3-Way Switch /w Switched/Unswitched Outlet

Old 01-06-05, 11:07 PM
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3-Way Switch /w Switched/Unswitched Outlet

I have done a fair amount of wiring and am generally comfortable with most wiring projects, however my latest effort has me completely stumped. In the past I have wired 3-way switches for outlets and/or lights. Additionally, I have wired switched outlets with one hot receptacle and one switched.

For my latest project I am wiring outlets in the attic in my garage. There is an access on either side of the garage, and since the outlets will be used to control lights plugged into the receptable, I would like to use a 3-way switch. At the same time, I would like each outlet box to have one switched receptacle (for a flouresent light fixture) and one hot receptacle. I also plan to have an outlet box mounted in the ceiling with one receptacle connected to a ceiling cord reel, and the other for a small nightlight. The nightlight would be on the switched receptacle to provide a visible reference when the lights are on in the attic. (the celing is 14 ft high so access is not completely convenient) Using S for the 3-way switch and O for each outlet, the layout would look as follows;

S -- O -- O -- O -- O -- S

Is this possible to do with a single run of 12-3 wire? Or, do I need to run two wires to each box to accomplish my goal? Obviously, using a single 12-3 wire would be most desirable.

Old 01-07-05, 05:41 AM
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In order to make your circuit work, you need five conductor wire (plus ground).

From the first switch on you need two travelers, one always hot wire, one switched hot, and one neutral.

You would only need three conductor wire (plus ground) from the last outlet to the end switch.
Old 01-07-05, 06:15 AM
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The 'simplest' way to do this is with two runs of x/3 cable; one cable between the switches, and the second cable going from the first switch to the receptacles.

The 'most understandable single cable' method would use a single run of x/5 cable, as Racraft described.

This 'most efficient single cable' method would use a single run of x/4 cable, with one unswitched hot, one traveller, one switched hot, and one neutral. This uses a legal, but non-standard, three way switch arrangement, and might be confusing.

Pick the one you want and we'll post further details.


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