Hooking up 2 way switch to 3-way


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Old 10-16-14, 01:22 PM
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Hooking up 2 way switch to 3-way

Hi,

I'm home helping my mother. She has a 3 way switch wired at the top and bottom of her stairwell. "They" (Don't ask) put in a double box because she said that she would like some decorative lighting on the wall at a later date.

Problem: They only ran, and hooked up, the 3 way wiring. I tried to explain that while the common wire would work for power, the neutral changes every time the opposite switch is turned on/off.

I can't think of a workaround. Running current through the ground is not according to code anywhere, from what I can tell, although ... that would work. AM I going to have to try and fish new wire through the stairwell wall/header? Not the fun I had hoped for this weekend.

What do you think? Am I as stuck as I think I am?

Thanks,

Signed,

I am up wiring creek fighting the current all the way.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 01:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Where does the power come in to the switch boxes - the one without the double box?
 
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Old 10-16-14, 01:44 PM
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LOL. Already thought of that. The powered end of the 3 way setup is at the other end of the stairwell, and in the basement.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 02:14 PM
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Then I think you're going to have to run a new cable.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 02:28 PM
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Terminology: 2-way switch is what they call a 3-way switch in the UK. The term has no meaning in the USA. Call it a regular light switch, SPST switch.
I tried to explain that while the common wire would work for power, the neutral changes every time the opposite switch is turned on/off.
No, it remains the same. A neutral is never switched. You were close though. There is no neutral at the top. May not be a neutral at the bottom either depending on how it is wired.

You need to find a source of power for the new light such as a nearby receptacle.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 06:38 PM
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"They" (Don't ask) put in a double box because she said that she would like some decorative lighting on the wall at a later date.
They put in the double box for additional "future" lighting. Are you sure they didn't also install a power cable to the double box for the future lighting?
 
 

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