Four 3-way switches, two lights, two ganged device boxes.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Lightwave, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Lightwave

    Lightwave New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Vancouver, BC
    What's the best practice method to wire a lighting circuit where 3-way switching is required for both feeds on a two circuit track light installation?

    The track has a shared neutral and two hot wires that are intended to be switched independently.

    The track will be switched from two locations. Each location will be fitted with two 3-way switches in a ganged box, using the power-at-one-end 3-way switch method.

    Running two separate 14/3 cables, one for each 3-way switch loop would mean having a parallel neutral wire.

    Running one 14/3 for one switch set and a 14/2 for the other (with the sole neutral in the 14/3) would mean violating conductor grouping rules.

    Is there any way to what I want without using 14/5 cable or conduit?
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  2. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Jul 3, 2007
    Retired energy systems engineer
    Wet side of Washington State
    Run two, 3-wire cables between the switch locations. At the remote location terminate the wires of one cable to one switch and the wires of the other other cable to the other switch. Follow the same color coding on each switch and re-designate the white lead to some color other than white, grey or green.

    At the other switch location bring in the power and pigtail the "hot" conductor to the common terminal on each switch. Terminate the "travelers" of each cable going to the remote switches to the traveler terminals on the switches.

    You should now have one free conductor from each three-wire cable plus the neutral from the power cable.

    Run a three-wire cable to the lighting track and terminate the neutral (white) and two supply leads (red and black) to the two power inlets of the track.

    Back at the switches connect the black of the cable going to the lighting track to the remaining lead of one of the 3-wire cables connected to the switches and the red from the cable going to the lighting track to the remaining lead of the other three-wire cable connected to the switches. Connect the white from the lighting track cable to the white of the power cable. Connect all equipment grounding conductors.
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