How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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What is a three-way switch used for?
Saturday, March 14, 2020
A three-way switch enables you to control a ceiling light, or any other electrical fixture, from two separate locations. The most common uses are at the top and bottom of stairs or at two doors to the same room. Unlike regular wall switches, up is not always “ON” and down “OFF”. Whatever state the contolled fixture is in, throwing the switch will reverse it. So, if the light is off and the switch is in the up position, toggling it down will turn on the light. Go to our blog post How does a three-way switch work? for a diagram of how it’s done, using an additional wire called a “traveller."
Also see our article How can I figure out what a mystery wall switch does?
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