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3-Way Switch Diagram Variation #4

Power Into Light Box, and From Light Box to Switch #1 and Switch #2

The following diagram illustrates the power entering the light box, and from

the light box to switch #1, and from the light box to switch #2.

Again, in this case, a larger than normal device box is required at the light, due to box fill calculations (most regular size octagon boxes will only accommodate seven wires; in this situation, you will have eight wires).

NOTE:  This diagram is a thumbnail.  To view it in full size – click on the diagram.

NOTE:  The white wires that are being used as hot conductors need to be identified as such by the use of black tape or coloring a section of the wire near the splice with a black felt marker to indicate that it is not a neutral in this particular situation.

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  • Sigmund

    I have a 3 way switch at the bottom of my stairs. It is in a double switch box because the other switch is for another set of lights. I need a power source so that I can operate the other set (normal switch) operating only 2 50 watt halogens. Can I tap into the power on the 3 way switch? Will I need to bring a new power source into the box? If you have a skematic diagram that would be great. Thanks. Sigmund

  • Lanmar2001

    don’t know why you fed the first switch with Wht then used blk as traveller, I try to keep it simple, Black is always common and red and white are always travellers. You changed wire colors twice for no reason.

    • The Internet Electrician

      I do that to make it clear that the white wire is being used as a hot conductor. This diagram should indicate the white being hot by black tape or colored with a black felt pen. If you have 2 white wires spliced together they may be mistaken for neutral conductors if the hot identification fades or isn’t noticed.

    • Anonymous

      I do that to make it clear that the white wire is being used as a hot conductor. This diagram should indicate the white being hot by black tape or colored with a black felt pen. If you have 2 white wires spliced together they may be mistaken for neutral conductors if the hot identification fades or isn’t noticed.

  • Pistolpieter1

    As per code. White cannot be anything but a neutral conductor unless reidentified as a hot. In that case it has to be constant hot. NEVER A SWITCHED HOT.
    All these diagrams are wrong if otherwise. It works but not to code.

    • The Internet Electrician

      You are correct. The diagram should show the white wires identified as being used as a hot conductor and I need to get that diagram changed. For now I’ll put a note under the diagram indicating such.

    • Anonymous

      You are correct in that the white needs to be identified as a hot. I added a note to the post indicating such.

      • Badjeepr

        what about the white on the right hand switch? (traveler). violation

  • earnie

    THANKS VERY HELPFUL

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Saul

    Thank you very much that diagram was all I needed to get the work done.

  • Branning

    My single switch has the white wire as hot. I want to put in 2 3-ways to a light fixture. Do I use the white wire where the black wire is used in the diagrams?

  • StewMilne

    I’m trying to figure out a 3-way switch in my house. Each switch has 3 wires (old BX) going to/from. The light fixture has 4 wires going to/from. 2 sets of black and white BX. One set goes to a light switch, then other continues the circuit to power other lights in another room. How do I wire a new light to this fixture?

  • Patrick

    I have old wiring, Red, White, Black and ground. which ones are the hot ? c Can I wire black, White and Ground to it.? Or do I pull all and replace with all new wiring ?

  • Patrick

    its hooked up to a 3-way switch. I need to put in another light fixture in the middle. Can you send me a diagram please. its in a kitchen . thank you.
    continued from previous comment .

  • burnzee74

    I have an electrical question. can a three way switch be wired without travelers?

  • burnzee74

    can a three way switch be wired without a traveler?

 

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