Where can I find a triple, 3-way switch (toggle style) were all of the switches are 3-way. All triple switches I find only have one 3-way, the other two switches are single pole.

Here’s why I need a triple 3-way switch... or a creative solution../ I need to reduce a double gang box to a single gang box that holds three, 3-way switches. Currently, the double gang box contains one double 3-way switch and one single 3-way switch. The double 3-way switch is the last switch for two 4-way circuits. The single 3-way switch controls a 3-way circuit.

If a triple 3-way switch doesn’t exist, I will have to abandon one of the 4-way circuits. And if that’s the case, can I leave the existing 4-way switch in the second to the last position in the 4-way series and terminate (re-connect) the wiring in the last position (the abandoned 3-way) to complete the circuit allowing all other switches in the 4-way circuit to work properly?... how?

Or, do I have to use a 3-way switch in the last position as in a standard 4-way wiring circuit?

Current 2-gang box

Need a triple 3-way switch

  • 1
    Sadly, we can't help with shopping questions. Is there a reason you want to convert a 2 gang box to a 1 gang box though? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 7 '17 at 12:41
  • The reason is for aesthetics. Due to my poor layout, the right end the existing 2-gang box falls directly in line where the back splash tile should end, specifically, at the end of upper and lower cabinets. By reducing it to a single, I can tile around it sufficiently to lessen the visual impact of a what is a misplaced receptacle. – C. Caroz Nov 8 '17 at 16:57
  • Would stacking the two gangs vertically be an acceptable answer? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 8 '17 at 23:13
  • Stacking boxes would address the functionality issue, but not the aesthetic one. I have sufficient controls that losing one won't be that bad.. just a few more steps to the next switch. Thanks! – C. Caroz Nov 9 '17 at 17:09

You won't find one, because of box fill limits. By code, you are only allowed to stuff so many wires and devices (switches) in a box. Otherwise you risk overheating and a fire.

  • The largest available single gang box you can get is 22 cubic inches.
  • A one gang double 3-way switch plus the required wiring is 22 cubic inches.
  • A one gang 3-way plus 2 singles switch, plus the required wiring, is also 22 cubic inches.
  • The switch you are seeking (a one gang triple 3-way) plus the required wiring equates to a wire fill of at least 28 cubic inches. Too big for the largest single gang box.

An alternative would be a two-gang box with a mud ring that brings the opening down to a single gang opening. But if you have room to do that, then you have room to put in two switches in a double-gang opening.

Therefore, the almost non-existent code-compliant use case of a one gang triple 3-way switch doesn't justify the existence of the product.


Additional bad news:

Depending on whether the 4-way circuit originates in this box or passes through, I don't think you can fit all the required wires in a single gang box anyway.

  • Forgot the code could be the reason, makes sense. Thanks. I'll have to remove one 3-way switch for one of the 4-way circuits and move it to the upstream 2-gang box which has plenty of room. – C. Caroz Nov 7 '17 at 19:35
  • 1
    Broaden your horizons on boxes. 4" square box with extension or a 4-11/16 square, either will give you 42 c.i. Both will take either a 1-gang (~5ci) or 2-gang (~10ci) mud ring. So 47-52 c.i. Also I can't believe someone wiring 3 3-ways in the same box wouldn't upsize the box. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 7 '17 at 19:54
  • His requirement was a single gang box. – longneck Nov 7 '17 at 19:59
  • Well, then, you use a 4-11/16 square box with a 1-gang mud ring pushing through the drywall. Small hole, and about 50 cubic inches behind it. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 26 '19 at 21:49

Anytime you get into this kind of complicated knot of switches, you develop a serious UX problem. Too many switches not only makes your space look like the Chernobyl control room, it really gets in the way of people just doing what they want: Turn this light on.

Figure out how to make that make sense. The asymmetrical switches you have right now actually help, because it's obvious the big switch is for the immediate light, especially if it's nearer the door.

One way to cleave the Gordian knot of not only the UX, but also the tangle of wires behind it ... is to switch most of them over to smart controls. There might be a screen that says "Porch" "Outside" etc. and you can just click it. It depends which switch product you choose, we're not a shopping site. There's plenty out there.

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