How to install an outlet from a 2-way switch?


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Old 03-30-16, 01:26 PM
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How to install an outlet from a 2-way switch?

Hi,

I was trying to set up a new outlet through a 2-way switch (able to turn on/off a light from one switch; do the same thing from the other) in my garage.

The cable that goes into the switch box is a 3 wire cable, plus a naked wire that is the ground. A black and red wire are connected to the upper part of each side of the switch; a white wire goes to the lower part of one side of the switch.

I took a regular 15a outlet with a piece of wire (black, while and naked; about a foot long), having the black end linked to black wire in the switch box; white to the white; ground to the ground in the box. Not working: as I turned off the switch, no power at all; with it on, had some power but not enough to drive a small electric motor. I tried other ways around and got the similar thing.

What did I do wrong? Or impossible to set up an outlet through a 2-way switch?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 03-30-16, 01:36 PM
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It is a 3-way switch.
A black and red wire are connected to the upper part of each side of the switch; a white wire goes to the lower part of one side of
Position of wire on switch is meaningless. What counts is which screw is common and position can vary with manufacturer. Common is the odd colored screw, usually dark gray.
15a outlet with a piece of wire (black, while and naked; about a foot long)
That would be a cable. A wire is a single conductor.
What did I do wrong?
It is unclear from your description. Here is a typical 3-way switch circuit. Just imagine your receptacle instead of a light.

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Old 03-30-16, 04:34 PM
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If you only have three wires at the switch (not counting ground) then your switch is at the end of the circuit and there is no neutral there to tap power from.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for replying.

so in your diagram, the black one is common; but you want me to connect the outlet at wirenut location; btw, what's the yellow rectangle above these green words? Or the yellow light assumed to be my outlet?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 03-31-16, 12:26 PM
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You're right PJmax, I got only 3 wires (black, red and white), not counting the naked ground. In another word, it's not going to work if I try to install an outlet through one of the 3-way switch, is it?

I installed an outlet from a regular switch before and it worked. This is the first time doing it through a 3-way one. But according to Ray, it should work. I'll try what he told me and see what happens.

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 12:33 PM
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Ray wasn't aware of your original wiring. In many three way setups you could possibly connect at one of the switches. However, in your case.... no neutral = no connection.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 12:58 PM
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Thanks PJmax. It sounds like I'll have to link the outlet wires to a remote location but I hate to fish a cable inside dry walls. But I don't have any choices, do I?

Thanks again to Ray and PJmax. Have a good one.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 01:44 PM
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what's the yellow rectangle above these green words?
Romex or conduit. .
 
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Old 03-31-16, 03:05 PM
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Since I read three colors plus a bare ground... I took it as cable.
 
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Old 03-31-16, 03:56 PM
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Yes, cable and since it is yellow I guess you could argue 12-x but I've started mixing it up and occasionally using white and at times I have used dark gray for conduit. Guess I'll have to start including it in the notes. I thought it was obvious.
 
 

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