3way switches controlling outlets diagram?

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Old 02-03-10, 07:02 PM
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3way switches controlling outlets diagram?

My living room circuit consists of a pair of three way switches that control the bottom of 4 outlets, with the top of outlet being hot all the time. There is a fifth outlet that is not controlled by the pair of 3 way switches. I took off the cover of the two switches and all 5 outlets so I know how the wires hook up, but my question is how can that work? Can one 14/3 cable some how complete this wiring? The outlets that are connected to the switch have one white wire on each screw terminal, and then there is 2 black wires hooked to top screw and two red wires hooked to bottom screw with tab removed. Unless there is a 14/2 that goes up the wall and across the attic connecting the travelers on the 3-way I don't get how this is wired.
 
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Old 02-03-10, 07:26 PM
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you have power feeding the switches and you have your standard 14-3 between switches for the travellers. the feed to the receptacles that the switches control is also a 14-3 white being neutral, black typically being the constant hot and red being the switched hot, on each receptacle that there switched bottom and constant hot on top, they have their tab broken off on the hot side(brass side) so the top and bottom part of the duplex receptacle are independent of each other allowing the bottom half to be switched independently of the top which is constant hot. if you understand that.
 
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Old 02-03-10, 07:37 PM
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There should only be one conductor under each screw head. A pigtail should be used if there is a need to have more than one wire connect to the screw.
 
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Old 02-04-10, 05:28 AM
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you should do what pc boss says
As well i would for good measure take the 2 whites and pigtail them and put the pigtail under one screw, that would help in the future if you are ever changing it out or have to take it out for whatever reason would stop the other receptacles from not working, thats give the tab isnt broken on that side which it doesnt seem it is, I was just thinking of this, take a look at the 5th outlet maybe thats all live because whoever changed it down the line forgot to take the tab out? unless it was purposely wired that way.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 02-04-10 at 05:58 AM. Reason: removed live work comment for safety
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Old 02-04-10, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
There should only be one conductor under each screw head. A pigtail should be used if there is a need to have more than one wire connect to the screw.
As I've had to replace outlets i've used a pigtail. I suppose in 1972 code was different or not followed as rigourously. I have a friend whose living room is wired a lot like mine who is planning on making all the outlets hot and using the 3 ways to run ceiling light fixtures. That's the main reason I'm trying to figure out just how it's wired. Intellectual curiousity is part of it too. Girlfriend is heading to bowling tonight so I'll be able to monkey with stuff. Maybe I can get a better Idea of where the power is fed into the circuit. Maybe it's coming into an outlet?
 
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