What Are Some Tips for Three-Way Switch Wiring?


Quick Answer

Tips for wiring a three-way switch include using number 12 wire for interior residential wiring and checking local building and construction codes before beginning the project. Measure the distance between the switch and the power source, and add an extra foot for every connection along the line to determining the length of cable needed. Use lineman's pliers or a hacksaw to cut the cable to length.

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Full Answer

When wiring a new switch, secure the cable to a firm, flat work surface, and use a sharp knife to slit the outer cable sheathing. Once slit, peel the sheathing back, and trim it square. Use wire strippers to remove insulation, and then splice wires together using a wire connector. Always ensure power is turned off at the breaker before wiring begins. When installing a new switch, pull wires through studs and rafters using a hand brace and a drill with an electrician's bit.

Install a new electrical box for the switch or replace the existing one with a larger box in order to provide the additional space needed to accommodate the new wires. Connect wires to the switch using ground screws. Three-way switches typically use an identifying label or a different-colored terminal screw to differentiate the common terminal. Wrap the ends of white wires in black electrical tape to ensure hot and neutral wires are easily identified.

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