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Wiring a 3 way switch on 1 plate to 3 lights and 2 other switches

I have a 3 way switch with 1 light going into a room with another switch, 1 light at the bottom of the stairs and 1 light and 1 switch at the top of the stairs. and 1 main power cable gong in, and power to kitchen and up stairs bedrooms goes through this point. HELP

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I have a light switch at the bottom of the stairs which works 2ways can be switched on and off up and down stairs and also an out side light on the same switch which I have messed up and would like a picture of the way it should be connected.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008

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2 - three way switches are needed to operate a light or other things from 2 locations......first, all 3 ways have a 3 conductor cable that runs between them...colors are red, black and white......only one of the boxes requires power coming in from the panel on a 2 wire cable,,colors are black and white......the 3 way switches usually have one of the screws black and the other 2 screws are gold color.......the box that has only the 3 conductor cable going to it without the power cable can be wired directly to the wire to black screw, red and white wires to the gold screws.....the red and white wires don't matter to which of the gold screws you put them on.......the other box where there is also the power cable coming in is a little trickier..........i have an animation on my website that shows you how a 3 way system is wired if you like to check it out is the on 'special services' at the top of the page and it will take you another page where you can see the animation....good luck

Posted on Jun 28, 2010


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I have a box that has four 110(black, white and copper) wires coming in. (1) is power, (2) is light (3) is outlet & (4) is light across the room. I need power to (2), (3) & (4) but need a switch to (2)...

Firstly (1) will be Black=hot, White=neutral and Copper=Ground. Don't work on these wires with them live.
All copper wires will be connected together and if possible, the metal box earth lug.
You will need a SPST or SPDT switch (image of SPDT switch is shown below) to mount in your junction box. If your switch has a ground lug, you need to also connect the copper wire there.
(1) Black will connect to Switch Common, (3) Black and (4) Black. Note: all can connect to the Switch Common connection as the switch will generally allow 3 wires to be connected per terminal; one push terminal and two screw pressed terminals.
(1) White will be connected to (2) White, (3) White and (4) White. For this connection, you can use a twist cap of the correct size to parallel these neutral wires.
(2) Black will connect to other free connection on the switch. There may be two free connections, so the one you use will basically determine which direction the switch will be on/off.
Once connected and checked, you can power up. If correctly wired, you should now have switched power to (2) and continuous power to (3) and (4).
I hope this helps with your inquiry.


Feb 27, 2015 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Help - 1 Way 2 gang switch - ie: two sets of lights in same room, 1 light switch with two switches on it, each switching on 1 set of lights. I have 2 brown wires, 3 blue wires, and a short length of free...

I can probably help.
BUT, what voltage are you working with. It sounds like 230V european wire colors?
Now also. Do you have two separate light switches in same box (which is called 2-gang)? Or do you have a double switch, which is two switches on one device?
Add a comment, and include as much detail as possible about the switch, voltage, and number and color of screws on each switch.
Here is a start-point using 120Volt and US wire colors:
The difference between US and European, is that European has two hot wires, while US has hot and neutral wires. Otherwise both systems require two wires to complete circuit.

Sep 26, 2012 | Gb Electrical GSW-117 Toggle Switch

2 Answers

I just installed a Leviton IP106 Illumatech dimmer switch. It was replacing my existing rotary dimmer switch. The switch is a 3-way wiring job, with another 3-way toggle switch (no dimmer) on the other...

The Leviton IP106 Illumatech dimmer switch must be installed at the switch location where the hot feed exists. From your description your hot feed is at the regular 3-way switch location. Swap locations.

Dec 22, 2010 | Leviton Decora Light Dimmer Switch

1 Answer

I have a Leviton 5634 two rocker switch that I'm using to replace an old double switch that controls two lights. There are 1 black, 1 red, and 1 white wire in the light switch box. The white wire is...

Review old switches:
Two old switches > each has 2 wires
Old switch 1 > Red and White
Old switch 2 > Black and White
The same white wire connects to both switches, so effectively they count as 1 wire
This means you have 3 wires ... 1 White, 1 Red, 1 Black
Each switch controls a separate load (light, fan, motor)

New Leviton double-rocker switch:
-Leviton has 2 Brass-colored screws on one side, and these screws are connected together by a brass plate >> your Hot wire will connect to brass screw
-Leviton has 2 Silver-colored screws on other side, and neither of these screws are connected in any way >> the wires going to each load will connect on a different screw on this side of switch.

Hot wire: Each box in your house has exactly 1 hot wire that is connected back to breaker box. This is true for all boxes (excluding boxes that have a 3-way & 4-way switches).
We need to identify Hot wire.

-By code the Hot wire is black for identification purposes ... but your box sounds like maybe the Hot wire is White.
-If your Hot wire is white, that is NOT an immediate safety issue ... it will not cause a fire or malfunction ... it is a code violation ... because code requires things be uniform so next electrician knows what previous guy did. So some day, electrician working outside grabs wrong color wire, and wow. I say this so you know.

Moving on.

Identify Hot wire:
-Pull 3 wires up so they can be tested
-Turn on power
-Use ordinary tester, or old lamp with plug cut off and wires stripped back
-Tape tester lead to sticks so hands are away from voltage
-Power is on. Don't stand in water or touch metal pipes, and you're fine.
-You have 3 wires in box + ground wire
-Test all 3 wires to bare ground wire >> when tester lights up, that is Hot wire ... testing is complete

Connect wires to Leviton double-rocker:
-Power is OFF.
-You have 3 wires - 1 White, 1 Black, 1 Red >> one is Hot wire, the other two wires go to load
-Hot wire connects to Brass-colored screws on new Leviton.
-Brass colored screws are connected together by a brass plate so the Hot does not need to connect to both brass screws.
-The other two wires connect to Silver screws on other side of new Leviton switch
-One wire goes to each silver screw
-Connect bare ground wire to green screw.
-Push wires back into box. Use eraser end of pencil if needed.
-Make sure ground wire is back and away from screws on switch
-That's it.

Sep 30, 2010 | Leviton Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I am replacing a light switch with two black wires and 1 red wire. What is the red wire for?

It is a 3 way switch. It must have another switch on the other side of the room that works the same light. One of the wires is a traveler, usually it is not colored, So, you could have 2 things being switched on from one hot wire, test the wires and see which is hot, and mark it, then, take one other wire at a time to see where it goes, find the light, or lamp, or fan, if the 3rd wire doesn't do anything, is there another switch for the same light on the other side of the room? 3 way switches are tricky, keep the package, it has a schematic on it, hopefully it is right at the other end, and it will go right in. check it out, hope this helps.

May 13, 2010 | GE Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a double switch in my kitchen. One switch turns on the kitchen lights and the other turns on a light in a small utility room. I unscrewed the light switch from the wall because i was painting and...

This is a tough one. I believe you may have a 2 way switch for the kitchen lights. Here's a link to a site that has a good description of 2 way switches.

In a case like this, I would make sure the breaker is off and use a voltmeter to determine which wires are which. You can do this by testing the wires for voltage and turning the break on and off (I'm not sure how comfortable you are with working with electricity). You can also check for connectivity by seeing which wires run to the lights. Once you know which wires go where, you can then figure out how the wires should go. I would not want to hazard a guess based on the wire colors only. The voltmeter never lies. Hope this helps and good luck!

Mar 15, 2010 | APW Wyott C*Radiant, Lighted Double...

1 Answer

I live in a home where we had a switch go bad in our boys room. When we replaced the switch my daugters switch would not work. We have three wires coming out of both wall outlets plus a ground. I got a...

If the problem arose after you replaced the switch in your boys room, that is where I would go to first in my attempt to troubleshoot the problem. After you pull the switch out, I would leave the switch in the off position, and check that 2 of the three wires in that box are receiving power.
If there is only a single with power then that is the power coming into the switch box, and it is very likely that one of the other wires is intended to feed beyond. A good way to check this would be to turn the switch on and see if your daughter's switch is getting power when that switch is on. If this is the case, the next part becomes a little tricky.
1. turn the switch in your boys room off
2. disconnect only one wire from the 2 that do not have constant power.
3. turn on switch, if light for the room turns on, then attached wire is switch leg for the light, and disconnected wire is power out of rest of the circuit.
CAUTION: turn off power at breaker before continuing
4. once you know which is the switch leg, and which is the out for the rest of the circuit, junction the in wire with the out wire, and attach a single wire to this junction twisting all three together, put a wirenut on the junction, and re-attach to switch.
once this is done, you should be able to turn the breaker back on.

If the above instructions are not needed, it is possible that the switch is fed from a plug in the room, and that a connection on the plug could have gone bad. In this case, you should once again, turn the breaker for the room off first.
1. pull out the plug
2. ensure that all wires are wrapped around the screws, not pushed into the holes in the back of the device. Black to brass, White to silver, Ground to green
3. put the outlet back and turn the breaker back on
4. test the switch

I hope that this proves helpfull and resolves your problem. please let me know if you have any questions


1 Answer

I took a three gang face plate of now this switch is number 1 witch operates the hall number two switch operates the sitting room. number three operates the third light in the same room. but number three...

You need to determine where the power is coming into the box. That power line needs to be jumpered to each switch. The black of the lights will go to the other side of each switch. All neutral wires are tied together.

Bob Janelli

Oct 01, 2009 | Cooper Wiring Devices 3-gang Cooper Wall...

1 Answer

I just changed the fan light switch in my fan and my fan doesn't turn off . i connected the wires the way i took them off light went with light and the # 1 wire went with #1 and so fourth can anyone help...

Lol did you get a 3 wire switch ... they are made to use with more then 1 switch ie: in a room with doors @ opposite sides you may have 2 switches that work the same light or fan. This may be your problem, check the package ... if not check the switch, good luck!!

Sep 29, 2009 | Hampton Bay 24002 Ceiling Fan

1 Answer

New fan light running continuosly

lets see if i can help you out here, okay . Red is your hot power wire, Green is the ground which is screwed to mounting plate, black is negative, meaning no power.... connect your wires by color Red to Red , Black to Black , And if there is a green coming from the ceiling connect to mounting plate of fixture or vise versa. Remember to use eletrical scew caps, on all connections and do not leave any wires uncovered. Basically all your doing is a seperation of a wire from wires as you seperate a wire cap it off. then move to the next set and do the same. red to red black to black green to mounting plate . YOU WIL NOT BLOW ANYTHING UP IF THERE IS A WRONG CONNECTION, if all wires are of color follow these steps, if no color switch one wire try switch and vise versa YOU can do it

Jun 02, 2009 | Frigidaire 13.7 cu. ft. / 388 liter...

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