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Wiring a double throw switch in a house

I have a light in my house that I used to be able to turn on from either side of the room.... there were two switches, one on each side. One was removed, now I would like to put it back and need some instructions on how to wire this correctly.

Are there any diagrams I could use so that I can put back the double throw switch and make sure it is wired correctly?

Thanks,

John

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  • Josh Gahan
    Josh Gahan May 11, 2010

    ummm ? wrong category maybe?

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When working with eletricity always make sure to turn the power off !!!! and test for voltage b4 you start working on the wire
here is a diagram that seems easy to understand:
http://mccarthyplace.com/hobbies/electrical/three_way_switch/

if you need help on testing the wires to find out which one is which with a ohm meter just ask

Posted on Apr 03, 2008

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  • 72 Answers

Simple :-)
Make yourself a checklist

1.) Turn of branch circuit breaker on panel
2.) Remove cover where old switch was
3.) I am going to make an assumption here that when the old switch was taken out the person simply BYPASSED it`s function and left the wiring in the wall...But what you should see are three wires. Two will be wire nutted together and the other will be all by itself.
4.) Look at the new "3-way" switch that you have bought. It will have 2 brass colored screws and one black colored screw.
5.) connect free wire to one of the brass screws
6.) disconnect wire nutted pair look for same colored wire that the free wire was. Then connect that to the other brass screw.
7.) the remaining wire will go to the black screw
8.) Now before you power anything up, remember I made assumptions above but you can go to the other switch on the wall pull that out and check a couple of items. The two wires that are connected to the BRASS screws need to be the same two wires that you connected to the new switches BRASS screws. I don't know if you have conduit or BX or romex so you will have to keep track of the wire colors. The wiring between two 3-way switches are shown in the attached pic. Let me know if it works....:-)

Wiring a double throw switch in a house - 1a00d44.jpg

Posted on Apr 30, 2009

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