3-Way Switch - Wire Color Convention

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Old 01-11-08, 10:43 PM
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3-Way Switch - Wire Color Convention

I'm wiring a 3-way switch as follows: power to the fixture, then 2-wire cable to the first switch, then 3-wire cable to the second switch. I know I will have two travelers and one common to connect to the 3-way switch - which colors (red, white, and black) are typically used to connect to the travelers vs. common?
 
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Old 01-12-08, 06:24 AM
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You'll need to run 3 wire cables to each switch. In the ceiling box, the whites from the switches get bundled to each other (this does not include the neutrals, which are already tied together). The reds get bundled to each other. The black from one switch goes to the hot wire and the other black goes to the bulb black wire. In the switch boxes, the black goes to the andonized (black) screw, while the red and white go to the other two screws (it doesn't matter which one).
 
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Old 01-12-08, 07:07 AM
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Larry's directions are correct, but not for your setup.

In your case you are fine as you have proposed. You are running a switch loop. As such the only requirement is that the switched hot wire bringing power back to the light must not be the white wire re-identified.

Use the white wire (re-identified as a hot) to take power to the first switch box. Use the black wire to bring switched power back to the light. What you do with the other wires is not a big deal, and I am not aware of any convention. I would, however, use the white wire (re-identified) as a traveler.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 09:17 AM
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Maybe I misread it originally. I was thinking two three way switches.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 03:12 PM
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I think racraft knows what I mean, although I didn't say it perfectly clear. I meant 2-wire cable from the fixture to the first 3-way switch. Then 3-wire cable from the first 3-way switch to the second 3-way switch.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 03:53 PM
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Yes, that is correct. I was assuming you were wiring from the fixture down to the switches. Y'all got it going.
 
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