The way to Wire Three-Way Switches To 2 Lights
Current National Electrical code requires a light switch at each entrance to a room or hallway so persons entering the room won’t have to cross the room in the dark to turn on a light. The sunshine switches may control a receptacle for a lamp or light fixtures for permanently installed lighting. Three-way switches allow people to turn lights on or off from different locations, regardless of the position of the opposite switch.
Things You will Need
Sheathed cable with two wires plus ground
Turn off power to the circuit you’re working on by switching off the circuit breaker.
Install sheathed cable between the primary three-way switch and the second three-way switch. Make the cable long enough to protrude from each wiring box 8 to 10 inches. Strip 8-inches of sheathing from the cable at each end with the cable stripper and insert the wires into the wiring boxes until about 1/2 inch of sheathing enters the box.
Install sheathed cable from the second switch to the first light fixture, then from the primary light fixture to the second light fixture, and from the second light fixture to the primary switch. Strip 8 inches of sheathing from each end of every cable and insert the wires into the wiring boxes. Place a chunk of black electrical tape on the two cable ends that enter the switch boxes to temporarily mark them.
Cut a bit of sheathed cable 8-inches long. Pull the bare ground wire from the cable. Hold it together with the 2 ground wires in the primary switch box and twist the ends along with the lineman’s pliers. Screw a wire nut over the connection. Bend the free end into a “U” with the long-nose pliers, place it clockwise around the green terminal on the three-way switch and tighten the screw firmly. Repeat this for the other switch.
Strip 3/4 inches of insulation from the prevailing white house wire and the white wire marked with the electrical tape in the first switch box. Twist the bare ends along with a lineman’s pliers. Place a wire nut over the twisted wire ends and screw it clockwise until it is tight.
Strip 5/8 inches of insulation from the present black house wire in the first switch box. Bend the wire end into a “U” with the long-nose pliers and place it clockwise across the gold terminal. Tighten the terminal firmly. Place a wire nut over the end of the black wire that runs to the second light fixture. This wire isn’t used.
Strip 5/8 inches of insulation from the black and white wires that run between the switches. Turn the bare ends into a “U” with the long nose pliers. Wrap the insulation on the white wire end with black electrical tape to recode them black. Place the wire ends around the black terminal screws on both switches and tighten the screws firmly.
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Place a wire nut over the end of the white wire within the second switch box. This wire is not used. Strip the tip of the remaining black wire, turn it right into a “U” and place it on the gold terminal. Tighten the terminal firmly.
Strip 3/4 inches of insulation from all four wires in the primary light fixture. Twist the ends of the bare wires together, then the white wires, then the black wires. Connect the bare fixture ground wire to the bare cable ground wires with a wire nut. Repeat this for the white fixture wire to the white cable wires, and the black fixture wires to the black cable wires.
Strip 3/4 inches of insulation from the two white wires in the second fixture box, and 5/8 inches from the black wire coming from the first fixture. Twist the bare cable ground wires together and connect them to the bare fixture wire with a wire nut. Twist the two white cable wires together and connect them along with the white fixture wire. Connect the black wire from the first fixture to the black fixture wire. Place a wire nut over the tip of the remaining black cable wire.
“Basic Wiring”; Time Life Books; 1994
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