If you’ve been paying close attention to the light switches in your home, and are puzzled about the three black wires being associated with these, you probably want to know what each of these do.
Why would a single pole switch have three different wires? This might seem confusing, as most light switches are simply fixed with one.
Well, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve compiled this handy guide that can help to instruct you on all there is to know about triple black wires.
So, why are there three different wires connected within your light switch? Well, the answer is actually pretty simple.
One of these wires is responsible for carrying the electrical power source, the other one is the neutral wire, and the third is the ground wire, which ensures that you stay safe.
Why Would I Have Three Wires In My Light Switch?
Although you might have a better understanding of what kind of function each of these wires serve now, you might still be wondering why your light switch has three, when most switches only have one wire.
Well, the answer is pretty simple. The reason why you have more wires associated with your light switch is because it allows you to control the lights from multiple points within the home.
Sometimes a light switch will only have one wire, if you’re only able to connect to that light source via one switch.
If, however, you’re able to switch the same lights on and off from several different points in the house, then you will have multiple wires associated with these switches.
A common example is having a light switch at both the bottom and the top of the stairs, so that you’re not stumbling around in the dark trying to make it to the top.
3-way wiring can serve a number of different purposes in terms of lighting, and you can even install dimmer switches using this combination.
Can I Have A Single Pole Switch With Three Black Wires?
Some of you reading this article might be wondering whether or not it’s possible to have three black wires associated with one single pole switch. The answer to this question is, no, this simply isn’t possible with a single pole switch.
Three way switches can be confusing, despite the fact that they look fairly straightforward. If you touch one of the hot wires on the neutral side, then you could potentially blow a fuse. If you want to install three way wiring in your home, then we’d recommend that you contact a professional electrician.
What Are The Different Parts Of A Three Way Switch?
Some of you reading this might be wondering what the specific purpose of a black wire is within your cable structure.
Well, like each of the other wires nestled in there, it works in harmony to make sure that your electrical devices are as safe and efficient as possible.
Below, we outline and identify each of the different wires found in a three way switch, so that you know what each of them do.
The Black Wire
So, starting out with the wire in question, just what does the black one really do? Well, the black wire is essentially responsible for carrying electricity to the power source.
Sometimes you might find this wire being termed the ‘common wire’, and this wire remains hot unless you’ve gone ahead and switched the breaker off.
The Ground Wire
Perhaps the most well known, the ground wire will be easy to identify because it’s just made out of copper.
Sometimes you might find that this one has been labeled green, but either way, it’s responsible for your own personal safety.
When the light device is in operation, this one won’t actually carry any power, the reason why it exists, therefore, is to protect you if something such as a short circuit were to occur.
If a short circuit were to happen, the ground wire would safely conduct all of the electricity into the ground for your personal safety.
The White Wire
Some of you might know the white wire as the neutral wire. It’s another important component in the function of the electrical circuit. The white wire is responsible for returning the power to the electrical source.
Can I Install My Own Three Way Fixture?
Some of you reading this article may be wondering whether or not you can conduct your own DIY, and install a three way fixture yourself.
In all truth, installing a one way fixture is far easier than trying to install a three way fixture. In almost all cases, it should be conducted by a licensed electrician.
Despite the fact that installing a three way fixture is a fairly simple and straightforward task in most cases, which might tempt people to attempt it themselves, it’s very much an involved job.
Unless you have a full and comprehensive understanding of the switch wiring, we would always recommend contacting a professional electrician.
If you do decide to undertake the task yourself, make sure the breaker is switched off, and that you use a voltage tester to test the heat.
We hope that we’ve managed to answer all of your questions, and once again, take care when attempting to install your own light fixtures.