Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

How do you connect 2 lights, 4 3-way swithes, in same circcuit

How do you connect 2 lights, 4 3-way swithes, in same circcuit

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-21-13, 12:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How do you connect 2 lights, 4 3-way swithes, in same circcuit

Box #1 has two 3-way switches switch #1 for light #1 switch #2 for light #2
Box #1 has the power fed by 12/2 wire
Box #1 also has the following wires 12/2 from it to light #1, 12/3 to box #2 containing switch #3 for light #1, 12/3 to box #3 containing switch #4 for light #2
Box #3 also has12/2 wire running from it to light #2

Is this doable? Thank you!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-21-13, 01:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
I'm not even going to begin to try to decipher your box#1, box#2, etc, but I will tell you that you cannot have more than two 3-way switches in a single circuit. If you need to control the light from more than two locations the additional switches need to be 4-way models.

Wiring of both 3-way (two locations) and 4-way (more than two locations) circuits are really quite easy. Bring power to the first switch and connect the black (hot) lead to the first 3-way switch odd-colored screw (probably black) and connect the the white lead to the white lead of a three-wire cable going to the second 3-way switch. Connect the black and red of the three-wire cable to the remaining two screws on the first 3-way switch.

At the second 3-way switch connect the red and black from the three-wire cable to the second 3-way switch just as you did with the first switch. This will leave only the odd-colored screw without a wire. Run a two-wire cable from the second 3-way switch to the light fixture. Connect the two white wires at the second 3-way switch together and connect the black wire to the odd-colored screw of the second 3-way switch.

At the light fixture connect the black and white wires to the colors as the fixture if it has wire leads. If it has screw terminals then connect the black wire to the brass-colored screw and the white wire to the silver-colored screw.

To add additional switch locations use 4-way switches and wire them in between the 3-way switches, i.e. connect the red and black from the first switch to the 4-way switch and connect the red and black from the second 3-way to the other screws on the 4-way switch. Any number of 4-way switches may be installed in this manner. You MUST follow the instructions included with the 4-way switch to determine which screws to use for each pair of wires.

Draw this out and it will be much easier to comprehend. Once you have done this you can then understand variations on where the power may enter the circuit.
 
  #3  
Old 02-21-13, 01:54 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Suggestion think of it as two separate circuits. Yes, they share a box and power source but that is it. Draw and wire as two individual circuits.
 
  #4  
Old 02-21-13, 02:09 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Welcome to the forums!

Let me restate your question. I think you're asking "How do you control 2 lights, using 4 3-way switches (2 for each light), that are fed by the same circuit, with this wiring:"
Box #1 has two 3-way switches switch #1 for light #1 switch #2 for light #2
Box #1 has the power fed by 12/2 wire
Box #1 also has the following wires 12/2 from it to light #1, 12/3 to box #2 containing switch #3 for light #1, 12/3 to box #3 containing switch #4 for light #2
Box #3 also has 12/2 wire running from it to light #2
If so, it's completely doable. Here's what you need to do. Keep in mind that all 3-way switches work in pairs, with the incoming power connected to the common screw on one and the power going to the light connected to the common screw on the other. The common screw is usually dark colored.

In Box #1:
  • Splice two pigtails to the black power feed wire and connect those to the common screw on each switch
  • Splice the incoming neutral wire to the white wire going to light #1 and the white wire going to Box #3
  • Mark the white wire going to Box #2 with black or red electrical tape or permanent marker and splice it to the black wire going to light #1
  • Decide which switch you want to control light #1; terminate the black and red wires going to Box #2 to the two brass traveler screws on that switch
  • Terminate the black and red wires going to Box #3 to the two brass traveler screws on the other switch
  • Splice all the ground wires together; add a pigtail for each switch and for the box, if it's metal, and connect those
  • Fold the wires into the box, mount the switches and cover the box
In Box #2:
  • Mark the white wire coming from Box #1 with black or red electrical tape or permanent marker and terminate it to the common screw on switch #3
  • Terminate the black and red wires coming from Box #1 to the two brass traveler screws
  • Connect the ground wire to the switch and to the box, if it's metal
  • Fold the wires into the box, mount the switch and cover the box
In Box #3:
  • Splice the white wire coming from Box #1 to the white wire going to light #2
  • Terminate the black wire going to light #2 to the common screw on switch #4
  • Terminate the black and red wires coming from Box #1 to the two brass traveler screws
  • Connect the ground wire to the switch and to the box, if it's metal
  • Fold the wires into the box, mount the switch and cover the box
Connect the light fixtures, if you haven't already done so, and turn the power on.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: