How do you wire a 3 wire switch to a 3 way switch?

Asked By: Mohamedi Steinbrugge | Last Updated: 1st January, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests jewelry making
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Either way, complete these five steps for 3 way light switch wiring:
  1. Turn off the correct circuit at your electrical panel.
  2. Add an electrical box for the second three-way switch in the basement.
  3. Feed a length of 14-3 type NM cable (or 12-3, if you're connecting to 12-gauge wire) between the two boxes.

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Also, which wire is hot on a 3 way switch?

Wiring for a 3-Way Switch The most important wire to get right is the one connected to each switch's common screw terminal. This is the "hot" wire (usually colored black, but not always), and it brings the power from the source and delivers it from one switch to the next and to the light fixture.

Subsequently, question is, what color wire goes to the black screw on a 3 way switch? The black wire from the circuit breaker panel gets attached to the black screw on the 3-way switch. The black and red wires from the white cable running between the switches get connected to either of the two brass screws on the switch. On the other end, the two white wires are wire nutted together.

Beside above, does it matter which wire goes where on a light switch?

If your switch has a “LINE” marking, the always hot wire goes to this. The other connection will be “LOAD” where the load (ie light fixture) is wired. The load wire may have red electrical tape on it to differentiate.

What is a 3 way wiring?

A three-way wall switch is a common type of light switch that makes it possible to control a ceiling light or other electrical fixture from two different locations in a room. Three-way switches are always used in pairs and include special wiring connections.

26 Related Question Answers Found

What color is the common wire?

The "common" is the "neutral" or "ground" wire, depending on the type of circuit. In normal US residential wiring, you'll have a black "hot" wire, a white "neutral" or "common" wire, and a green or bare "ground" wire.

How do you wire a light switch from an outlet?

To make this happen, all you have to do is switch the places of the two black wires. So you'll connect the black hot wire coming from power to either black screw and then connect the black wire coming from the light fixture to the brass screw. The neutral wires and the ground wire will stay put.

How do you wire multiple lights to one switch?

You run another 12/2 or 14/2 cable from the top of the switch box to the first light. You connect the black wire to the switch. You connect the 2 white wires together, and then connect the other terminal on the switch to the black wire of the cable leaving this junction box towards the first light.

What is the red wire in a 3 way switch?

Red and blue wires link traveler terminals of both switches. The red wire, which is connected to the first switch's common terminal, leads back to the fixture.

Is one wire always hot on a 3 way switch?


The hot wire leading from the 3-way switch circuit will have no power, since all power must travel through the switches. If one of the black (hot) wires does have power, then that is the wire for the "always on" plug.

Can I connect red and black wires together?

In 220-volt circuits, red wires are the secondary live wires. Like black wires, they can be used in some types of switch legs. It's possible to link two red wires together or a red wire to a black wire.

Which wire is hot when both are same color?

In most modern fixtures the neutral wire will be white and the hot wire is red or black. In some types of fixtures, both wires will be the same color. In this case, the neutral wire is always identified by some means. In some cases, there will be small writing on the wiring case.

What color wire goes to the black screw?

A black or red-hot wire usually connects to a brass-colored screw terminal or black wire lead on electrical devices. A white neutral wire usually connects to a silver-colored terminal or white wire lead.

Why do I have 3 black wires on my light switch?

If the light turns on, the second black wire you connected to the switch is the switch feed and the unconnected black wire is the feed to the other loads. If the light doesn't turn on, then it's the other way around: the connected wire feeds the other loads and the disconnected wire is the light feed.

How does a three way switch work?


"3-way" is the electrician's designation for a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch. The switches must create a complete circuit for current to flow and the bulb to light. When both switches are up, the circuit is complete (top right). When both switches are down, the circuit is complete (bottom right).

How do you wire a 3 wire outlet?

Avoid backstabs (they're not reliable) and never use 12AWG on a backstab.
  1. Ground terminal: a bare (or green) wire.
  2. screw 1: a white wire.
  3. screw 2: nothing, but if the tab between 1 and 2 has been broken, a white wire.
  4. screw 3: a black wire.
  5. screw 4: nothing, but if the tab between 3 and 4 is broken, a black wire.