3-way switch with end receptacle

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  #1  
Old 04-24-01, 04:26 AM
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Question

I am replacing K&T and want to make sure I run the wires right the first time.

The run I intend will be:

1) 12-2 from junction box to switch #1
2) 12-3 from switch #1 to switch #2
3) 12-2 from both switches to light fixture
4) 12-2 from switch #2 to receptacle

I want the receptacle to be constantly powered.

I have read that this configuration will work but I am miffed as how the receptacle will be constant. Also, what is the purpose of 12-2 being run from both switches to the fixture?

I am sure I misunderstood something along the way. Please set me straight using the simplest terms possible as I am a newbie to this all.

 
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  #2  
Old 04-24-01, 05:50 AM
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You don't need to run 12-2 from both switches to the fixture. Check out this url:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/three-way1.htm

for a diagram. Although this diagram is not exactly "right", it will show the basic principle.
(Code says not to switch the neutral. You'll notice if the bulb is removed in the diagram, you've interrupted the neutral, but not the hot).

Wire your "always hot" outlet to switch 1 (on the left in the diagram), not 2. Wire your fixture into the hot at switch 1.

Below, the dots are just for spacing the dashes are wires.

...........................Box 1.......................Box 2.....................Fixture box
...........................traveler1-------------traveler1
--Hot--------------to always hot outlet &
...........................to fixture hot--------------------------------fixture hot
...........................................................................................fixture neutr--->
--------------------V
...........................from fixture neutral
...........................to common at switch1
...........................traveler2-------------traveler2
--Neutral--------to----------------------common at
...........................................................switch2
...........................to neutral of
...........................always hot outlet

Use 12 ga. only if the source of power is on 12 ga. Otherwise, use whatever ga. matches the breaker supplying power and the existing wiring. (14 ga - 15 amp; 12 ga. - 20 amp).

If you're leaving some K&T in the circuit, I suspect it's only 14 ga.
 
  #3  
Old 04-24-01, 12:06 PM
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Unhappy

I really need to keep the receptacle at the end (if at all possible) to avoid more wall destruction.

No K&T will be remaining after powering. This is a complete rewire with 12-2/20amp.
 
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Old 04-24-01, 12:56 PM
Gary Tait
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You get outlet power from the first switch box and only the
first switch box, and you connect one light to the second switch and only the second switch, and any more lights to
the first.

If you want each light independantly switched, you can
run the wiring how you described.
 
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Old 04-25-01, 08:25 AM
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Gary:

If he connects the fixture at the second box, he'll have to wire it into the neutral. Isn't this less desirable, since disconnecting the fixture interrupts the neutral?
 
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Old 04-25-01, 09:27 AM
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abNORMal,

Yes, s/he could wire the light from the first switch. However, life is simpler if the light comes from the second switch. This way, the white wire is always neutral and he never needs to reidentify a white wire as hot.

Disconnecting the light would not interrupt the neutral in either case, since the light would be at the end of the line in both cases.

But it is for certain that s/he cannot wire the outlet from the second switch box.

You said "connects the fixture at the second box" but Gary said "connect one light to the second switch". I'm guessing that the confusion may result from the fact that these two statements might not mean the same thing. I also have no idea what "wire it into the neutral" means.
 
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Old 04-25-01, 12:45 PM
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John:

Check the URL in my original post. The diagram shows the fixture wired into the neutral leg. I was suggesting to wire it to the hot leg (at the word "Hot" in the diagram).
When I have a choice, I prefer to supply power to the fixture first, then to all the 3-way and 4-way switches. Removing the bulb deadens everything downstream.
 
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Old 04-25-01, 05:19 PM
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I guess I'm just dense. I still don't know what you mean by wired "into" the neutral leg. Whether you bring power first to the light box or to the switch box, the neutral ends at the light.

It's okay for us to disagree, but I prefer never to bring power to the light first. So many people get into trouble for three reasons: (1) they assume that the white wire at the switch is a neutral when it is not, (2) when they replace the light fixture, they follow the directions that came with the fixture (i.e., they connect all black wires together and all white wires together), and (3) they try to add additional lights between the first light and the switch and almost always goof it up. In my wiring, the white wire is ALWAYS neutral, so you can't possibly make these mistakes.
 
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Old 04-26-01, 03:40 AM
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John:

You're definitlty not dense. I respect your knowledge and opinions, but I think we're not quite connecting here. However, it's not that important. I think vjestrub has the info he needs.

ab

 
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Old 04-26-01, 04:25 AM
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Anyone have an American Electrician's Handbook? pg.4.34 figure 4.58? ( thirteenth ed)

I wish i could draw it, and upload it......
 
  #11  
Old 01-05-10, 04:39 PM
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3 way switch

The power source goes to the brass post of the first switch and the switched appliances are from the second switch. The appliances can be receptacles, lights etc. If you want a constant on receptacle wire it from the first switch.

Isn't that simple?
 
  #12  
Old 01-05-10, 07:25 PM
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I'm sure the OP hasn't waited 9 years for an answer.
 
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