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How to add 3-way switch
This project uses 12-3 NM-B wire from local store.
To strip wire, carefully cut through plastic sheathing using utility knife
Do not cut into wires
|Buy two 3-way switches
3-way switch has 3 screws, plus ground screw
One screw will be dark-colored
Dark screw is common screw
3-way switches at Amazon
Typical house Might not have convenient switches.How to add 3-way switch upstairs to control light downstairs.
Then switch upstairs and switch downstairs control same light
Applies to any 2-story frame-construction home > on interior walls without insulation inside wall
Walls with insulation: it is difficult to drop wires and fish wires without removing wall surface.
Read about remote control switch
How to wire switches
Convert single-pole switch to 3-way switch by adding 3-way switch upstairs
Add a new 3-way switch upstairs
Change Single-pole switch downstairs to 3-way.
New wiring lets both switches control same light.
Project assumes no insulation inside wall.
For interior walls only.
Exterior walls with insulation can be impossible to pull wires up between walls without removing drywall.
12-3 wire pulled up from single-pole light switch
Crown molding added to hide wire near top of wall
Remaining wire is inside wall, and not visible.
Box added to wall in Pink room
3-way switch installed in new box in pink room
3-way switch replaces single-pole switch downstairs
Box switches are 3-way switches
Wiring to existing light fixture not affected, and is not moved or changed.... and not shown in illustration
HVAC register is on ceiling, it can indicate direction of
If HVAC register is on floor, it can also indicate direction of joists
Ductwork travels between joists, unless there is a bulkhead installed for ducts.
Bulkheads are installed for ductwork because large holes cannot be cut through joists for running ductwork. Joists must be full size to carry load.
If there is a bulkhead, it begins and ends at a point that allows duct to go between joists.
Register is 15" wide and is nailed to both joists
Register will have duct work between same joists, so be careful when cutting into ceiling between those joists.
Local codes vary. Some codes require 2x12 joists 16" on center between floors.
|Top plate is 3" thick.
Drywall on ceiling is 1/2" - 5/8" thick.
So hollow part of wall starts 2-1/2" down from top of wall.
Use 1" spade bit, or 1-1/4" bit.
Set center of bit at 2-3/4" so it will catch part of top plate.
This will keep hole as high as possible.
If needed, make hole larger
Wash hands before starting so walls and ceilings are not marked with hand prints.
Illustration shows Joists sitting on load bearing wall.
If joists run other direction, the instructions are same.
Do not drill into joist. Drill into cavity next to joist.
Do not drill into heat duct
|Install crown moulding
Keep nails away from wires
Crown moulding can be nailed into sheetrock.
best to hit a 2x4 when possible, but not necessary.
Angle nails slightly different directions to hold crown firm.
When making corner cuts, remember perfect is not necessary because filler can be added with putty knife.
|Buy crown wide enough to
cover wire and holes
Before cutting the crown, prime the wood, then sand, clean, and apply first coat of paint.
Sand lightly and apply 2nd coat paint.
This will make finish work easy.
Cut and nail the crown.
Spackle nail holes, caulk joins with wall and ceiling, caulk corners, then apply last coat of paint.
Crown moulding corners can be tricky.
Use putty knife to apply spackle to larger gaps at corner, if needed. Don't rush. Fill and let dry. Fill next gap and let dry. etc.
Make sure wall and ceiling touch up paint is available.
Wash hands before working on walls and ceiling to avoid handprints.
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