Traveler Wire Color

The national electric code requires that every neutral wire be colored white and that ground wires be colored green. A note about wire colors.

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Ground wires return fault current to earth ground protecting the individual from electrocution.

Traveler wire color. Connect the traveler wires using the bottom conductor. In the 1st diagram below a 2 wire nm cable supplies power from the panel to the first switch box. Than its got these two wires that are travelers that bounce the power between bot of the switches so that the switches both work to turn the lights on or off.

Use a pair of pliers to bend the exposed ends of the wire around each screw. A black or red hot wire usually connects to a brass colored screw terminal or black wire lead on electrical devices. A ground wire is used as a protective measure.

White wire from the 3 wire traveler cable connects to the white wire going to the light fixture using a wire nut. A white neutral wire usually connects to a silver colored terminal or white wire lead. The black line wire connects to the common terminal of the first 3 way switch.

With nm cable the wire colors for travelers will be black and red using 3 wire cable. The wire colors are black and white. Ground wires attach the ground wires to each other with a grounding wire nut and then attach the ground to the switch.

In the 2nd diagram below blue wires are used for travelers. This is a three conductor 14 gauge wire excluding the ground wire cable. When you see either a green wire or a bare copper wire you can be sure it is a ground wire.

Only neutral wires may be white in color but the code makes an exception for white wires in a cable that are not being used for a neutral. Use the black and white cables from the bottom conductor to attach the traveler terminals on each switch. The remaining two insulated wires are then attached to the remaining traveler terminals.

It doesnt matter which terminals they are attached to on each switch. A green or bare ground wire almost always makes a ground connectionto a ground screw on a device electrical box. With conduit the wire colors for travelers could be any color.

Typical 3 way switch wiring nm cable. Depending on the wiring in your home the bare ground wire is attached to the ground terminal on the metal frame of the switchs mounting ears. The wire colors are almost always red black and white.

1 attach the common wire to the common terminal on the new switch. This is a two conductor 14 gauge wire excluding the ground wire cable.

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