3 way switch help needed

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by justin_92_92, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. justin_92_92

    justin_92_92 New Member

    Sep 18, 2007
    I will start by telling you my situation.

    I have a double wide home with an attic that I am finishing off to use as an office and such. The home is wired for a 3 way switch for the attic lights. I am not sure the best way about going about this and would greatly appreciate some help so i dont have to call anyone :)

    There is a switch at the bottom of the stairs. This is a three way switch. There is 3 cables comming into this box. This I am assuming is becouse it is in the midddle of a circute.

    The screws that are on the top one on each side has the black and the red from a 14/3 cable. The lower screw has two black wires on it. I assume this is just a hot wire that runs through the switch to keep the series going. (this has constant power) The 3 white wires are all together with a wire nut.

    At the top of the stairs I have a junction box that consisted of a 14/3 cable and a 14/2 cable. This boxes cover was marked 3 way stairs. In this box, the red wire is conected to the 14/2 blackwire, and the 14/3 black wire has just a wire nut on it with nothing connected. again the white wires are nutted together. Pretty sure the 14/3 comes from the switch at the bottom of the stairs and the 14/2 cable I believ goes to the light in the attic.

    I am installing the other 3 way switch at the top of the stairs myself becouse it was never done. Now at this time I can turn the light on and off with no problem from the bottom of the stairs.

    So my trouble comes from this switch I want to add. How do I hook this up?

    If you need more info just let me know. I will try to get some pictures for this.
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Nov 23, 2006
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    200 miles south of Little Rock
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Good diagrams on the site referened by Lee...........

    Remember that on the switch itself, the terminal for the "common" wire will be painted black. The other two screws will be brass color, and those connect to the "traveler" wires that run between the two switches.

    Don't try to go by "top/bottom" or "left/right". Different companies who make switches put the terminals in different configurations. You always go by the color markings.
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