Is this an appropriate way to add a single-pole switch (without a gang box) to a circuit with an existing single-pole switch?


I have a fun electrical challenge in my basement. I currently have power coming off of the breaker, to a single light fixture, and then on to a single-pole switch (Figure 1). I would like to add a new single-pole switch (on the other side of the room from the existing switch) on this existing circuit to just control the new light fixture. I still want the existing switch to only control the existing light fixture.

I know that I could install a pull-chain light fixture in parallel to the existing fixture, which would preclude the need for a new switch. This isn't a bad idea, but my wife would prefer a switch on the wall and wants the new light fixture to match the existing light fixture in the basement. I could also put the new switch in a gang box with the existing switch and just run wire all the way over to the new light, but we would like the new switch to be quite close to the new fixture on the other side of the room. There are no other circuits that I can easily tie...

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In this video, I explain just how easy it is to add a three-way switch to an existing single pole (one) switch lighting circuit. Now if you are trying to install a completely new 3-way circuit please my video with an article on how to install a three-way. Otherwise, this may confuse you a little.

Even if you hire an electrician to do the job for you. You can still save a few bucks by installing the wire yourself. I mean that’s the hardest part to this.

The hardest part will be running the 4 wire from the existing switch to the new one. Take a look at my video and ask any questions if you need help.

Three way switch wiring

How to install a three way switch to a existing one way switch

You can also view this video right on VIDEO...

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Need more information.

Project is not clearly defined.

Add a comment with clear description of each wire and what Load is being controlled.

Why are you using a 4-way switch? Are you controlling 240Volt circuit?

Photoelectric switch usually has red, black, white wires, and usually replaces a single pole switch but can also be used to control 240Volt circuit in some wiring diagrams.

4-way switch has 4 screw terminals and is generally not used to replace a single-pole photoelectric eye, but can be used to control 240Volt circuit in some wiring diagrams, so I'm not sure what you are doing.

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Yes. A center point switches to either one side of the switch or the other. Just use the center and either of the other contacts. Leave one switch terminal unconnected. If you can't figure out which is the center switch point you have a 2 in 3 chance of getting it right and if the switch doesn't work you picked the one wrong choice.

It will still be a single pole but a 3 way will work. I believe you should use the connections that are on the same side. The incoming and the 3 way on the same side. Does that make sense?

Yes you can, just make the connection between the two screws that are of different colours. When you re-install the switch make sure that the positioning of the switch is, toggle up for on and toggle down for off as there is no dot on the toggle handle to let you know the on...

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Wiring a three way light switch

Wiring of 3-way light switches is certainly more complicated than that of the more common single-pole switch, but you can figure it out if you follow our either of our 3-way switch wiring diagram. With a pair of 3-way switches, either switch can make or break the connection that completes the circuit to the light. The whole wiring a light switch project can be completed in a few hours if you don’t have to do any drywall removal and repair. Keep reading the 3 way switch wiring diagram to learn light switch wiring.


To add the switch, you’ll use one of two wiring a light switch diagrams, depending on whether the power comes to your light switch first (the most common situation) or to the light fixture first. Either way, complete these five steps for 3 way light switch wiring:

Turn off the correct circuit at your electrical panel. Add an electrical box for the second three-way switch in the basement. It’s likely...
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Most electronic circuits contain an on/off switch. In addition to the on/off switch, many circuits contain switches that control how the circuit works or activate different features of the circuit.

One way to classify switches is by the connections they make. If you were under the impression that switches simply turn circuits on and off, guess again. Two important factors that determine what types of connections a switch makes are

Poles: A switch pole refers to the number of separate circuits that the switch controls. A single-pole switch controls just one circuit. A double-pole switch controls two separate circuits.

A double-pole switch is like two separate single-pole switches that are mechanically operated by the same lever, knob, or button.

Throw: The number of throws indicates how many different output connections each switch pole can connect its input to. The two most common types are single-throw and double-throw:

A single-throw switch...

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Poles and Throws, Open and Closed

A switch must have at least two terminals, one for the current to (potentially) go in, another to (potentially) come out. That only describes the simplest version of a switch though. More often than not, a switch has more than two pins. So how do all of those terminals line up with the internal workings of the switch? This is where knowing how many poles and throws a switch has is essential.

The number of poles* on a switch defines how many separate circuits the switch can control. So a switch with one pole, can only influence one single circuit. A four-pole switch can separately control four different circuits.

A switch’s throw-count defines how many positions each of the switch’s poles can be connected to. For example, if a switch has two throws, each circuit (pole) in the switch can be connected to one of two terminals.

Knowing how many poles and throws a switch has, it can be...

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One black wire attached to top screw. How to Replace a Light Switch with a Dimmer. How to Wire a Double Switch. I sued a single pole decorator off/on switch. How to Wire a Three-Way Switch as a Single Pole ... the three-way switch to function as a single pole switch. Eaton's Wiring Devices ... What is the difference between a single pole and a 3-way switch? How to Wire a Double Switch. Installing A 3-way Switch With Wiring Diagrams ... put single wires in the proper ... Second switch is an end-wired or end-of-run switch. A single pole switch has fixed on/off positions, but three-way switches operate in tandem, so the on/off position of one of them depends on the other. I am trying to install a ge single-pole timer which has 3 wires. When I opened the switch on the wall, I discovered 3 way wiring. Light(s) controlled by single pole switch, ... Loop wires clockwise 3/4 turn around terminal screws. I'm trying to install a GE Z-Wave smart switch into the bedroom and replace the...

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Thanks for everyone's input. To be more specific as to what I'm trying to accomplish, the first goal is to simply replace the ivory colored switches and plates in the room with all-white. So far, all the switches I've replaced in the house have been double pole, so that's why I automatically bought the double pole switches. However, when I opened up the plate, I discovered the original switches there were single pole, hence my original question about using double pole switches to replace the single pole switches.

Currently, one of the two switches there controls the ovehead room and the other one controls the ceiling fan, so I do want separate switches to control them. I am also adding a wall sconce just above the light plate, so I'm actually adding a third switch which has a dimmer on it.

I can certainly return the double poles and exchange them for singles. I just need to be certain that I should continue the series wiring from the first to the second to the...

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Hello, I have been scratching my head on this one for a while.

I have power from source to light with 14/2 then a 14/3 to power the second light and finishing off with a 14/2 to the switch. Switch is the end of run.

My problem is id like to add a new light and switch tapping into the existing run. My walls are not closed. What is my best scenario to go about this. I have never tapped into and existing line to make a new circuit.

Thank You

Any help is greatly appreciated

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