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# 3 way switch wiring

## 3 way switch wiring

#1
04-01-04, 07:52 AM
johnw9698
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3 way switch wiring

I need some help with wiring 2 3way switches. I have 2 lights and a fan that I want to hook up to the switches. I have power coming up to the 1 switch from a outlet. I have run the 3 way wiring to both switches and the wiring to the lights. I need to know what wires go where on the switches.

#2
04-01-04, 07:59 AM
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Is this two 3-way switches, or two pairs of 3-way switches, or three pairs?

Let "-" be 14/2 and "=" be 14/3. Please confirm that you ran the cabling as follows:

Receptacle-S1=S2-L1-L2-Fan

If not, exactly what is the cabling?

#3
04-01-04, 08:07 AM
johnw9698
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It is 2 seperate 3 way switches. The cabling is as you noted

#4
04-01-04, 08:43 AM
BuzzHazzard
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You have confirmed that your wiring diagram is:

Receptacle-S1=S2-L1-L2-Fan

A 3-way switches has three terminals on it. One of these terminal is a different color than the others and may or may not be labeled as "Common." In any event this is your common terminal.

So starting at your receptacle, the neutral (white) wire will run from the receptacle all the way through to your fan. Wire nut each pair of neutrals in each receptacle/switch/junction box. Additionally, you will pigtail to the neutral connection of each light and the fan. This neutral wire will never be connected to a switch at any point.

In the box for S1, connect the black wire coming from the the receptacle (14-2 cable) to the "common" terminal of S1.

In the box for S2, connect the black wire going to L1 to the "common" terminal of S2.

This leaves only the red and black wires belonging to the 14-3 cable in each switch box. Connect the black to one terminal of each switch and the red to the remaining terminal of each switch.

Now of course there is no real reason that you have to run back and forth between the boxes to do the wiring. You'd wire one box at a time, but the description above may allow you to visualize it better. It does for me anyway.

That should do it.

Last edited by BuzzHazzard; 04-01-04 at 08:54 AM.
#5
04-01-04, 10:08 AM
johnw9698
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Thanks for the help!! It worked except for 1 small problem. I have the cabling wrong!! I have it as Receptacle-S1-L1-L2-fan=S2 I have all the wiring already run under my tongue and groove. Any suggestions

#6
04-01-04, 10:26 AM
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Your only option is to rewire it properly, or replace the 14-2 with 14-4, or add a couple of pieces of 14-2 from the fan to each light, or from one of the lights to the other light and to the fan.

One other question. Please clarify. You say that you have "all the wiring already run under [your] tongue and groove". Under what tongue and groove? Please don't say flooring.

#7
04-01-04, 10:35 AM
johnw9698
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The wiring is run through the ceiling which is tongue and groove

#8
04-01-04, 10:40 AM
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That's a relief. I thought you were going to tll me the wiring was under tongue and groove flooring.

You are going to have to rewire at least part of the circuit.

Sorry.

#9
04-01-04, 11:25 AM
johnw9698
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If the power is working to all the lights and the fan now and only the S2 not having any control- is the only option to take the 14-2 wire from S1 and move it to S2?

#10
04-01-04, 12:28 PM
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There are several options.
1. remove the 14/3 from fan to sw2 and connect new 14/3 from s1 to s2. The rest of the wires can stay.

2. Remove the 14/3 from fan to sw2 and connect 14/3 from L1 to s2. And remove the 14/2 for sw1 to l1 and replace with 14/3. The rest of the cables can stay as they are.

Remove 14/2 form SW1 to L1 and connect 14/3 from SW1 to SW2. The rest of cables can be left as they are. There will be an extra wire to the fan but it can be capped off at both ends.

Option #1 or #3 are the best one.

The main problem is you need a 14/3 between the switches.

#11
04-01-04, 01:30 PM
johnw9698
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OK here I go- I have 2 switches, I have 14-3 connecting these 2 switches S1and S2,
I have 14-2 coming up to S1 from a receptacle and the black wire from the receptacle on the S1 common. I have 14-2 (with the black wire connected to a S1terminal)leading from the S1 up to a box that has the fan and then I have 14-2 out to 2 lights. The S2 has the 3 way wire but does not have anything going up to the fan or lights. The lights and fan work off of S1 but S2 is a dead switch doing nothing. Can I get the S2 to work the lights and Fan easily? I am a little new at this so please try and understand!
Thanks

#12
04-01-04, 01:55 PM
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Let "-" be 14/2. "=" be 14/3, and "#" be 14/4. L1, L2 and L3 represent the three loads (any one of which might be your fan).

A lot of cabling paths will work, and a lot will not work. Some of your valid options are:[list=1][*]Receptacle-S1=S2-L1-L2-L3.[*]Receptacle-S1=S2 and S1-L1-L2 and L1-L3.[*]Receptacle-S1=S2 and S1-L1-L2-L3.[*]Receptacle-S1=L1=S2 and L1-L2-L3.[*]Receptacle-S1#L1#L2#L3=S2.[*]Receptacle-L1-S1=S2, and L1-L2-L3.[*]Receptacle-L1=S1 and L1=S2 and L1-L2-L3.[*]Receptacle-L1=L2=L3-S1=S2.[/list=1]When we started, we thought we had #1. Can you confirm that you now believe you have #2?

Last edited by John Nelson; 04-01-04 at 02:07 PM.
#13
04-01-04, 04:28 PM
johnw9698
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OK here I go- I have 2 switches, I have 14-3 connecting these 2 switches S1and S2,
I have 14-2 coming up to S1 from a receptacle and the black wire from the receptacle on the S1 common. I have 14-2 (with the black wire connected to a S1terminal)leading from the S1 up to a box that has the fan and then I have 14-2 out to 2 lights. The S2 has the 3 way wire but does not have anything going up to the fan or lights. The lights and fan work off of S1 but S2 is a dead switch doing nothing. Can I get the S2 to work the lights and Fan easily? I am a little new at this so please try and understand!
Thanks

#14
04-01-04, 04:33 PM
johnw9698
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I believe I can confirm I have the 2nd way

#15
04-01-04, 04:38 PM
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At S1 connect power black to common on S1. Connect white from power to white to lights/fan.
Connect black from S2 14/3 to light/fan black.
Connect red and white from S2 14/3 to traveller screws of S1.

At S2 connect black to common screw.
Connect red and white to traveller screws.

At lights and fan. Connect all blacks.
Connect all whites.

Everywhere connect all gounds.

#16
04-01-04, 05:49 PM
BuzzHazzard
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I think this is what you want to have. If I understand you, up to now you have had a single-pole switch at S1 controlling a fan and two lights. You want to change it so that the loads can be controlled from a pair of switches. Take a look at the pic and see what you think.

Remember earlier when I said the white wires never are wired to the switch? That was based on the earlier configuration you posted. You'll now notice that in the 14-3 cable, the white becomes one of the travellers. (Travellers are the two wires connecting the non-common terminals of the 3-way switches.

You need to color code these wires with some black paint or tape to signify that they are no longer a neutral wire.

Hope the drawing helps. I'm better at wiring than I am at art.

Last edited by BuzzHazzard; 04-01-04 at 06:18 PM.
#17
04-01-04, 06:12 PM
johnw9698
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Many Thanks to all of you for your help!! I look Like a champ to the family.