Electrical Wiring in the Home/3-way switch


I just want to confirm that I am, in fact, "boned" in terms of being able to do what I want to do. That way I can move on and come up with a plan B.

I  believe my situation is this:

Although I'm not 100% positive the power goes to the light first... it might go to the 1st floor switch (on the left in that diagram). Regardless, the switch I can get to is the basement switch and looks like the switch on the right. There is no black tape on the white wire, but I'm not sure every electrician in the world always adheres to that standard.

My goal, which I think is impossible, was to add a 2nd light controlled by those same 2 3-way switches. But with only access to the basement switch I believe I can't do, without getting into fishing wiring and probably cutting into drywall -- which isn't going to happen. Am I right to give up and move on to plan B?

FYI: I do have full access to the additional light and its wiring, since I'll be adding it myself.

Thanks for your time!

Yes, if you have only 3 wires, you can not connect the light there.  The only place you can connect it is from the existing light, or the switch that has the wire that goes to the light (unless the power comes into the light as shown, then you can make the connection only at the light.)

It is rare that people use the tape.  Sometimes I think I am the only one who does it.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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