Three-way switches allow for controlling a light fixture from two separate locations, these are usually used at the top and bottom of a flight of stairs or at two different entrances to a room. On this page are several wiring diagrams that can be used to map 3 way lighting circuits depending on the location of the source with relation to the lights.
This is an older version of the receptacle in the first diagram. The slots are different sizes to accept polarized plugs, but it lacks a grounding slot. This device does not make use of a ground wire. There is no protection against electrocution as provide by the grounded receptacle.
Here the source is in the middle of the circuit. The dimmer switch is in this box where the hot is connect to the common wire. The common on SW1 is run to the light fixture hot terminal using the white cable wire to the dimmer box where it is spliced with the black cable wire going to the light. The white wire is wrapped with black tape to mark it as hot. The traveler wires are connected in the same way as the above diagrams. The neutral runs directly from the dimmer box to the light fixture.
This page contains wiring diagrams for household light switches and includes a switch loop, single-pole switches, light dimmer, and a few choices for wiring a combo switch/outlet device. Also included are wiring arrangements for multiple light fixtures controlled by one switch, and a split receptacle controlled by two switches.
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