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13114 Chandler Dr
Dallas, TX, 75243

(469) 450-0020

Professional Home Inspection Services. Cofer Real Estate Inspections performs new and existing home inspections for the greater Dallas area.


Home tips from your local Dallas Fort Worth Home Inspector

Three Way Switches

Julian Cofer

What is a three way switch?

A three way switch is a set of switches that allow you to turn a light on or off from two different locations. For example, at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs or on opposite ends of a hallway. Many building jurisdictions require three way switches at both ends of the stairs so you can have lighted pathway with the ability to turn it off at either end.

How does it work?

The configuration allows two combinations for the light to be on or off. When wired correctly both switches can be in the “on” position or the “off” position for the light to be on.  If one switch is on and the other is off the light will not work. If it is wired incorrectly, there is only one way for the light to be on and that is when one switch is off and the other is on or is it when they are both off? Wait this switch is on and that is off but then this can be off and that is off……  Just look at the diagram for the proper way to wire one of these connections. 

Three Way On
Three Way Off


Now that you know how a three way switch works, try not to wire it incorrectly like this switch in the video.


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you like what you have read stay tuned for more to come.  When you need a Home Inspection please give me a call to schedule one. I am a licensed Professional Home Inspector serving Dallas, Texas and surrounding cities. I provide home inspections for buyers and sellers as well as Warranty and Maintenance Inspections.