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Outlet and 3way switches

pupsdad
pupsdad Member Posts: 16
I'm looking to hook-up 2 3way switches and 3 outlets between them. One of the switches is near the fuse box and the 2nd will one at the top of the basement stairs.

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,787
    Google “wiring diagram for 3 way switch and receptacles”
    steve
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,427
    And from the standpoint of the wiring -- the three outlets won't be "between" the switches -- though they may be physically, they won't be on the path the wires actually take.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,375
    Do the switches control the outlets?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    EBEBRATT-Ed
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,362
    @Zman
    That might be good to know......wouldn't it?
  • pupsdad
    pupsdad Member Posts: 16
    My bad....That's what I meant by "between them". I've seen 3 versions of wiring the outlets. top post, bottom post and rotating post. I wasn't sure which was the one to use. there's going to be a ton of work done on the ceiling (newer joist hangers, radiant heat, new insulation...ect) so I wanted something that could be moved easily.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,362
    @pupsdad

    I still don't understand what your trying to do.

    Are you wanting to use (2) 3 way switches to control some receptacles temporally while renovating???
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,427
    Whatever post... the basic concept is this: you go from your source to your first 3 way switch. Black from source to common on the switch. Now it gets interesting. The two switched hots on the switch should be red and black, and go to the switched hots on the other switch. Then you go black from the common on the other switch to the first outlet (copper terminal). The white from the power source goes also goes to the first outlet (white terminal). From that switch you go to the next and the next... always follow your colour code. Everything is 12 gauge.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,999
    pupsdad said:

    My bad....That's what I meant by "between them". I've seen 3 versions of wiring the outlets. top post, bottom post and rotating post. I wasn't sure which was the one to use. there's going to be a ton of work done on the ceiling (newer joist hangers, radiant heat, new insulation...ect) so I wanted something that could be moved easily.

    I'm confused as well.

    What do you mean by "outlets"? Do you mean receptacles? Do you mean lighting outlets? Do you actually mean some form of junction box?
  • pupsdad
    pupsdad Member Posts: 16
    I want to be able to turn on (3) 15 amp receptacles by way of 1 of 2 switches. One placed at the top of the basement stairs and one placed near the bulkhead which happens to be next to the breaker box. I was just adding in the why to explain why I wasn't just hardwiring some lights in.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,362
    @pupsdad
    Hang on, I post a simple diagram tonight
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,693
    edited October 2021
    Ed, simple??? There is only one way to wire 3-way switches. However, smart electricians have figured out how to configure it two ways. Dumb electricians have figured one other way.

    Basically, the power (line) goes to the black screw on one switch and the load (which are the receptacles) goes to the black screw on the other switch. The red and black wires on the Romex 3 conductor and ground cable connect to the brass colored screws on each switch. The white wire connects to the grounded conductor ( erroneously referred to as "neutral") at the power box white wire and the load white wire in the other box. The line and load wires are in different boxes where the switches are.

    The smart electrician's way. This is used where the line and the load is in the same box rather than in each 3-way switch box. They color code the white wire with black, red, brown, or yellow marker tape at each end of the white wire, so that someone else will recognize that the white wire is actually energized at 110V.

    The color coded white wire is connected to the black screw at the remote box where the load would normally connect. The load power goes back to the line power box over the white wire to connect to the load. So, line and load are in the same box.

    The dumb electrician's way. To use the bare grounding conductor to carry current back to the line box.

    You just run Romex 2 conductor with ground to each receptical from the load connection at the three way switch.

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,787

    ...The dumb electrician's way. To use the bare grounding conductor to carry current back to the line box.

    Yup I learned that the hard way. My 50's built house the electrician used the bare ground as a traveler. I was pulling the switch out hot (lazy) and the ground touched the metal box.

    If you want to make it more fun, 2 3 way switches, 3 outlets, but only the top receptacle on each one is controlled by the switch.

    steve
  • mjstraw
    mjstraw Member Posts: 41
    I think code now requires a neutral at each switch location.
    Mark
    Indiana PA

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,999
    mjstraw said:

    I think code now requires a neutral at each switch location.

    I doubt that unless it is a provision for certain types of dimmers.

    What code does require is that the currents be balanced if you are using any type of metal raceway or box.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,999
    Oh, look, I guess it does, but it also has numerous exceptions:

    https://www.electricallicenserenewal.com/Electrical-Continuing-Education-Courses/NEC-Content.php?sectionID=301.0

    I wonder how many state codes actually adopted that language.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,362
    @mattmia2

    the neutral at the switch is I think because of occupancy sensors and the like which need a neutral although they use very little current they were putting a little current on the ground.

    There is an exception if the wires are in conduit or another raceway where you can pull a wire in later or where a wire can be fished in easily (other side of the wall is open) maybe some other exceptions


    More fun can be had by putting 4 way switches between the three ways. Then you can switch the lights from as many locations as you want.

    I only did that once