# Question: What Is The Difference Between A 2 Way And 3 Way Switch?

## What is a 3 way switch?

A 3-way switch is one that allows you to control a ceiling light (or other electrical fixture) from two separate locations.

Common scenarios would be 3-way switches located at both the top and bottom of a stairway, or having 3-way switches next to doors in a room with two entry points..

## What is the common wire in a 3 way switch?

A 3-wire NM connects the traveler terminals of the first and second 3-way switch together. Traveler wires are interchangeable on each switch. The common terminal of the second 3-way switch connects to the light fixture(s). The white neutral wires are connected together in each switch box.

## What color wire goes to the black screw on a 3 way switch?

The red wire, running between the switches, gets connected to the other brass screw. The black screw has the black (common) wire that runs up to the light through the yellow cable. The two grounds are connected together and then to the green ground screw on the switch.

## Can you use a single pole switch as a 3 way switch?

Yes it can work. 3-way switches are spdt (single pole double throw) with 3 screw terminals, and regular switches are spst (single pole single throw) with 2 screw terminals.

## Why is it called a 3 way switch?

The term refers to the fact that there are three different ways the switch toggles can be arranged: both toggle levers up, both toggle levers down, or the toggle levers in opposite positions. When both toggles are up or both are down, the circuit is complete and the light fixture will be illuminated.

## Can you use a 2 way switch for 3 way?

Yes it can work. 3-way switches are spdt (single pole double throw) with 3 screw terminals, and regular switches are spst (single pole single throw) with 2 screw terminals. Just pick the correct two contacts and you are good to go. . … A multimeter is the quick way to figure out which terminals to use.

## What is a 2 way switch?

A two way light switch is a switch that can be used in conjunction with another two way light switch to turn a light (or lights) on and off from more than one location.

## Where does the hot wire go on a 3 way switch?

What is common in the diagrams above and with any 3-way switch circuit is that the power hot wire coming into the circuit will always go to the common terminal of the first switch. The hot wire from light always goes to the common terminal of the second switch.

## Does the hot wire go on the top or bottom of a switch?

As we have learned from the basic wiring terminology page, the black wires are “hot”. These wires hold the power. Connect the “source” wire to the bottom terminal of the switch and the other black wire to the top terminal. In this picture, you can see the strip gauge on the back of the switch.

## Do I need a special switch for a 3 way?

The key ingredient is a special type of switch called a “three-way” switch. You’ll need two of them, one to replace the existing switch and another for the new switch location. With these, you’ll have the convenience of turning a light on and off from two spots.

## Is the common wire on a 3 way switch always hot?

Wiring for a 3-Way Switch The most important wire to get right is the one connected to each switch’s common screw terminal. This is the “hot” wire (usually colored black, but not always), and it brings the power from the source and delivers it from one switch to the next and to the light fixture.