The Ultimate Three-way Switches Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

You are ready for bed and want to walk up the stairs to the bedroom. At the bottom you flick a switch to turn on the stairway lights and when you get to the top there is another switch to turn the same lights off. It's thanks to three-way switches that you can do this. Learn all about these special switches by taking this quiz.

How many switches do you need to construct a three-way switch circuit?

Despite its name, you need only two switches for a three-way switch circuit.

What is the wire that carries the current often called?

The wire carrying the current is commonly known as the "hot" wire.

How many wires run through a piece of Romex?

Three wires run through Romex: two insulated wires, each a different color, and one bare grounding wire.

What material is a Romex sheath made from?

The Romex sheath is made from plastic to keep it well insulated.

An electrician wires Romex between the power outlets and the _____?

All outlets and switches are wired to the fuse box.

What size Romex would you usually find in a normal household?

Romex for household use is normally 12- or 14-gauge Romex.

What is different about the special Romex used for wiring a three-way switch?

The special Romex needed for a three-way switch has an extra insulated wire in a different color to the normal two.

What is the purpose of a three-way light switch?

A three-way light switch allows you to control a light from two switches in different locations. This would enable you to turn the lights on your staircase on or off from the top or the bottom.

Why can't you mark the on and off positions on a three-way switch?

The idea of a three-way switch is that both switches can turn the circuit on and off, so the on and off position would be different each time.

What does the "three" in a three-way switch refer to?

A three-way switch gets its name due to the three terminals in each switch.

When wiring a switch, where would you put the three-way Romex?

You would put three-way Romex between the two three-way switches, and normal Romex in the rest of the circuit.

What must you do before testing electrical wiring?

Make sure the power to the light circuit is switched off from the fuse box before doing any electrical work.

What tool can you use to find out how your house is wired?

An ohmmeter or continuity detector is the only way you can find out how your house was wired, unless you are in contact with the electrician who wired it!

If one three-way switch is stuck, what would happen?

Since each three-way switch independently turns the light on or off, if one gets stuck the other would still work, but it would now function as a normal switch.

Should three-way switches be wired in series or parallel?

Depending on how the circuit is arranged, it can be set up in series or in parallel.

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