old 3-way light switch wiring w/2 wires


Old 12-27-08, 11:07 AM
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old 3-way light switch wiring w/2 wires

I have an 1890's house and am removing as much of the old wiring as possible. I hope to avoid removing walls or ceilings until a later stage. The wire is mostly replaced. the old wiring was not "Romex", NM, 12/2,etc. It consists of separate,individual wires insulated with rubber and then wrapped individually with canvas. (knob and tube).
I intend to replace all but time and money dictate schedule. There are lights wired 3-way w/ SPST switches. Old-timers tell me this was done to avoid running an extra wire. How was this done so that I can temporarily put the overhead wires in service? Many people's curiosity hangs on the answer.
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Old 12-27-08, 11:53 AM
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it is an illegal method of wiring and I (and hopefully everybody else with the info) will not explain how to do it.

Old 12-27-08, 12:06 PM
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It's called a California 3-way in some areas and it is dangerous because it uses the HOT and NEUTRAL wires interchangeably to get power to the bulb. There is no way to make it safe. You need to live with one switch until you can rewire.
Old 12-27-08, 03:44 PM
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Of course you might be able to go with no wires, using one of the wireless switch technologies. Just a thought.


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