I'm trying to improve the quality of lighting in my house. I used to do electrical work, but only got so far into the field. So...

I have a 2 single switches; one controlling a light and another controlling a receptacle. Both have a power source coming in which I believe is on the same circuit. I want turn those switches into a three way switch controlling the lights in the living room.

I know the typical set up would be a feed into the first switch, 14-3 to second switch then the switch leg to the light. My confusion is how do I do this if both switches already have a feed in and feed out?

  • 1
    Smart switches. End of conversation. Dec 11, 2019 at 21:24
  • Can you run cables through the wall between the two switch locations, or run a surface raceway between them for that matter? Dec 12, 2019 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


The problem isn't that you "already have feed in and feed out". The problem is that, unless you have conduit, replacing one cable (14/2) with another (14/3) in a finished space (easy in an unfinished basement or garage) is a royal pain. A few years ago that would have been the only practical option. But now we have...

Smart Switches

With smart switches, you can put the "main" smart switch in place of the existing single switch controlling the light. You then put a "remote" in the other location. Make sure to get smart switches that communicate wirelessly (not necessarily WiFi - there are plenty of other wireless systems, and a switch might have WiFi for internet control but use something else for local communications with other switches). Then you have two options for the remote, depending on the particular switches:

  • Battery Power - Just cap the old wires and stick in the switch. Change the battery every few years.
  • AC Power - Install the switch using "feed in" to power it. But it will actually talk to the main switch wirelessly, so it won't matter that they are on different circuits.

Of course, you will want to rewire the receptacle so that it is always on. That is usually not hard to do - if you have problems, post pictures and specific details.

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