There are two different spots, that you’d like to control a light fixture from. Enters, three-way switch! The best solution to such a need.

Now, the problem arrives when you have to get this certain type of switch installed yourself. From the 3 way switch wiring diagram power at switch to the actual process of getting it fixed on the preferable spots, you must be fully aware of all before attempting.

Well, it’s my pleasure to come up with this guide on how to install a 3 way switch with 2 wires tires. And my friend, the wiring diagram will be available for you as well. So that it makes things even easier. Enjoy!

How to Install 3 Way Switch With 2 Wires

Can You Use 2 Wire for a 3-Way Switch?

Nope, you should not try to install a 3-way switch with 2 wires literally. That’s not something I would encourage you to even think about. There are a safe number of wires that should be used for wiring two switches.

And once you chose to use only two of them, the thing would act as a regular one. Not a three-way switch, clearly something that would decline the whole purpose. Hope that makes sense.

Before We Get into the 3 Way Switch Installation.

With a 3-way switch, it basically comes with toggling capabilities. You can have them both up or down for the circuit to complete and power up a light fixture. While with opposite positioning, the fixture stays unpowered. And that’s basically how the on and off function works for 3-way switches.

You will use 2 wires to install a 3 way switch. There are several types that could be used for wiring the three-way switch. For residential purposes, the 14 AWG Romex works finest. It goes well for 15 amps. This practically includes most lighting applications.

For this installation, you need to use two different 14 AWG wire types. Go for 14/3 Romex and 14/2 Romex. The first one would have ground, black, white, and an extra red conductor. While the latter one comes with bare ground, black and white wire.  

How to Install a 3-Way Switch With 2 Wires?

The way you’ll handle the wiring would depend on what sort of results you want to get out of it. For example, can a switch control multiple outlets and how to achieve that with a 3-way type, certain requirements would need a specific type of installation including wiring.

Now the most basic consideration here would be the choice of boxes that would have a feed and load wire. 

For Your Information – The wire that travels to light is the load wire while the one coming from panel is called feed wire.

Today I would like to demonstrate the traditional way of installing a three-way switch with wiring. You can try it in case of:

  • Having proper access to the wall for running wires.
  • You don’t need to dim the lights from switches’ locations.
  • New construction purpose.
  • Tight budgets.

Starting The Installation.

The first step involves 14/2 wires that you’ll use for supplying power to one of the switch boxes while it runs from electrical panel.

This can be done in two ways.

  • With the first method, you can literally provide a direct connection from the panel itself.
  • Or you can go for a sub-feed running. It would start from another light circuit that is available at your home.

Never mix the wire gauges while doing the installation. Also, make sure there’s no chance of a particular circuit overloading.

I won’t go in-depth about how the wire should run, as that’s quite something you must already know to be eligible in doing such wiring tasks. However, if you have no idea about it, stop here and talk to a professional. This task is too risky to handle without enough basic knowledge.

Anyways, before entering the wiring section, keep in mind the two most important parts.

  • First of all, you should run a 14/2 wire into switch box from the light.
  • Secondly, between the two-switch box, you must use a 14/3 wire.

This will bring you to each switch box having one of both wire types. For first switch box, the 14/2 is a feed wire. And the 14/3 wire would visit the other switch box. With the second box, 14/3 will be again in charge of visiting other switch box. However, the 14/2 wire visits light.

3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram with Instructions to Follow

You can follow the below provided traditional 3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram along with the instructions to get things installed right.

3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram

1. For The 1ST Switch.

The two white wires need to be connected. You can use a wire nut to do so. From the 14/2 feed wire, get the black wire. You want to connect that with the black common screw next. Now move to the 14/3 wire and get both red and black wires. Connect them to the two gold or silver screws. Those should be located opposite to each other. The wire going to a specific screw, is not something you need to worry about here.

Connect both ground wires to the ground screw after twisting them together. The green wire nut that comes with hole, you can use that for the purpose. So that any ground wire can get through the nut. And the switch hooking up afterwards becomes easier for you.

Finally, tuck all the wires into box for a neat afterlook. And install the switch box. You can also use electrical tape to wrap switch screws. So that there’s some extra security.

2. For The 2nd Switch.

Similar to what we did with the 1st switch. Connect both white wires, connect 14/2 wire’s black wire to light’s black common screw. Have the black and red wires of 14/3 attach with silver or gold screws.

Attach the ground wires to the ground screw by using green hole wire nut. Tuck those wires nicely and get the switch box installed. The same electrical tape goes around screws. And that’s it.

3. Wiring The Light.

Connect the similar colored wires to each other and that’s it for light wiring. Also, the feed wire should be pulled inside the electrical panel. You can also try tying those into another circuit of light. Just make sure there’s no connection done to breakers that are above 15 amp.

Wrap Up

And that’s how to install a 3 way switch with 2 wires types. Hopefully the instructions with wiring diagram will help you sort out the installation easily.

However, if the thing seems too confusing, just get in touch with a professional. Hiring an electrician who can come and get the job done for you won’t cost a lot. And it is way better option than trying things yourself with little knowledge on how such wiring works.

However, if you are quite above the novice phase with such electrical handlings, give it a try.

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