Two light runs between 3-way switches

jabbruzziSeptember 3, 2010

We are doing a complete kitchen renovation and there is one circuit diagram I am not sure about.

We have a galley style kitchen so I need under counter lighting on the left and right sides of the kitchen. I would like to have both light runs on the same set of 3 way switches. I know how to do 3 way switches with one run of lights in between the switches, but how about two? Can I simply split them at the first switch and join them at the last switch?

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Ron Natalie

It can be done. Any electrician should have no problem doing it. It's not much more complicated than running a single bulb on a three way. Of course three way wiring takes a little more thought than two way but not much more.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 7:57AM
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DavidR

Maybe I'm spatially challenged,but I'm having trouble seeing what the problem is here. When multiple lights are controlled by one switch or one set of switches, all the lights are simply connected in parallel. Do whatever you need to do to extend the wiring from a light in the left run over to the right run. Or have I missed something?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Ron Natalie

You are right it is just all in parallel. However, throw in a switch (and possibly a switch loop) and you get a situation that confuses a lot of people (I can't tell you the number of times people show up here and have connected the switch from the hot to neutral lines). Throw in the fact that the three way needs travellers between the switches, it adds a few extra wires to get confused over.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:52AM
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joed

Multiple lights between thre way switches.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 9:53PM
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pharkus

Yes, joed, that's how I'd prefer to wire it.

However, I have yet to see a typical hardware store that sells 14/4 or 12/4!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 12:07PM
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petey_racer

FORGET the whole concept of "the lights between the switches".
You wire from switch to switch with 3-wire. The feed and switch leg can be at either box, even the same box.

It is a typical DIY thought that since the lights are usually physically between the switches that it is easy, or easier, to wire it that way. Or maybe that you are saving wire.
Nothing is farther from the truth.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 6:51AM
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joed

However, I have yet to see a typical hardware store that sells 14/4 or 12/4!

It is available if you insist on doing this way. Sometimes it is called 14/2/2.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 8:15AM
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chris8796

I agree with Petey, I see it as 2 separate things. Wiring the switches together, then wiring whatever they power. I don't know anyone who would wire that and would go through the hassle of the 14/2/2.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:19AM
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pharkus

I've seen 12/2/2 at the big orange place, never anywhere else.

My personal type of OCD would have me wire all these with 14/4 - black red blue and white in one sheath - but that I don't see.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 6:08PM
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