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I currently have a circuit that goes like this:

Panel -> 3-Way switch -> 3-Way switch -> light

I have the wiring run through 2 additional boxes between the switches and I'd like to add lights in there to be controlled by both switches so that it looks like this:

Panel -> 3-Way -> Light -> Light -> 3-Way -> Light

I've got 12/3 running between the switches and the existing light, but I'm not sure if it's possible to add the lights in the middle, and if so, how to wire them in.

I can, if necessary, add 14/2 from the 3-Way -> light end of the chain, but, of course, would prefer to use my brilliantly planned ahead wiring (from 25 years ago).

I can add in a drawing of the exact wiring connections if that will be necessary.

  • Is replacing the existing wiring an option? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 1 at 3:16
  • @ThreePhaseEel I have easy access to the back of the switch leading to the light. I could pig-tail the 12/3 from there to the existing light and to the 2 new light locations, if that's what you're thinking... – FreeMan Aug 1 at 17:08
  • I was talking about replacing the existing 12/3 outright, from switch-to-switch, with either 12/4 or ENT ("smurf tube" conduit) – ThreePhaseEel Aug 1 at 22:29
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Smart switches

Use smart switches for this. This makes the impossible easy.

Traditionally, you would need one cable with 4-5 active conductors plus ground. And all those must be in the same cable!! You cannot group two cables as a substitute for a cable with enough wires, ever. Nor can you use any #14 wire on a 20A circuit.

Here, we re-task white to be neutral, black to be always-hot, red to be switched-hot, and obtain a matching pair of master and remote 3-way smart switches that communicate wirelessly or via power line signaling.

Given the ease of this approach, doing traditional 3-ways is a waste of effort.

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