The red wire is the other traveler. They should not be ignored. Green wire: Attach to the bonded ground wire(s) in the switch box. I alphabetically organized all of the material on MrElectrician.TV by Topic and also by Category. For single pole light switch wiring diagrams see my post here. Therefore safety is paramount. 3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram. This method might be used when power is available in the ceiling but switch boxes are on opposite walls—it is often easier to run the cable up into the ceiling light box instead of between switches. This diagram illustrates wiring for a 4 way circuit with the electrical source at the light fixture and the switches coming after. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. If not, the arrangement will not function as … Keep reading and learn how to wire a light switch. Wiring a Standard 3-Way Dimmer Switch. There are several ways of wiring a switch depending on your situation. Click here to learn how to fix your bathroom fan. Do not remove all of the wires from the one switch at once and then try and figure what each wire is. You cannot rely on a color coded schematic wiring diagram to figure out what each wire’s function is in an existing 3-way switch installation. The Basic 3-Way Switch Wiring Diagram This is the most common, and the easiest wiring diagram to follow of any of the wiring diagrams for a 3-way switch circuit. So your construction planning should include a rest factor for the non-pro’s doing their own work. However during the installation, all ground wires would be joined together and a pigtail for each switch would be added. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Are you up for the challenge of doing construction work? This 3 way switch wiring diagram shows how to wire the switches and the light when the power is coming to the light switch. The decision to do your own home electrical wiring should not be made lightly. The lower left screw is the common and gets the black wire from the load (3-cond). From there a three conductor cable or a conduit would need to be installed to one of the 3-way switch locations. That is why it is important to identify the function of the wires for 3-way electrical light switches. Another example of an alternative 3-way wiring method is to bring all of the cables into the ceiling light fixture electrical box. The common terminals are the ones with the different color used for LINE and LOAD. you must completely forget about the notion of a switch being a simple open/closed circuit and look at the diagram of the circuitry of this modern alternative. Be very careful to identify the LINE and LOAD wires BEFORE you disconnect the switches. The red wire, which is connected to the first switch's common terminal, leads back to the fixture. It’s a good idea to replace both switches at the same time anyway as the other one could fail soon after. The upper right screw gets the black wire from the left box (4-cond). The LINE wire is usually the easiest to identify because it is hot at all times. When a white wire is being used as a traveler, it needs to have its color changed according to Article 310.110(C). This 3-way light switch wiring diagram shows how to do the light switch wiring and the light when the power is coming to the light fixture. In the photo above the green arrow points to the LINE hot wire connected to the black wire of the 14/3 cable that is going to the other 3-way switch. The red and black travelers in the 3-wire cable get connected to the brass terminals on the three-way switch. A minimum of 24 cubic inches is required if #14 wire is used. Many bathroom fan motors and fan blades can be replaced with new parts from the factory. Take note of the white neutral wire that is required to be in one of the switch boxes. That screw will have either a LINE or a LOAD wire connected to it. Use a ladder when working on the ceiling, or anything high for that matter. Figure A: 3-Way Switch Wire Diagram — Power to Light Fixture. In addition some changes may need to be made at the other 3-way switch in the circuit. Three-way light switches control a light from two locations, such as from both ends of a staircase or hallway. In the ceiling light fixture electrical box, one black wire from a 3-way switch gets connected to the black LOAD wire on the light fixture. The above method is good because it ensures that the white LINE neutral conductor is available at each switch box. Using a three core cable, the Common wire going to the 2-way switches just passes through each intermediate switch electrical box. Three-wire cable runs between the switches and 2-wire cable runs to the light. Changing a 3-way switch to a WiFi smart switch can be tricky. Each component should be placed and connected with other parts in specific manner. Turn off the correct circuit at your electrical panel. For more about me go to MrElectrician.TV/about/. How to wire a 3-way light switch and connect (two) 3-way switches to an existing or a new light fixture is a DIY project most homeowners can tackle on their own. We recommend our users to update the browser. The diagram below is based on the video you watched above. It should be terminated on a common copper or black screw on one of the 3-way switches. 7 Savvy Answers to Common Questions About Smart Light Switches, Installing a Remote Motion Detector for Lighting, Wireless Electrical Switch: Battery-Free, Finger Powered Switch, How to Replace a Well Pump Pressure Switch, Prevent Mold with the DewStop Bathroom Fan Switch, Check the Wattage Before You Install a Dimmer Switch, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), wiring a light switch project can be completed in a few hours, 9 Ways to Keep Your Dog Active Inside During the Winter, Vintage Family Handyman Feature from 1986: New Building Techniques for Remodelers, Vintage Family Handyman from 1983: Housing Shapes To Come, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. All three-way switch and 2-way switch wiring diagrams have the same basic components: Wires consisting of a LINE, a LOAD, a neutral, a pair of travelers, and two 3-way switches. Additionally it is important to conduct yourself in a safe manner during construction. At the other end the white LOAD neutral is connected to the white wire of the 14/3 cable. For instance when working around live electricity, an electrician would need insulated tools and gloves rated for the voltages that he or she works on. With a pair of 3-way switches, either can make or break the connection that completes the circuit to the light. The intermediate switches are wired in between the two-ways. The trick is to identify the bath fan manufacturer and the model number. The LINE and LOAD are brought into one 3-way switch electrical box. Feed a length of 14-3 type NM cable (or 12-3, if you're connecting to 12-gauge wire) between the two boxes. Be mindful of heavy lifting or reaching in awkward positions. Electricity can injure, kill, or cause property destruction. At the LOAD switch box, the black wire of the two-wire LOAD cable gets connected to the common copper or black terminal on the three-way switch. MOUNTING Clipsal Standard Range products use the 30 Series Switch. The ground wires are not shown on these diagrams to save space and make for easy viewing. You cannot use the grounding conductor instead of a neutral. Hello and Welcome!! I find that one switch has to stay in the up position at all times just so the other switch will turn on the light. 3 way switch wiring diagram: Article by Edwin Moor. The white wire between switches is not being used as a neutral. Here I recall many of my jobs, experiences, and handy tips with the hope that you can gain from what I have learned. In the United Kingdom some electricians use an alternative method for wiring two-way switches as depicted in the above wiring diagram. The grounds are connected together, to the metal box, and also to the light fixture. I always have hand wipes available. I am not sure if they are 3-way switches or 2-way light switches. I suggest that you change one switch. It doesn’t matter which traveler goes on which brass terminal. This 3 Way Light Switch Diagram shows connections when the power comes into the first switch, on to the second switch and then on to two or more lights switched by the 3-way circuit. Answer: There are several three-way switch wiring methods. The blue arrow points to the LOAD wire which will be connected onto the common black or red colored terminal on the 3-way light switch to be installed in this box. © 2020 John Grabowski All Rights Reserved Mr. Electrician is a Registered Trademark. All Rights Reserved. This method is depicted in the diagram at the top of this post. For certain tasks additional safety precautions need to be taken. From there a 3-wire cable (2 travelers, a ground, and the re-identified white wire) or a conduit would need to be installed over to the second 3-way switch. The ground wire goes through both switch boxes and the ceiling light box and it is connected at all junctions, except the light, with a … Dear Mr. Electrician: I need a three-way switch wiring diagram. In addition I describe some of the possible scenarios that you may find in removing the existing bath fan motor. The white LINE neutral wire gets connected to the white wire of the 14/3 cable. At the second 3-way switch, the black wire would be connected on the common copper or black screw terminal on the switch. Building codes are in place to keep humans and buildings safe. Diagram #1 above, shows the electricity source starting at the left 3-way switch. The original installers used whatever materials and wiring methods were acceptable at the time of installation. I wrote a short book about repairing bathroom exhaust fans. Two lengths of four-wire with ground cable, joined at the fixture box, link the right and left switch traveler terminals to each other and to the fixture. Here is our selection of three way light switch circuit diagrams. The diagrams below show the conventional wiring for 3-way switches. Connect the wires to the new 3-way switches with ground screws using one of the two wiring diagrams (Fig. With older wires where the color is not very distinguishable, I use colored electrical tape to identify the conductors. diagrams coupled with some instructions to help you on your way to wiring a single switch. The travelers in the ceiling light junction box get spliced through color to color. In the ceiling light fixture electrical box, one black wire from a 3-way switch gets connected to the black LOAD wire on the light fixture. Many Topics are grouped under more than one Category. Pick the diagram that is most like the scenario you are in and see if you can wire your switch! The source comes into the light, the switch then is the last box on the circuit. NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on Amazon.com and EBay. I have two switches that control one light in my kitchen. A larger ceiling electrical box would be needed to accommodate all of the wires in this particular 3-way switch installation. Each of the gangs (or switches) above in Fig 2 (of which there are three) work like this (Fig 3): In position 1 (when the switch is down or ‘on’), COM and L1 are connected together (just like the one way switch).In position 2 (when the switch is up or ‘off’), COM and L2 are connected together. Any plan of yours to install electrical wiring in your home should include a permit from your town and inspections by the local building inspectors. Two cubic inches are required for each #14 wire. The white wire of the cable going to the switch is attached to the black line in the fixture box using a wire nut. I wash my hands frequently while working because I come in contact with all kinds of things. Three way switches have become very popular because it adds convenience and ease to lighting in large rooms, hallways and staircases. A three conductor cable with a ground is then installed between the two 3-way switch boxes. The travelers get connected to the two brass screw terminals on the 3-way switch. One diagram is above, the rest are below. This wire diagram shows the wiring for source power into the first three way switch, then 3-wire cable to the next 3 way light switch, and then on to the light or light fixtures. Family Handyman editor Rick Muscoplat will teach you how to replace a 3 way switch and share a tip to make this job a piece of cake. It is very helpful and makes replacement much easier the next time the switches need to be changed. I am not sure if they are 3-way switches or 2-way light switches. Take note of the color of the screw terminals on the old and the new switches. Two-wire cable is run from the light to SW1 and 3-wire cable runs between the three switches. This is only a wiring schematic and not the actual wiring method used for 3-way switch installations. 3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram with Power Feed Via Switch : You will see what you need to do when the power is coming to the light switch. The green screw is only for grounding purposes and must have one ground wire connected to it. The fixture's hot wire connects to the second switch's common terminal. 3-Way Switch wiring diagram depicting all wires in the ceiling junction Box. A four conductor cable with ground or a conduit would need to be installed to the other 3-way switch location as required by code to have a white neutral conductor in one of the switch boxes. The traveler wires are interchangeable between the two brass colored terminal screws. On the other three-way switch the LOAD wire (The LOAD is the wire that feeds power to the light fixture) gets connected to the common copper or black screw terminal. I am guessing that one of your three-way switches broke down. Red and blue wires link traveler terminals of both switches. In this diagram, the incoming hot wire attaches to the first switch's common dark-colored terminal. Wiring Diagram 3 Way Switch with Light at the End In this diagram, the electrical source is at the first switch and the light is located at the end of the circuit. A voltage tester is good for testing the live wires with neutral and/or earth ground. One bad fall can change your life forever. I have personally seen a few instances where the metal wall plate was coming in contact with the live terminals and creating a short circuit resulting in a tripped circuit breaker. The bare or green wire is connected to the metal switch box with a 10/32 machine screw, and onto the green screw on the 3-way switch. What is the Black Screw For on a 3-Way Switch Diagram? Pictures, Descriptions, and Handy Tips from Working over 40 Years as an Electrician. Between each three-way switch is a pair of “Travelers” that are connected to the unlabeled brass terminals. To wire wall switches to control electrical outlets, see my post here. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! The unlabeled brass terminal screws are for the travelers to get connected to. The 14-3 cable has three insulated conductors: white, black and red (plus a bare ground wire). The black wire from the other 3-way gets connected to the LINE black wire. This is where two switches control the same light (or lights). A, also wrap black tape around the white wire from the switch to the light. The black hot wire connects to … Whenever the white wire is not being used as the neutral conductor it must be changed to a different color. The above switch wiring diagram shows a different wire color coding than what is used in the USA. Thank you to John S. for the above photo depicting the common terminals on three-way switches. The ground wires should all be joined together and one or two pigtails connected from that bunch should be connected to the metal box with a 10/32 machine screw and to the green screw terminal on the 3-way switch. I usually take one wire off the old switch and put it on the new switch then repeat with the other wires. I think that the most common method used to wire a set of 3-way switches is to bring the two-wire LINE cable into one switch box and bring the two-wire LOAD cable into the other switch box. The red and black wires (Travelers) of the 3-wire cable get connected to the brass terminals on the three-way switch. The two hot wires of three-wire cable connect to a pair of brass-colored traveler terminals on each switch. Most likely the LOAD and one traveler will need to be connected together while the other traveler is capped with a wirenut. 3-Way Dimmer Switches typically come with the following pre-wired leads. Three way switch lighting circuit diagrams. A. SCHEMATIC WIRING DIAGRAMS. At the first switch box, the black wire that was run to the second 3-way switch can be connected to either the black LOAD wire or the black LINE wire. Add an electrical box for the second 3-way switch in the basement. The LINE white neutral wire gets connected to the light fixture. The LINE wire is usually the easiest to identify because it is hot at all times. The ceiling electrical junction box needs to be extra large to fit all of the wires. In addition this method requires only a 3 conductor cable (With ground) between the switches. 3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram. The whole wiring a light switch project can be completed in a few hours if you don’t have to do any drywall removal and repair. The more planning, the better the project will go. See article 314.27(C). Note the one black screw on each of the above three-way switches. It is possible to simply replace the switches without having to identify the function of each conductor. A wiring diagram is a streamlined traditional photographic depiction of an electric circuit. Take Notice which wires are connected to the common copper or black screw terminals. The black hot wire connects to the far right switch's common terminal. The LINE wire is connected to the L1 terminal and the LOAD wire is connected to the L2 terminal. A or B). See Article 314 in the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) for space requirements. If you are trying to troubleshoot a 3-way switch operation, you will need to identify the function of each wire. In this diagram, power enters the fixture box. 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