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I am trying to wire in a 3 way switch but not sure exactly…

I am trying to...

I am trying to wire in a 3 way switch but not sure exactly how to run the lines the easiest

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

I've had the two lights running with a wireless 3 way switch but I think it's starting to fail. Looking to hard wire a switch in. Easy access to first light wiring, harder access to first switch box

Contractor's Assistant: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?

Most of the wiring is original (18yrs) but I added on a second light, spliced into the first one.

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
10/10/2017
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,417
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) One of the 3-ways requires the hot circuit feed wire in that box. The 2nd 3-way box will be for the switched loop wire that extends out to the lights.

2) The two 3-ways are inter-connected via 2 traveler wires.

3) Refer to the attached diagram for a 3-way switching circuit:

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Power runs to switch one. 14-3 with ground to first light. 14-2 from first light to second light. Do I need to run new switch 2 (14-3 w/ground) to switch one or to first light?

1) Depends if the neutral wire for the circuit originated in the switch that requires the circuit feed and if the neutral wire is tandeming thru the 2nd 3-way and then extending out to the light box. Or if the neutral wire by-passed the 3-way switch boxes and was installed directly at the light box.

2) The routing of the neutral wire will determine if you require a 2 or a 3 conductor cable.

3) Both methods are common for running the neutral wire. Either way, each light must have the corresponding neutral wire that originates from the branch circuit.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I guess I'm not sure how to tell which situation I have.

1) Simple solution.....perform a visual inspection inside each 3-way box. If you see 2 white wires or more that are wire nutted together, then that group of white wires are the neutrals. You can also confirm for 120 volts from the hot wire to the neutral wire using a multimeter.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
There is only one 3 way box right now and the junction box at the light which has 3 white wires (4 counting the light) nutted together.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
One of these white wires is branching off to the second light.

1) The white wires are the neutrals.

2) Refer to the diagram I previously sent. You need to inter-connect two of the 3-way boxes with a minimum of a 14/2 Romex cable. If not sure, then connect the 2 boxes using 14/3 cable and then extend 14/2 cable from the switched loop box out to the lights.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks for your help. I've decided it's not worth the all the hassle to save walking 20 ft to switch off the light.

No problem, glad to assist.

Yes, I understand. Some projects are just not worth the extra expense and time.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)

Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,417
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
Verified
Kevin and 87 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now

Thank you for the positive service rating............much appreciated!

If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Take care and have a great day............Thanks again............Kevin:)

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Kevin
Kevin
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Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,417
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Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

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