adding light to 3-way circuit?

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Old 10-19-08, 04:05 PM
S
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Unhappy adding light to 3-way circuit?

So I'm trying to add another light on an existing circuit in a finished kitchen. The circuit has two switches that control one ceiling light. I would like to wire off of one of the existing switches to have a cabinet light that turns on an off along with the overhead light. This description I found sounds like my situation:
"you have a hot coming in one side of this 3way system and a switch leg going out the other. Here's what needs to happen. black and red from same cable need to be on the same color screws. whereas the remaining black wire needs to be on the only black or dark brass screw. whites wire nutted in the box...grounds on ground screw..of course this is only one of the many ways of wiring a three way switch"
Problem is that when I tried just adding the second light by wire nutting white to existing white and then black to traveling black it didn't work right. The second light would be on when the overhead light was off, and vice versa.

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to get these working together without running cable from the existing light?
 
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Old 10-19-08, 07:15 PM
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Ok, I think I found a wiring diagram that represents the existing wiring scheme for this circuit.



What I want to do is add another light from switch box #1 that is switched. Unfortunately it looks like the only thing I can do in this situation is add a hot line off of the incoming line. And if I want the second light to work off the switch I need to run it from the light already on the circuit.

Does anyone else agree? Or is there anything I can do since this is a retrofit and running cable from the existing light is not an option.
 
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Old 10-20-08, 08:36 AM
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There are many different ways this might be wired. Before proceeding, be 100% that the diagram you provided indeed matches the wiring you have.

By far, the easiest way to add the lights is to connect the new wiring in at the existing light rather than at one of the switches.

If you are wired as in the diagram, then you cannot do this from switch box #1 because the switched hot at the light is not present there. You cannot do this from switch box #2 either because there is no neutral there.

So we're back to connecting in at the light fixture. I realize that this may not be as easy, but it's at least possible and that has a lot to say for it.

Another alternative is to expand switch box #1 to add a second standard switch to the box. Then you could control your new lights from this standard switch by running a cable from switch box #1. Switch #2, however, would not affect your new lights.
 
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Old 10-20-08, 05:27 PM
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Thanks, yeah I checked the light fixture and the switches and the circuit is definitely wired as in that diagram. I was hoping there might be some trick but like you said, in this scheme I am just missing a wire.

I guess I'm going to go the separate switch route, which won't be as clean, but definitely a lot easier than trying to do a run from this light. Thanks again!
 
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