Switches control the flow of electricity in an electrical circuit. Most switches are one-way, but a few can be wired to operate in two-way mode. These types of switches are most common in stair cases and large rooms with multiple doors.
How to Wire a Two-Position Switch
A two-way switch is an electrical device that lets you turn a light on or off from two different locations. This type of switch is also known as a “double pole” or “double throw” switch.
To wire a 2-way switch, first remove the switch plate from the wall. Next, disconnect the switch from the circuit breaker. This should be done with a circuit breaker box tool.
Then, pull out the old switch and replace it with the new one. Be sure to wrap electrical tape around the body of the switch to protect it from fires.
You should also take the wires from the old switch and connect them to the wires of the new switch, using the hooked ends. You can use needle-nose pliers for this, but it is not necessary.
Start by removing the screws that hold the terminal wires in place on the switch. If the wires are tight, use a pair of pliers to untighten them and free them from the terminal screws. Then, reattach the terminal wires and the ground wire.
Step 2: Attach the Wires
Once you have connected the wires to their respective terminals, secure them with a wire nut. You can use a pair of pliers or a wire wrench to do this.
STEP 3: Connect the COM, or line, wires from each switch to their respective COM terminals on the other switches. These wires must be the same color (red or white) and connected in parallel. If the COM terminals are not the same, then the switch will not work properly.
If you’re installing a two-way switch, it is recommended that you contact an authorized electrician to install it. This will ensure that the circuit is safe and that it is properly installed.
In general, a two-way switch has three terminals that are called COM, L1 and L2. These terminals can be labeled as “Line” or “Neutral”. However, you’ll also see the terms COM and 1 Way. The term COM means “line” or “live.”
When you are wiring the switch, make sure that all of the wires from the switch are properly connected and covered with a wire nut. You should be able to tell that they are connected by looking at the switch’s COM terminal and L1 terminal.
The COM terminal is connected to the line or live, while the L1 terminal is connected to the neutral. This configuration is similar to an Ex-OR Gate.
The L2 terminal is connected to the load, which in this case is a light bulb. If the circuit is only one-way, then this terminal can be ignored.