3-Way Switch Wiring

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by thecaptain0220, Jan 13, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Jan 13, 2019 #1

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am usually ok at figuring out small electrical projects. I am in the process of switching out a set of 3-way switches with some smart switches. I pulled the old ones out and I am trying to understand the wiring before I install the new ones. I dont like not fully understanding what I am doing. I looked at some 3-way wiring diagrams, but I feel like mine is a little different. I just wanted to see if someone could see what is going on. I drew up diagrams for each switch and the light. Where I'm having the issue is connecting them all together to see the full picture. The other thing is that I have 3 sets of wires at the light. I'm assuming one is probably for something else, but im not sure. Hopefully the image is clear enough. The gold color is the white wire. If it has black dashes, that means it was wrapped in black tape.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Jan 13, 2019 #2

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    Is this light located at the top or bottom of a stairway? Are the switches located on 2 different floors of the home?

    --
    Tom Horne
     
  3. Jan 13, 2019 #3

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, its in the living room, one at each entry. Not sure if it matters, but it seems like they put everything in the living room on one circuit. One overhead light, one set of switched outlets (the bottom of most of the outlets), and the regular outlets.

    Edit: Just realized the dining room overhead light is on that circuit too with another 3-way switch
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  4. Jan 14, 2019 #4

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking more, I think I am going to be out of luck regardless. With this setup there is no neutral to power the smart switch.
     
  5. Jan 14, 2019 #5

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did some research and ended up ordering a Lutron Caseta starter kit. It doesn't require neutral and the second switch is completely wireless.

    I'm pretty sure that in my diagram, switch 2 is the switch that has the line in and would be my main switch. The common terminal on that switch always has power. Then the common terminal on switch 1 is connected to the light. It seems that whenever it has power, so does the light. I think the correct wiring would be to connect the new switch in switch 2's spot. Connect the hot to it and one of the travelers. Then at switch 2, connect that traveler to the wire that was connected to the common.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2019 #6

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    311
    This is the setup you have. If your smart switches require a neutral then you are out of luck. You have a switch loop. No neutrals are present at the switches.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jan 14, 2019 #7

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, thats it. I went through it last night with a multi meter disconnecting and reconnecting things so I could map it all out. I'll include the drawing I did. That being the case, there is one thing that could possibly work from what I can tell. I dont know if it would be allowed by code though or if there are problems I am missing. There are actually two of these circuits running opposite of each other. One for the overhead light and one for the switched outlets. That means I have a pair of wires coming from the box on either side. One wire in each set is needed to go out to the light / switched outlets. But if i switch one side to carry neutral down, then I can pass the hot from one side to the other as well as the neutral.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Jan 15, 2019 #8

    JoeD

    JoeD

    JoeD

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    311
    Hot and neutral must be carried in the same cable.
     
  9. Jan 15, 2019 #9

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60
    That picture is a common way to wire two 3 way switches .

    As far as smart switches , I have not installed any , unless you refer to motion switches .

    Wyr
    God bless
     
  10. Jan 15, 2019 #10

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    thecaptain0220

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the replys guys. I decided to go with the Caseta switch since it will be the best solution and doesn't require a neutral. The main switch basically acts as a single pole switch and then the second switch is just a wireless remote mounted in the wall that controls the main switch. I can just cap off all wires going to the second switch and wire the main switch to the pair coming from the light. Then in the future if it needs to go back to the original wiring it should be pretty easy.
     
  11. Jan 15, 2019 #11

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60
    Any idea of the battery life of the remote switch ?

    Wyr
    God bless
     
  12. Jan 15, 2019 #12
  13. Jan 15, 2019 #13

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    60
    Thank you , :)

    Wyr
    God bless
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page