Two switches


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Old 03-08-16, 08:55 AM
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Two switches

Hello there,

I am trying to wire up two switches on opposite ends of the room, that control the lights in the room. The current setup now, the two switches work independently (If I flip one on, I have to flip it back off to turn off the switches). I would like to wire it up so that either one controls the lights separately. For example, if I walk into the room and flip the switch at location A, the lights come on. If I walk across the room and flip the second switch, the lights go off. Currently if I turn the lights on at switch one, switch 2 does nothing, so I have to go back to switch #1 to turn the lights back off.

I am thinking I need to run two sets of live wires, one to each switch, and than from there both switches go into the light source, but I may be incorrect in thinking that.

I am using 14-2 wire and would prefer to stick to that if possible, but will do whatever is easiest/best to do.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 09:20 AM
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You're describing a three way switch setup. Have you purchased three way switches?
 
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Old 03-08-16, 09:32 AM
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Currently it's setup somehow (Although I can't figure out how), using two normal switches. Yes, I have purchased three way switches, just wanting to figure out how to wire them up correctly so that both switches work the same lights independently of each other. (If possible)

After looking a little deeper, I was able to find a couple of wiring schematics for my setup, but not sure which one is preferred. One of them has the load going into one of the switches, and then a 14-3 w/transfer going to the other switch, and then into the light, the other shows the load going into the light, and then using a white wire taped off with black, to go to each of the switches. I'd rather do the first one if possible, as that one seems to be the more accurate way of doing it.
 

Last edited by Justin Furnas; 03-08-16 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 03-08-16, 10:05 AM
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We need to know what wiring you currently have in place.

Is there a three wire cable between the switches ?
You said single pole switches.... are there three wires on them ?
We don't count ground wires.

Pictures of the wiring is helpful too.... http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 03-08-16, 10:11 AM
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Does the power come in at the light or one of the switches? (You can not use a non contact tester to find where power comes in. You need a multimeter or neon test light.)
 
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Old 03-14-16, 11:41 AM
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Sorry for the delayed response. I've been really busy. I was able to get the lights wired up to the two switches, but now one of the switches acts as the 'master switch', and has to be on for the other switch to work.

I have it wired up like this:

Line load ---> Three-Way Switch (12-2) --> Three-Way Switch (12-3) --> Lights (12-2). If you can follow that, the load is coming in to switch #1, and then switch #1, using 12-3 wire is going to switch #2. Switch #2 then uses 12-2 wire to go to the lights. Switch #1 has to be on for switch #2 to turn the lights on or off. This is a problem if you walk in one side of the room, and flip the switch on the other side, as I cannot re-enter on the other side again and power on the lights.
 
  #7  
Old 03-14-16, 12:32 PM
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3-way Switches

You have the easiest wiring set-up for 3-way switches: Power to switch 1; 3-wire cable between 2 switches; and 2-wire cable from switch 2 to lights.



Hope this helps.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 12:54 PM
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That diagram, is the exact one I used to wire up the switches, but it's not how I wanted it to be. I want to be able to control the lights from either switch, independently. Right now, switch #2 ONLY WORKS if switch #1 is on. If switch #1 is off, switch #2 doesn't turn the lights on or off.

The three-way switch I have, didn't have good documentation on it, so it's possible that I have it hooked up wrong. Both two way switches are the same, and they are laid out like below:

The switch looks like in the diagram, but there is also a green ground screw on the side that the red wire is illustrated on in the picture.

There are two silver screws, and one black screw. On a standard switch, both screws are silver on the black side, however on this one is silver and one is black. The other silver screw is on the right side, where the 'red' wire attaches to.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 01:17 PM
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You can not go by the position of the wires in the diagram. Placement of travelers and common vary with manufacturer. You must put the common wire on the common terminal (odd colored screw) regardless of position.
Right now, switch #2 ONLY WORKS if switch #1 is on. If switch #1 is off, switch #2 doesn't turn the lights on or off.
That is because you have a common and traveler swapped.
There are two silver screws, and one black screw.
Black is your common. The silver is your travelers. It does not mater which traveler goes to which traveler screw.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 01:28 PM
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Okay, that makes sense and thanks for clarifying/clearing that up.

So to finalize and make sure everything is right, the 'common' is the black wire that is coming from the 12-2 wire on both switches. (One to light, one from power). These go on the black screw. The other black wire (Which should be coming out of the 12-3 shroud), is a traveller, along with the red wire. These two, regardless of order, go on the silver screws? That makes sense, and as soon as I get home I will switch them around.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 01:32 PM
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Yes that is correct for your wiring.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 01:41 PM
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Thank you for your patience, acceptance of my mediocre knowledge, and for your amazing help!
 
  #13  
Old 03-14-16, 04:01 PM
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Switches

Both two way switches are the same, and they are laid out like below:
Both switches must be 3-way switches with 3 terminal screws plus ground as per the diagram.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 04:07 PM
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Maybe he is from Brittan.
 
 

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