Electrical Wiring in the Home/3 Way Switch


3 Way Diagram
3 Way Diagram  
QUESTION: Attached is a diagram of how the 3 way switches are wired in my house built in 1974.  The person that wired this did not have or chose not to use 3 conductor wire and took this short cut.  I have some questions.  Is there anything wrong with this?  Is it dangerous?  Have you seen 3 ways wired like this?  Should I unhook these and go to a single switch?  Is there another way to wire this using the 2 circuits that would be better or safer.  

Thank you!


Yes there is something wrong with it, its not how a 3 way setup is supposed to be wired by todays standards and code.
Maybe thats what they had on hand at that time and as long as it worked and it was safe they did it that way.

I have seen funky setups like that over the years yes.

I wouldn't say its dangerous but the power for the light originates from two different panel locations which is wrong code wise and can be confusing or at least make a lay person like yourself wonder if this is correct or not. The "hot" (black) and the neutral (white) must come from the same panel. So no, there is no other way to wire this from two different panels.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you for the response.  If this was your house how would you address this?  I guess it has been this way for 40 years.  The basement is totally finished so it won't be an easy task to correct this by running new wire.


While its technically not correct its not a potential hazzard either. Being the wiring is in a "finished" area and would be expensive to change I would just leave it alone and be mindful of how it was done in the event it ever had to be worked on for some reason.

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