Step 3 cont'd 3-Way: If there are 3 wires connected to three screw terminals (not including a green or bare copper wire used for grounding), you have a 3-Way switch. Connect the two remaining traveler wires to the two brass or light colored screws. If you are not, consider hiring an electrician and check local building codes to ensure it is safe to complete this project yourself. I believe this 3 way switch is on the load side. (aka Electrical Glossary) 3-Way Switch – a 3-way switch has 3 terminals: 2 brass terminals for the 2 traveler wires, and 1 common (black) terminal for the common wire. We welcome your comments and suggestions. This will prevent accidental electrocution and reduce the risk of fire. Safety: Before doing any electrical work, turn off the power at the breaker box. … ", Step 2: There are different ways you can wire a 3 way switch, depending on which boxes the feed wire (wire coming from the panel), and load wire (wire going to the light) are located in. There may also be a separate green ground screw attached to the mounting flange of the switch (the ground wire may or may not be connected). I have a GE Sunsmart Digital Timer which has a red, blue, black, white and green wire. When disconnecting the wires, mark the wire on the black or dark colored screw as common. Using a screwdriver, remove the common and mark it by twisting a wire nut onto it. Connect the ground wire to the green screw. Thanks Ray and PCBoss. D Extra-Large Moving Box. Test each wire until your tester glows, and tag that wire with blue tape, again indicating a traveler. It would affect the proper operation of the switches. The end of the loop should point clockwise. I have found it easiest to have the feed wire go into one of the light switch boxes, and the load wire go into the other light switch box, so that is the method I’m going to be showing you. Remove the other wires from the 3-way switch. In the ceiling light fixture electrical box, one black wire from a 3-way switch gets connected to the black LOAD wire on the light fixture. Leviton Three-Way Switch Replacement. If the White is correctly used for neutral, the connected switching wires are Red and Black. Remove the common and mark it. I have a 3 way switch that has a common wire a black wire a white wire and the ground. L x 22 in. As long as you keep this in mind, a 3-way circuit becomes really simplified. When I opened it up to take a look, there were only 3 black wires, one screwed in on the side and two wires "stabbed in" in back of the old switch. If the wires are stabbed into the back of the switch, insert a small flat head into the slot above the wire to release. It would not be dangerous if you got the wires in the wrong spots. Electronic Equipment and Computers, Lighting, Light Fixtures, Ceiling and Exhaust Fans. Wiring 3-way switches is not complicated, but making sure you are connecting the right wires, could be a little tricky.There are several ways you can wire your switches with the most common being when electricity source is connected to the light switch first. Three-way switches typically have three screw terminals on the housing, one of which will be a different color or marked "common." © 2000-2020 Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". My problem is that all the screws on the old three-way light switch appear to be the same color (brass). All rights reserved. Please call us at: 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337), Please enter in your email address in the following format: you@domain.com. Is this guy trying to rob me or what. It is right inside the front door and it controls the outside porch light. Also, if I wire it up wrong, is it dangerous? For example, a hallway is a great place to install three-way switches for added convenience! Identify the common. If it's a multi gang box that is giving power to another switch, as well as the 3-way, then I send power on the 3-wire because you use one less wire nut, and only need one pig tail off the power wires. If you or someone you know has ever changed a 3-way switch and not gotten the wiring put back together right, you know how frustrating it is trying to figure out how to get it to work again. TURN THE POWER OFF AT THE BREAKER BOX 3-way switches enable you to control a light fixture from two different places in one room. Test again and proceed only if the tester shows no current. Use of this site is subject to certain Terms Of Use. On a four way only the travellers are connected. The wire going between the two light switches should be 14-3 (or 12-3 wire where 12 gauge wire is all ready being used) wire, using the red and black wires for the common wires. The red wire connects to the screw on the top left and the white wire connects to the screw on the bottom left. Option 1 - Run a Neutral Wire If you want to use smart switches and don't have a neutral wire in your switch box, you can hire an electrician to run a neutral wire between the light fixture and the switch. The 3-way circuit is a very common system found within most residential installations. One of the most common problems that homeowners face when tackling this project themselves, is improper wiring, which happens when the circuit wires are connected to the wrong screw terminals. A smart switch can simply tie into the white neutral wires to complete the circuit and get a source of power to keep the radios in the switch working at all times. Switch off the circuit. The switch wiring for three-ways is normally Red, Black, and White. 3 way switches need a lot of extra wires to work, and that means they need extra room to properly operate. PLACE NEW SWITCH IN THE WALL BOX AND COVER WITH WALL PLATE Kung Fu Maintenance shows an easy way to tell 3 way light switch common load hot wire wiring video without special tools. Connect the wires to screw terminals by slipping the looped wire under the head of the screw. There is an existing fan but it's in need of replacement . Connect the wire marked common to the black or dark colored screw. Two, 3-way switches are required in any 3-way application. Remove insulation so ¾-inch of copper conductor is showing. REMOVE OLD SWITCH AND INSPECT WIRES On a three way switch it is the one that is not one of the travelers. Change from infinite to direct connection with the flip of the wall box this with a new switch they., light fixtures, ceiling and Exhaust Fans mind, a 3-way configuration, connected. For less then $ 15 and give you many years of use, founded in 1995, the. I replace this with a new switch until they are difficult to.. 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