Three-way switches find their best use in large rooms, with more than a single entry and exit, where light needs to be controlled from multiple positions. They are best suited for hallways and staircases. If you want to turn on your hall light at the bottom of the stairs and turn it off at the top of the stairs, you can make use of three-way switches. Before you go about installing them, it will be beneficial for you to understand their working. It will help you know how to wire a pair of switches, in order to control a single lighting fixture. With the information given below, you will know how do three-way switches work.
Working Of A Three Way Switch
- Four posts (or terminal screws) are included in three-way switches. These are meant for connecting the wires.
- One of the terminal screws — the green colored one — is meant for connecting with the ground wire, while the other is used for electrical current.
- The rest two posts are used as control and traveler wires. One of the wires supplies current to one of the three-way switches, while the other coordinates with the second switch, to turn on or turn off the light.
- The working of three-way switches involves a black wire, hooked on one terminal and a red wire, connected to the other.
- The second three-way switch is wired the same way, as the first one. When the power is "on" to the circuit, one of the two wires will be "hot".
- The circuit of the three-way switches consists of a dark-colored screw, which is the last terminal screw. The power enters the circuit through this connection.
- The power reaches the second three-way switch through one of the traveler connections. This depends on the positioning of the switch.
- The feed come in through one of the traveler connections on the other end i.e. the second switch. The feed goes out through the common connection between the two three-way switches.
- The common connections then connect to the light fixture feed and operate the electrical fixture.