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2 sets of 3 way switches
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2 sets of 3 way switches

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2 sets of 3 way switches
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Thread: 2 sets of 3 way switches

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default 2 sets of 3 way switches

    Hello,

    I'm looking for a diagram or directions on how to wire 2 sets of 3 way light switches while sharing power.

    Power (12/2) comes into the first double gang. I have 2 sets of 12/3 running to their perspective lights.

    Thank you,
    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    217

    Default

    What is the order of the boxes that you'd like to wire? That is switch1 -> switch2 -> light1 -> light2? Or switch1 -> light1 -> light2 -> switch2? Or one of the many other combinations?

    If you don't care, I'd recommend the first example. This requires 12-3 between the switches, but only 12-2 to the first switch box and 12-2 to the first light, and 12-2 to the second light.

    What do you mean by sharing power? Do you want to have an always hot wire in each light fixture and switch box? That is a problem now days since code requires a neutral in each light switch box unless you have an easy way to add one (e.g. a conduit wiring method or open wall access or common wall cavity).
    Mark
    Kent, WA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I probably shouldn't say share. I'd like to run two sets of 3 way switches on one breaker. Starts off with two 3 way switches in the first box, then goes onto 4 lights for each switch, then onto the last box, which has two 3 way switches. Two switches will turn on/off 4 inside garage lights and two switches will turn on/off 4 outside garage lights. Basically, a standard 3 way switch setup, but with two switches in each box and on one breaker.


    Outdoor switch1-light1-light2-light3-light4-switch 2
    Indoor switch1-light1-light2-light3-light4-switch 2

    I have 12/3 running (not hooked up) from each switch (wires are loose in box) and light at this point and power/line (12/2) running into the first box

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by tombstonesg; 05-27-2015 at 12:25 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    400

    Default

    You picked the absolute worst way to wire it. You should not go through the lights to get to the second switch(s).
    If you insist on doing it that way here is a diagram of one set of switches. Just duplicate it for the second set. Note the requirement for four wire cable between the lights.

    Last edited by chrisb; 05-27-2015 at 06:44 AM.
    Operation Overlord.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default

    This diagram only shows 1 set of 3 ways. How would somebody wire two sets? Each controlling their own set of lights. Starting from scratch (power coming into the first box) then to 4 lights then to the second box.

    Switch1-light1-light2 light3-light4-switch2
    Switch1-light1-light2 light3-light4-switch2

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    400

    Default

    I would run the cable from switch to switch and then the lights. If you insist on having the lights between the switches I have provided you the drawing. Just do it twice. Use the same power and pigtail to feed both switches in the first box.
    Operation Overlord.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Gotcha! Didn't read your first post completely. Appreciate your help Chris.

    Take care

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hello,

    I'm having trouble wiring 2 sets of 3 way switches. I was able to get it to work on a small scale experiment, but I can not seem to replicate it full scale.

    12/2 into first box
    12/3 runs to the second box
    2 sets of 12/3 run to two separate sets lights from the first box (mis-wired not using reds)

    first box
    white from power pigtails to whites from both lights
    black from power connects to black from second box
    red from second box is pigtailed and connected to traveler screws of each switch
    white from second box is pigtailed and connected to other traveler screws of each switch
    black from each light run to common screw (not pigtailed)

    second box
    black from first box is pigtailed and connects to common screw of each switch
    white from first box is pigtailed and connected to traveler screw of each switch
    red from first box is pigtailed and connected to other traveler screw of each switch

    A basic 3 way switch set up but pigtailed. Is there a ghost voltage issue? A diagram would be help. I can't seem to find one online.

    Thank you,
    Shawn

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    400

    Default

    You can't pigtail the travellers. You need two travellers for each switch. I would have run two sets of 12/3 to the second box. But you could get away with one 12/3 and one 12/2. Use black power to common of both switches like you did. Then you need two travellers from each switch(four wires) coming back to the two switches in the first box.
    Operation Overlord.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thanks for the quick reply, Chris. Back to Lowe's

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