09:59AM | 09/18/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
3 lifetime posts

Can anyone help my husband? I'll try to explain this as best as I can. My husband is having trouble wiring a three way switch. It is layed out like this...switch at top of the cellar stairs, and then two lights for the stair way, and then a switch at the bottom of the stairs. He successfully wired a three-way in the hall with just one light but is having a time with two lights being involved in this. Can anyone help us here? Thanks so much!


10:29AM | 09/18/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
I need some more info.
Where does the power come in? Switch? light?
Where do the wires run? From switch to light to switch? From switch to switch to light?
How many wires are going to each switch/light from which switch/light.
Is this existing or are you tryin to install a new light/switch.


11:03AM | 09/18/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
3 lifetime posts

Here is some more info for you. The power goes to the bottom light. He has a 3-way wire from bottom switch to the bottom light and a 3-way wire from the top switch to the top light. 3-way wire from light to light. He has one light come on successfully and one that doesn't. this is new construction so power can come in anywhere. Hope this helps. Thanks for the response.

Tom O

03:10PM | 09/18/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
The easiest way to do a 3 way (IMO) is to bring the power into one switch, run 3 wire with ground to the second switch then continue on to the lights with 2 wire with ground. This cuts down on wiring errors.

At both switches- the white wire splices & does not connect to the switch, the bare wire pigtails & connects to the box (if metal) or to the switch strap green screw if the box is plastic. The black from the 2 wire cable goes to the odd colored terminal, the black and red connect to the two terminals that are the same color.

With all the money you saved, buy a copy of "Electrical Wiring, Residential" by Ray. C. Mullin. Pricey, but the pictures & drawings are worth the cost.


[This message has been edited by Tom O (edited September 18, 2002).]

Joe Tedesco

03:53PM | 09/18/02
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
Please look at the electrical archives for information on 3 ways.


03:42PM | 09/19/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
You don't have enough wires between the lights to make it work. You can't do it the way it is wired.
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