California Three-ways

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chris1971

Senior Member
Location
Usa
Anyone familiar with California three-way switching? If so, does anyone have a wiring diagram that shows how they are wired?
 

ultramegabob

Senior Member
Location
Indiana
you run power and neutral to the traveler screws on each three way switch, and then a single wire from each common on each three way to the light, depending on what position the switches on in, you will wind up with one of these combinations at the light..... PN on, PP off, NP on, NN off. this set up is usually only found in Knob and Tube wiring.

Edit- it is important for both switches to be on the same circuit, or at least the same phase, or you will wind up with 240v at the light...
 
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don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
...
Edit- it is important for both switches to be on the same circuit, or at least the same phase, or you will wind up with 240v at the light...
I found that out after we had replaced a 30 amp, 120 volt service with 100 amp, 120/240 volt service. The lights were very bright....for about a second.
 

kbsparky

Senior Member
Location
Delmarva, USA
So now the underlying question here is: Could such a setup be legal powering a fixture that utilizes a GU24 CFL bulb, where there is no exposed "screw shell" ?

 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
Here in Ohio we call them Michigan 3-ways. One thing about them,once you figure it you never forget it!
I've heard many monikers for them. Farmer, Handyman, Michigan, Illinois, California, Power-Beyond..... I'm sure I could remember more, but it's too early in the morning yet.
 

RICK NAPIER

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
I found these mostly on old BX cables. My father gave me the problem when I was in 8th grade telling me to draw a layout for 3-ways that had only a 3 wire between switches but a hot and neutral wire at each location. I forget how long it took me to figure it out but it was a long time. A side note the old mercury switches would blow up when put on these circuits since the travellers would tempoarily make contact when the tube splashed.
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Consultant, Electrical Engineer
Anyone familiar with California three-way switching? If so, does anyone have a wiring diagram that shows how they are wired?
So, Chris, given the responses, was this what you were looking for?

Reason I ask is that the basic method shown, in the responses to your question, I've always known as a Carter.

There is a "travelling bus" arrangement that requires a minimum of four wires that I was taught (as an apprentice) was called a California 3 way.

 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
My father gave me the problem when I was in 8th grade telling me to draw a layout for 3-ways that had only a 3 wire between switches but a hot and neutral wire at each location.
You can do that with only two conductors between the switches when there are a hot and neutral in each box.

Feed one switch with the hot, use the two conductors as travelers, and pick up the neutral in the other box.
 
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