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Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4276
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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how can a draw power from my three way switch, so I can ad

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how can a draw power from my three way switch, so I can ad a single pole switch controling a single light that will go over my kitchen countertop?
HiCustomer How many wires are in the box where the 3 way switch is located, and what are their colors?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have two cables coming out of the box. I conected the neutrals together. The common on the common screw and the remaining red and black on the traveler screws and the system works fine. The problem is that I bought a double swith in which the top switch is for the three way and the bottom switch can be use for another light and I could'n figure out the actual conection to make my one light to work. Once again the thee way top switch is conected and funtioning controlling 4 lights in my hallway, but I need my other light for the kitchen.


Thank you for the additional information. The wire that you connected to the COMMON terminal on the 3 way, is it a constantly hot wire? Or is it the switched wire that goes out to the fixtures? Depending on which 3 way switch the constantly hot wire goes to, that particular wire could be either one (the constant hot OR the switched wire for the lights).

If it is the feed for the 3 way setup, meaning it is a constantly hot wire, then you need to add a short jumper wire to that terminal, and connect the other end of the jumper wire to one of the terminals on the single pole switch. Next, you need to connect the black that goes to the single fixture to the other terminal on the single pole switch. Lastly, the white wire that goes to the single fixture needs to be added to the other neutrals in the box.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I previously did just like you are saying. I jump the hot terminal to the bottom switch commoon terminal. Connected the black wire from the fixture to the other terminal and the whites together. As a result, the three way swiches were controlling the single light as well. What am I doing wrong?


That means the wire you are using for the hot on the single pole switch is not a constantly hot wire. It is the switched wire that goes out to the 4 fixtures that are controlled by the two 3 way switches.

To correct the problem, you will need to get rid of the small jumper wire. The white that goes to the single fixture needs to be removed from the other 2 whites. You will have to route a constantly hot wire, and its associated neutral, from another nearby source to feed the single pole portion of the combination device. Make sure there is not a connecting tab joining any of the top screws to the bottom screws on the combination device. The white wire that goes out to the single fixture will need to connect to the new white wire that is with the new black (constantly hot) wire that needs to be added to the box.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
In other words. It cannot be done by taking power from the three way switch? It has to be from a different source?
Unfortunately, yes, you are correct. But only because the 3 way you are tapping into does not have the constantly hot wire for the system connected to it. The other 3 way for the same lights DOES have the constantly hot wire connected to it. It just so happens that you are trying to tap into the wrong 3 way switch to get constantly hot power. I'm sorry this is the case, I wish it were simpler for you. I'm assuming getting a new power wire into that particular box will not be simple?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Jason, plan B it will not be too bad. There is a another switch next to the one in question. So I will take power from this one and that should do it.Smile


Thanks for all your help. If you ever have a power washing question let me know. Check out my site

Thanks a lot

Reply back and I will click accept

I will definitely check out your site. It just so happens that my house (vinyl siding) needs to be powerwashed. However, we have about 6 inches of snow on the ground right now, so that will have to wait for a few months. Best of luck with your project. If you find that you need more help, please let me know.

Jason and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Great. Be in touch. Have a happy new year.
Thank you for accepting my answer. I hope 2010 will be your most prosperous year ever. I am looking at your site now, very impressive, especially the sidewalk. It looks new. I gotta get one of those things! I was just notified about the bonus and the positive feedback. I really appreciate your generosity. Take care, thanks again.

Edited by Jason on 12/28/2009 at 3:35 AM EST