Seeing a three-way-switch-diagram is the only way for most people to figure out the complex wiring procedure for controlling a light from multiple locations.
3way switch diagram It takes a little concentration at first to see how it all works. Here is a rundown on how to connect a 3-way switch.
Here at the first switch, join the white wires together with a wire nut.
- Twist the ground wires (copper) together.
- Connect the red wire to the traveler terminal on the light switch.
- Connect the incoming hot wire (black) to the bottom terminal on the light switch.
- Connect the outgoing hot wire (black) to the top terminal on the light switch.
- Now, at the middle in the light box fixture, attach the ground (copper) wires.
- Join the traveler wires (red) together with a wire nut.
- Mark the outgoing white neutral wire as hot by wrapping both ends with black tape.
- Twist together incoming hot (black) wire with outgoing neutral (white) wire that’s coded as hot with black tape.
- This will leave a black wire and a white wire to connect with the wires from the light fixture.
- At the last switch, attach the ground (copper) wire to the green grounding screw on the light switch.
- Attach the traveler (red)wire to the traveler terminal on the switch.
- Attach the white wire that is coded as hot with black tape to the top terminal on the switch.
- last, attach the black wire to the bottom terminal screw on the switch.
A 3-way switch is different than a single pole switch. A single pole switch controls a light from only one location. A 3-way controls a light from two locations.