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Home > Switches & Outlets > Fan/Light Combo > 3-Way Switches Required, Power Source at One Switch and Fixture Feed at Other Switch

Fan/Light Switched Together - 3-Way Switches Required, Power Source at One Switch and Fixture Feed at Other Switch

By Donald Kerr
Fan/Light Switched Together - 3-Way Switches Required, Power Source at One Switch and Fixture Feed at Other Switch

At the ceiling box - The black wire from the switch connects to the ungrounded fixture conductors {aka hots} for both the fan and the lights. The white wire from the switch is the grounded leg {aka neutral} for both the fan and the lights.

Bare wires are together and grounded to box and if the fixture has a green wire or a grounding screw , it gets grounded also. Bares and green wires are equipment grounding conductors.

Be sure to read all documentation that comes with your fan / light combo fixture.

If you need onward power from the fixture

If only switched power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to the black wire coming from switch.
  • connect white from onward cable to white wire coming from switch.
  • connect bare from onward cable to other bares and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination, the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitch power required onward then at existing fixture

This is not possible with this configuration as there is no unswitched ungrounded conductor {aka hot} available at the fixture location.

If you need onward power from the switch then

NOTE: At switch one - only unswitched power is available to be continued onward. At switch two - only switched power is available to be continued onward.

If only switched power required onward then at existing switch (AT SWITCH 2 ONLY)

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to the black wire going to fixture.
  • connect white from onward cable to white wire going to other switch or fixture.
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from other switch and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination, the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitched power required onward then at existing switch (AT SWITCH 1 ONLY)

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If switched and unswitched power required onward then at existing switch
This is not possible with this configuration as switched and unswitched power are not available at the same switch location.


The common screw of a 3 way switch is the Odd color screw

If wiring multiple fixtures be sure to check the following guidelines concerning how to do it and what not to do: Wiring Multiple Fixtures.

If you are new at understanding the "politically correct" electrical terminology and need clarification of the terms used, we strongly urge you to read the Clarification of Definitions and Terminology guide. This will explain the terminology used in this article.

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