to understand the right wiring connections that will make your three way switches work.
- Because there are more than one wiring configuration I have created this easy to understand guide that will help you get your three ways switches wired right and working. I know you will find it to be very helpful.
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.
You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes!
Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
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Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
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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.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right
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
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.