How To: Replace a three-way light switch

Replace a three-way light switch

Versatility and convenience - two of the greatest watchwords for a comfortable home. Fortunately, installing a 3-say switch can add versatility and convenience to your home's lighting system.

There are many reasons to replace a light switch. For example, your current switch may not match the décor in your room or the color of your walls. Maybe it is old and unreliable. Either way, it is a relatively quick, inexpensive and simple project. A 3-way switch allows you to control one or more light fixtures from 2 locations. The basic principles of a 3-way switch are shown in the figure above.

Electrical basics are easy to understand, but working on electrical projects can be hazardous. You should always take the proper precautions - turn off the circuit you are working on and use tools with insulated handles. For complete, step-by-step instructions for this DIY project, watch this friendly and straightforward video tutorial.

Replace a three-way light switch

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1 Comment

I'm replacing a stacked light switch that's become defective. One is a sigle pole and the other a three way. It was wited with the top one as the single and the bottom as the 3 way. Unfortunately, the new switch is configured slightly different than the old one. The old switch had 3 screws for the wires on each side. On the right side, the top two are labeled (on the switch) as both being "Line +" and the bottom one has no markings. On the other side, there are no markings whatsoever, but it is evident that the middle screw is the ground. What's strange is that the way the wiring was configured was that one of the hot wires was connected to the bottom right screw (despite the top two screws being maked as hot). The top right had a hot wire connected to it as well. Anyway, the new switch has the ground screw on the same side as the common screws, so I'm now a little confused as I don't know which wire is whick outside of the hot wires and the ground.

Anyone here know anything about this?

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