How To Wire a 3-Way Switch

by birtanpublished on September 5, 2020

In this video I'm going to show you how to run the wire for your new three-way switch well three-way switches are not new in the world and they're required by code in some situations but in a lot of cases

If you're renovating your house you're getting open-concept that's the thing nowadays so whenever you have an open concept you're gonna reduce the opportunities for light switches and you're gonna make it rather awkward to

Have to go turn the lights on and off unless you run a three-way switch so what you want to do is you want to have a switch on each side of the room so you can control the light as you're coming and going over a large area of space the

Way we do that is simple we have two different boxes at each end of the room and you run a regular 14-2 wire which is your power supply up to the first box this is where everybody gets it wrong they run a 14-2 to the second box and

That's when they try to wire the switch and they go uh-oh I made a big mistake what you need is to use a 14-3 wire and that is going to have a black and a white and a red so in this situation we are actually going to be installing a

Door in this wall and this will be our entry point so what I have here is a box it is a plastic box because it's going on the outside of a house and in our area we use vapor barrier on the inside of our homes and so plastic boxes are

Really convenient because you can tape your box to the plastic also comes with a gasket on it front back it's an air seal as well so it stops air from moving through the boxes in the electrical system which is great what we're gonna

Do is we're gonna run our three way three wire from that box to the other location all right now the way this works is really easy shove it through that gasket in the back and bring enough wire into the box that you can curl it

Up and leave it alone until it's time to actually wire this bad boy now in our area Electrical Code is required we want to have a staple within a few inches of the box and then we need a staple or a hole in a stud every five feet so in

This situation what we're gonna do is go in behind all these studs we'll add a staple over here cuz this mess we're just going to build out and cover it up I'm going to go to the other side of the wall into the other room okay

Our renovation plan here requires this wall to be removed and so that area there is the rest of the house so the traffic will come through the door and the lights on and if you're going out of the room you

Can then turn the lights off for this area give yourself extra because you can't splice it together if it's too short and this 14 3 wire is generally only used for these three way switch situations so if you end up with a sharp

Piece it is just garbage alright so the way this works this is the 14 2 wire here entering into the bottom of the box and this is our 14 3 leaving our first box traveling over to

Our other box we just force this down through the gasket there we go now bend the wire forward and then it'll just push out of the way for you again curl it into place these boxes are designed that these tabs keep the wire from

Pulling back out again alright so that's brilliant and this wire is going to travel up to the first light location that's in our ceiling now this area here we're using a series of pot lights which is great and so we're

Just going to rough to meit where my first light is which is going to be so much center over the door and we'll cut that wire so let's go into the light picture here we go now it can be helpful to note that when you're drilling your

Holes for your running your wire if you make the hole big enough you can put two wires in the same hole I'd like to make a one-inch hole for that reason but be careful to consult with your local code it may not be the case in every area

Here we go and of course every time you run out a new wire put your staples in as you go and when you call your inspector he sees you've missed a staple he may not be very kind about it and just fill it and

Say call me when you're done all right now here's just a quick recap you have your set power supply to your first location which is a 2 wire you bring a 3 wire which is the black the white end the red from one box to the other side

Of the room to your other box and then you take your supply line from that box to your fixtures ok nice and simple if you wire it that way when you go to put on your switches there's 3-way switch light switches are going

Little black screws and on those black screws you put the black wire and everything will work out really easy for you if you don't put the three wire in this situation you're gonna run into a whole lot of headache and you're gonna

Have to open up the walls all over again so so remember when you're doing this kind of work always drill a nice big hole use your staples get everything done properly call for an inspection okay remember

Nowadays most insurance companies if you have a fire related to work you've done in your own home and you haven't called for an inspection you will not be covered on your insurance so do not fool around with this all right it is good to

Have an inspector come in and just confirm you've done it right and if you've done something wrong and you're nice to him you'll probably tell you what the fix and in this case I'm renovating my own 1880 farmhouse and

That's why I'm doing the wiring we're actually going to finish this area up here tomorrow and then call for inspection next week if you'd like to see other videos related to this project then just click the link here and we can

See the playlist with all the videos and get up today

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