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How to wire a 3 way switch with video

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
Watch this video on YouTube.
Doing my best to bring you the best videos I know how.

3 way switch install

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 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.

 

3 way

3 way wire diagram

3 way switch wiring diagram

3wayswitch_wiring_diagram

Watch this video on YouTube.
Doing my best to bring you the best videos I know how.

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

If you have Lutron dimmer you might want to read this PDF file.

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Emmanuel

I like your 3 way switch but mu has 3 black wires… How do wire that after getting a 3 way switch and 14-3 wire. My mai. Issue is the wiring of the ols switch. Where am changing it to 3 way switch…thank u for your help.

Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images
aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers
and both show the same results.

Ruby

Hello I have stared at your diagram and can’t figure out how to make it work for my set up. In my garage, power comes into a junction box in the middle of the garage. From that junction box a cable goes to the front of the garage where the switch is, another cable goes towards the back of the garage with several outlets daisy chained. These are what our shop lights plug into. The switch turns the outlets on and off. I wanted to add a switch to the back of the garage where the door goes into the… Read more »

MT

Dominick –
Thank you for the diagrams. One minor correction: In the top diagram – the diagram where the switches are labelled S1 and S2 – the wiring to the bulb is backwards. For safety, the hot wire should always go to the tip of the bulb, and the neutral to the threads of the bulb.
MT

Stacey

I bought the switch yesterday from Lowes. The switch has “common” stamped on it where the dark screw is, so I know it is not a quality problem from the manufacturer. I will proceed with connecting my High to the dark screw, since you have seen this before. Thank you for your response and video.