How to wire a 3 way switch with video

How to wire a 3 way switch

Watch this video on YouTube.

Before you begin anything with a three-way, you must understand that in order for you to have a three-way circuit you must have three-way switches. They are not the same as a regular switch at all. And a four-way is very different again. But that’s on a different page.

When most Diyer’s think of installing a 3 way their brain starts to melt. The fact is it’s very easy. You just need to overcome all those extra wires. Look at the diagram below. You’ll notice we now have travelers. These are the extra ones. But wait, your 3 way switch has two extra screws. So basically you just need to add those wires to those screws and both switches. Yea it’s that simple.


How to wire a 3 way switch with video


However on each 3 way switch you have a black screw, this is the special one. On the power coming in from the panel you would connect that black wire to the one black screw. And on the other switch you would connect the black wire coming from the light to that black screw. The the black and red wires in that 14/3 wire would connect to the other two screws.


You connect all white wires together in each box. But of course the light itself will need that white wire (neutral) to power up. All grounds are tied together and connected to each switch in the box it is in.


Very simple, don’t you agree now.



How to wire a 3 way switch with video

How to wire a 3 way switch with video

3 way switch wiring diagram

How to wire a 3 way switch with video

This is very easy and common how to wire a 3 way switch

How to wire a 3 way switch with video 4.46/5 (89.23%) 13 votes

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29 Comments on "How to wire a 3 way switch with video"

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November 17, 2015 6:26 pm

Dominic,great video, my problem is power source is at the light 1st {along with two 2 other wires supplyiny power elsewhere–how do I set up 3 way form light ??

Joe Galluccio
October 23, 2015 4:17 pm

Thank you very much for your video on how to wire a three way switch. Very helpful

September 28, 2015 7:47 pm

Would using 2 different switches matter? One is a reg switch on off and the other is a toggle. Would this make it not work right?

May 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Dominick, my son thought he would help out in replacing the old fashioned up-down toggle on-off wall switches to the new fancy large fascia switches. Here in lies the problem. He and his mom went and bought the wrong type switch. (was supposed to be a 3-way switch) This for two places where they control power to (1) a light in the middle of a long hallway and (2) a light controlled by switches at top and bottom of staircase. They made the change without me being present so I couldn’t figure out the original wiring connections. After burning… Read more »

Jim Robinson
May 18, 2015 8:02 am

Great video and diagrams! I’m retrofitting the wiring around my home and this was a life saver. Thanks man!

January 6, 2014 10:59 am

Enjoyed your video on the three way switch.
Where I am still confused is…..isnt the wiring done differently depending on where the light is in relation to the switches?
I mean, if there is the switch…then the light….then the switch….( light is between the two switches) isnt that wired differently than…..

if there is the switch…..then the next switch……then the light…(light is at the end of the line)

Hope that makes sense.

Joseph Carroll
December 8, 2013 7:34 pm

I enjoy your movies, and the way you explain things. I have a 12/2 wire running to my out building and I want to hook up a three way switch to my light,could you tell me how to do this, thanks.

November 13, 2013 3:54 pm

Wondering what the difference would be when power source enters the middle switch. I understand the source and three wires using travelers as detailed in your video. So, I have three cables, two 14/2 and one three wire. I’ve connected source to the black and travelers as instructed as well as connecting the two white wires to each other. Now I have the two remaining wires from the cable going to the light. Where do I connect those? Do I connect the white with the other whites? Where would black be connected? Thanks for taking the time to share your… Read more »

July 18, 2013 7:32 am

Good video.

Hot to black screw on switch is all you need to remember.

July 24, 2012 12:58 pm

Hey Dominick,

Great videos, you give very good explanations in a simple manner easy to understand. I'm wondering if you could help me with something. In my bedroom, I have a light at the ceiling. Now, I have a first switch by the door that can turn the light on or off. I also have a second switch located by the bed that can also turn the light on or off, so that you could turn the light on as you walk in the room and turn it off once you're in bed. Only… Read more »