How to Wire a Three-Way Decora Rocker Switch

Decora is the lighting device brand line manufactured and distributed by Leviton Manufacturing.
Differing from a standard toggle switch by the shape and style, the Decora switch is more modern and less obtrusive when installed in the wall. The three-way Decora rocker switch operates a light fixture from two different locations, providing you with a convenient way of turning on the lights. For a three-way circuit to operate correctly, you must have two three-way switches installed on opposite ends of the circuit. The most common way to wire a three-way Decora rocker switch begins with the power supply located inside the first switch box on the circuit.

Step 1

Turn off the circuit breaker inside the main service panel that provides electricity to the three-way switch circuit.

Step 2

Look inside the first three-way switch box on the circuit and identify the two sets of cables. The first set of cables includes a black, white and bare copper wire. The second set of cables includes a black, white, red and bare copper wire.

Step 3

Connect the white wire from the first set of cables to the white wire from the second set of cables by twisting a wire connector onto both wires. Repeat the connection for the bare copper wire from the first set of cables and the bare copper wire from the second set of cables. Push both sets to the back of the three-way switch box.

Step 4

Wrap the black wire from the first set of cables around the common screw on the three-way Decora rocker switch. The screw will be labeled as “COM” on the back of the three-way switch.

Step 5

Wrap the black wire from the second set of cables around the screw on the left side of the switch. Wrap the red wire from the second set of cables around the remaining screw on the right side of the three-way Decora rocker switch.

Step 6

Attach the rocker switch to the three-way switch box at the top and the bottom of the switch and cover with a single gang rocker switch plate cover.

Step 7

Look inside the second three-way switch box and identify the wires inside. This cable set includes a black, red, bare copper and white wire wrapped in black electrical tape.

Step 8

Wrap the black wire around the common screw on the three-way switch. Wrap the red wire around the screw located on the left side of the switch then tighten both screws on the Decora rocker switch to hold these wires in place.

Step 9

Wrap the white wire wrapped in black electrical tape around the remaining screw on the right side of the three-way switch. Wrap the bare copper ground wire around the green screw. Attach this three-way switch to the second three-way switch box at the top and the bottom of the switch and cover with a single gang rocker switch plate.

Step 10

Turn on the circuit breaker inside the main service panel that provides electricity to the three-way switch circuit.

Things You Will Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Wire connectors
  • 2 Three-way Decora rocker switches
  • 2 Single gang rocker switch plate covers

Tip

  • Should your three-way circuit wiring configuration differ from the one described, please see resources for additional wiring configurations.

Warning

  • Test to verify that you have disconnected the electricity in the area that you are working to avoid electrical shock.

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.