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Two 3way switchs in one box with feed going on to a 3rd switch

Two 3way switchs in one box with feed going on to a 3rd switch

Old 06-03-02, 08:27 AM
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Two 3way switchs in one box with feed going on to a 3rd switch


I just wanted to know if this is correct for the way I have a few switchs wired.

I have the feed coming into a double switch box, with two 3 way switchs in it. Only one of the two switchs is actualy being used as a 3 way switch with a traveler wire. The other is just an outside lite. And then I have the feed going on to a different single switch box.

What I want to know is this. The feed comes in, I have wired the black and white to the black and white going to feed the individual switch that is in a seperate box, & also connected two back and two white 12gauge wires with wire nutes" to connect my two switchs in the box up.

All grounds are wrapped together. Is this correct? Or should the black wire jump from one switch to the next instead of using a seperate wire with wire nuts?

Thanks for the help, hope I don't toast my house!

Old 06-03-02, 09:56 AM
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I will try to answer both of your posts....
From what I read, it sounds like you said you wired the black and white from the power feed to the switches. This is clearly wrong. You want to switch the black wire, the white wire is the neutral, and goes on the the fixture. As far as how to wire more than one switch in the box, the pig-tail method you described is fine (only for the black, of course).
If the second switch is not being used as a three way why not put in a regular switch there? (You can do what you are doing, it just might be confusing sometime.)
So, on to the wiring:
Power comes in on B1 and W1.
Power to some other switch goes out on B2 and W2.
Wirenut B1 and B2, also two pigtails for the switches in the box.
From 3-way to other three-way, assuming fixture is at the other end, use 3 conductor+ground, travellers on B3 and R3.
To outside light from other switch, B4.
W1, W2, W3, and W4 are wirenutted together, grounds also wirenutted together.
At the three way at the other end of cable 3, B3 and R3 to travellers, common the Black, and W3 to the white of the wire to the fixture.

Good Luck.
Old 06-03-02, 10:48 AM
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Ok I gotcha, pigtail the black wires only that go to the two 3-ways. Twist the whites together and run my black & white feed over to the 2nd switch.

So my whole problem is that the white wires should not be connected to the switchs?

And I should only connect the white wire up if it where the only switch in the box I take it?

Oh and their realy isn't any reason to use the 3way for that switch going outside except that I had a box of 3way switchs availble.

Thanks for the help.

Old 06-03-02, 11:04 AM
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The white wire never (well there are exceptions to everything, but in this sort of case) gets hooked to the switch. If you do this, when you close the switch you are shorting the black and white wires together, and the breaker will operate (we hope). Think of the switch as a piece of the black wire, by throwing the switch you are either removing this piece, or putting it in place. In the case of a three way switch, the two switches and travellers together perform this function.
Old 06-03-02, 11:59 AM
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Ok I understand.

One question on if I have a switch that is at the end of a run,
or if not using a 3way then I use the white wire correct?
Old 06-03-02, 12:33 PM
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Ypu should get a book on homewiring to understand this, but this is a good start. A switch at the end of the run is called a switch loop. In that case the power is run to the fixture and then switched at the switch. The white wire from the fixture to the switch is hooked to the black wire at the fixture, and 'reidentified' as black by a bit of tape a both ends. The black wire then runs back to the fixture. A white wire, reidentified or not, never supplies the actual power to the fixture. When the power comes into the box where the switch is, the black power wire is hooked to the switch, and the black wire to the fixture is hooked to the switch. The white is hook to the white, and goes to the fixture.

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