I currently have a 3 way switch controlling a single light. What I was hoping to accomplish, was replace one of the switches with a switch receptacle combo.

Switch1 = image 1, left as is

Switch2 = image 2, replaced old switch with Switch3

Switch3 = image 3

Switch1 Box = image 4

Switch2 Box = image 5

I recently added switch2. I had originally 3 wires connected to an old three way switch, 2 black, 1 red. All white wire were connected together.

My end goal, is to keep the receptacle always hot, regardless of the switches at either end. I read where I needed to find the hot wire coming into the box (switch2) and connect that to the receptacle black screw. The other 2 wires, 1 red, 1 black went to the brass screws. White wire went to the silver screw.

In the current location of switch 1, switch 2 has power to the receptacle and I can turn the light on and off from switch 2 location.

If I go to switch 1 and flip it up, I lose all power to switch 2, including the receptacle.

Looking for some guidance on what I'm doing wrong or if this can even be accomplished.




Switch1 Box

Switch2 Box

  • 1
    Can you get us photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? Commented May 5 at 21:03
  • Yes, I can supply photo of the insides of the boxes.
    – Muhnamana
    Commented May 5 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


What I was hoping to accomplish, was replace one of the switches with a switch receptacle combo.

You can do that. But only if you do it at the end that always has power supplied, unless you replace the cable between the switches with a 4-wire (plus ground) cable.

Based on your symptoms and pictures, that would mean you could do it at Switch 1's location.

Or, as mentioned, you could replace the cable between switch 1 and switch 2 with a 4 wire cable to supply unswitched hot to a receptacle at the switch 2 location.

There is no "hot wire" at the second switch on a 3-way in normal wiring. There are travelers, and a switched hot going to the light.

  • Edited with pictures of inside each switch box. Switch2 is end of line.
    – Muhnamana
    Commented May 5 at 21:43

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