3-way switch with multiple hot wires

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-04-19, 05:31 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
3-way switch with multiple hot wires

I cant get a straightforward wiring situation. I have a pair of 3-way switches powering a single light in my dining room. I pulled the switched out to test. Switch A has a pretty standard looking wire connection (see pics 1097 and 1098) with some exceptions. The terminals and sides are wrapped in electrical tape, and even when the switch is in the 'off' position TWO wires - black and white - test as hot, marked with black electrical tape (see pics 1101 and 1102).

Switch B (see pics 1099 and 1100) has a three-wire arrangement where the white wire is hot.

I'm not sure how to work with Switch A. Any insight to offer?
 
Attached Images       
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-04-19, 08:38 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,610
Received 266 Votes on 230 Posts
and even when the switch is in the 'off' position TWO wires - black and white - test as hot,
Normal for a tree way switch.
Everything is normal for a three way switch.
Do you have a problem you are trying to fix? Tell us about it and we can help.
 
  #3  
Old 09-05-19, 05:19 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Perhaps I'm just spooked with some other problems I'm having with other switches, but I haven't encountered one with two hot wires leading in. The 3-way switches I bought (Home Depot's Levitron preferred) have one black common terminal for the hot wire. So what do I do with the second hot wire on the box for Switch A? Pigtail the two hot wires together?
 
  #4  
Old 09-05-19, 06:49 AM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,502
Received 85 Votes on 73 Posts
Common terminal is not just for hot wire. It is just a common terminal between 2 remaining terminals.
Which one becomes hot depends on how it is wired.

3-way Switch Wiring - Electrical 101

Perhaps these diagrams will help.
 
  #5  
Old 09-05-19, 07:01 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,610
Received 266 Votes on 230 Posts
The switch with two hot wires has to be power feed. The power is on the common(black) terminal and toggles between the other two. If you flip the switch you will find the other terminal become hot and first one go dead.
 
  #6  
Old 09-05-19, 07:48 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks for sharing those diagrams and insights. Based on what I'm seeing, then, I should wire the hot black wire on Switch A to the common, and the white and (hot) red wire to the brass terminal screws. Switch B looks pretty straightforward. I'll give that a go this afternoon.
 
  #7  
Old 09-05-19, 09:29 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,717
Received 1,180 Votes on 1,093 Posts
Yes..... the hot black wire on switch A goes to the common screw. The other two wires are called travelers. Don't call one of them hot as they alternate based on the switch position.

Since the travelers are red and white on switch A...... they should be the travelers at switch B too.
Hard to tell exact placement with all that tape.
 
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: