I was replacing a very old 3 way switch. I was able to identify the common wire with the different color screw. However, I wanted to verify that there's not any specific side that the traveler wires go on the brass screws. There was no load in marker on the switch, and based on that and the diagram, it looked like those two were interchangeable, but wanted to make sure.

1 Answer 1


In an ordinary "dumb" 3-way (two switches) or 4-way (middle switches of three or more switches), there is no difference between the travelers. The only functional difference being that if you have 2 switches (doesn't work with 3 or more), configuration of the travelers will determine if it is "both up/both down" = on or "opposite positions" = on).

With "smart" switches, some of them may use one traveler for power and the other for communication or do something else different. But with "very old" that should not be an issue.

  • Thank you Manessehkatz - Exactly the information I was needing - I appreciate it!
    – John W.
    Aug 15, 2021 at 22:22
  • Then, John W, you are supposed to accept the answer. Aug 15, 2021 at 23:32
  • @JohnW. Click on the check mark for the answer to accept it.
    – JACK
    Aug 15, 2021 at 23:41
  • @JohnW if the 3-way switch is up when you'd prefer it to be down, no need to exchange travelers, just physically flip the switch over. Aug 16, 2021 at 20:23

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