Three-Way Wiring Diagram?

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  #1  
Old 02-05-11, 08:22 AM
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Three-Way Wiring Diagram?

I've found a few versions of three-way wiring diagrams online, but nothing with my exact scenario (apologies if I missed a thread here that has the answer), and I want to make sure I do this correctly. I've got the following drawing:

Electrical Panel
|
Three-Way Switch
|
Light Fixture
|
Light Fixture
|
Light Fixture
|
Three-Way Switch (End of Run)

Can anyone point me in the right direction for how I wire this set-up (a picture is worth a thousand words, but I'll take what I can get)? Thanks!
 
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Old 02-05-11, 09:23 AM
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Do you need this information for a pratical purpose , i.e., a liting installation, or for understanding how certain circuits connections are wired ?
 
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Old 02-05-11, 09:26 AM
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Run it like it was a single light then daisy chain the other lights off the first light with 2-conductor cable.

Would suggest 3-conductor cable between the switches with a 2-conductor power cable in to one switch and a 2-conductor power out to the lights at the other switch box but there are several ways to wire this.
 
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Old 02-05-11, 09:45 AM
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Cool Three-Way Wiring Diagram?

Hello bulliams

Here is a fast drawing I made on how to wire up your
project.. Power-Switch-Light-Light-Light-Switch I did NOT draw the "Grounding Wires"





Hope this helps ---

Let us know how you made out with your wiring project

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
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Old 02-09-11, 09:04 PM
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That is technically correct.
However, 4 wire cable is expensive and sometimes annoying to get ahold of. If you're using Romex or similar cable to run this (instead of pulling wire through conduit), you'd be better served by running the 3-wire cable directly from one switch to the other, then basic 2-wire from the second switch to the fixture boxes. If nothing else, it would get rid of several wire joints.

An additional consideration: Most boxes designed for light fixtures don't have enough space for that many wires. Assuming you're using 14ga wire (15amp circuit), each fixture box has eight wires plus a ground (the fixture jumpers don't count). At 2 cubic inches per wire, that's 18 cubic inches... a 4" X 1 1/2" octagon box is too small. You'd need to get the extra-deep ones to meet Code.

Oh, and a minor quibble: Your drawing says "All Switches Down = Off". My opinion is that that is wrong. If you wire each switch consistently, i.e. black on the same side as the common screw or whatever, you will end up with All Down = On, as well as All Up = On. I feel that this is both easier to remember and easier to troubleshoot, as you don't have to look at both switches to know what's going on. It also matches the classic way of drawing a 3-way circuit, where the two "top" terminals are connected to each other.
 
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Old 02-10-11, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mukansamonkey View Post

Oh, and a minor quibble: Your drawing says "All Switches Down = Off". My opinion is that that is wrong. If you wire each switch consistently, i.e. black on the same side as the common screw or whatever, you will end up with All Down = On, as well as All Up = On. I feel that this is both easier to remember and easier to troubleshoot, as you don't have to look at both switches to know what's going on. It also matches the classic way of drawing a 3-way circuit, where the two "top" terminals are connected to each other.
If all switches are up and lights are on (4 way and beyond), when you turn one switch down to turn the lights off, you have a mismatch. Then go to another switch and turn the lights on, you have a third mismatch. Never rely on the switch position to determine if the power is on or off at a fixture. Trying to have the switches all in one position is futile, and beyond that.....who cares?
 
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