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What's the illegal one called where the neutral is switched hot? California 3-way?
The names I've heard so far:

California. Farmer. Illinois. Power Beyond. Handyman. DIY. Carter. Kentucky. Chicago. Jerryrigged. Hillbilly. Ole-Timers. Clampetts. Massachussetts.

 

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Sparks fly from my finger
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What's the one called with the light on the yard pole with a switch powered from the house and a switch powered from the barn?
 

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What's the illegal one called where the neutral is switched hot? California 3-way?
This is a "California three-way" it doesn't say anything about this method being illegal in my book.


and this is one illegal way to wire a three-way switch, because it changes the polarity of the circuit on the screw shell of the lamp holder.
 

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The best way to understand how to wire 3-way and 4-way switches is to get one of each and take a continuity tester to them.
A better way is to actually use 2 spdt knife switches, a battery, and a light. Seeing how the circuit works physically goes a long way for those who have trouble understanding the concept.

Once understood, the concept of the 4-way, and the ability to have an unlimited number of them is simpler.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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This is a "California three-way" it doesn't say anything about this method being illegal in my book.


and this is one illegal way to wire a three-way switch, because it changes the polarity of the circuit on the screw shell of the lamp holder.
That's because your book is wrong. Yes, the first one is legal, but not a California. The second one is.
 

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So the California method is illegal? and it's the second picture I put up not the first? Is the second picture I posted similar to yours just layed out differently?
 

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So the California method is illegal? and it's the second picture I put up not the first? Is the second picture I posted similar to yours just layed out differently?

What most of us call a California 3-way is illegal, and is the second image you posted. What I posted is the same.
 
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