3 way switch question

Old 07-14-04, 08:08 AM
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Question 3 way switch question

If you have a 3 way switch, usually the redwire runs from switch #1 to light the to switch #2, correct? What if it runs from switch #1 to switch #2 then to light? Is that possible and where would you hook the red wire into the light?

Old 07-14-04, 08:26 AM
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There's at least 8 ways to wire a pair of three-way switches and the light they control. So it's difficult to define "usually".

Both possibilities you list are possible. However, it makes no sense to talk about the red wire by itself without also talking about what the other wires are doing. And it is essential to know which box the power feed comes into.

I'll just give one example, which may or may not apply to your situation. When power comes into one of the two switch boxes, the travelers go directly between the switches, and the cable to the light comes from the second switch box, then the red and black wires between the switches are the travelers, and attach to the traveler screws (i.e., not the black one) on both switches. In this case, the red wire would not continue on to the light. It only goes between switches.

But as I said, there are many other ways to do it. And the function and connection and routing of the red wire differs from case to case.

Give us the bigger picture. What are you doing?
Old 07-15-04, 06:35 AM
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After attempting to draw a diagram, getting confused by disappearing wires, I found an electrician that came over and solved the problem. It did take him over an hour...so I felt better about being unsure. I did the rest of the basement on my own...so I'm a happy diy'er...


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