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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 switch....black 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 yourself....here is the address....www.freewebs.com/jselectronics........click 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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The black wire is most likely your neutral. The wall plate should have one light switch and a fan control. If you connect an incandescent or halogen bulb to one of the white wires and the black and you flick the light switch or turn on the fan switch the light should light, you can then determine which white wire is doing what.
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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:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-switches.html#double
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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

http://2wayswitch.com/2-way-switch-wiring-diagram/

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!

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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.
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CAUTION: turn off power at breaker before continuing
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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.
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I hope that this proves helpfull and resolves your problem. please let me know if you have any questions

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Bob Janelli

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