(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 27 of 27

Thread: Adding 4-way switches to a 3-way lighting circuit

  1. #16
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Red wire is tied in w/ two blacks. Where do the two blacks go? Power in and out perhaps?
    Last edited by ActionDave; 09-24-2009 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #17
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    156

    Default

    The wire pairs on the 4w should be the same colors as the wires on the 2 brass colored terminals on the 3 way switches.

  3. #18
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,687

    Default wires

    You cannot just "connect the four wires to the four screws". Two screws are for the wires in, and two are for the wires out, but you have to look at the switch diagram to see which pairs of wires go where. You can connect the wires coming in to either of the two "in" screws and the same with the out one, but you cannot connect one incoming wire to an "in" screw and the other to an "out" terminal. You have mixed yours and therefore the only time it works is at the middle when all the contacts are connected together for an instant.

  4. #19
    DIY Member cej22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Midway, UT
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The wire pairs on the 4w should be the same colors as the wires on the 2 brass colored terminals on the 3 way switches.
    So I should wire the reds together at the 4-way locations and use the white ones on the screws instead?. I don't know why the red wire at the 3-way in the picture isn't wired to the switch? Should the wiring be corrected at the 3-way, or does that configuration make sense to you guys. It seems unorthodox from what I've read.
    Last edited by cej22; 09-25-2009 at 07:29 AM.

  5. #20
    DIY Member cej22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Midway, UT
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    You cannot just "connect the four wires to the four screws". Two screws are for the wires in, and two are for the wires out, but you have to look at the switch diagram to see which pairs of wires go where. You can connect the wires coming in to either of the two "in" screws and the same with the out one, but you cannot connect one incoming wire to an "in" screw and the other to an "out" terminal. You have mixed yours and therefore the only time it works is at the middle when all the contacts are connected together for an instant.
    I did connect the same set of wires to the in screws, and then the other set to the out screws. It didn't work. That's when I swapped their locations and tried that. Still no luck.

  6. #21
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    331

    Default

    From your description and photo it appears power and s/l are in the same box and the red is the hot to the upstairs three-way, can't be sure.
    What do the wires in the downstairs box do?

  7. #22
    DIY Member cej22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Midway, UT
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    From your description and photo it appears power and s/l are in the same box and the red is the hot to the upstairs three-way, can't be sure.
    What do the wires in the downstairs box do?
    Sorry. What do you mean by s/l? Switch leg?

    There are maybe five or six outlets on the same circuit. I assume that the other wires in the box are either coming from or going to those outlets.

  8. #23
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Yes, switch leg- The wire going to the light.
    If the red is tied into the power it would go to the common in upstairs box.

  9. #24
    DIY Member cej22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Midway, UT
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The wire pairs on the 4w should be the same colors as the wires on the 2 brass colored terminals on the 3 way switches.
    Just wanted to say thanks for this advice. I finally got back to this project and got everything working. I appreciate the help.

  10. #25
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,687

    Default ?

    quote; Come on now plumber. You know he meant 3 way circuits

    In that case it would have been "3 way circuit", since there is only ONE common/ordinary three way circuit. It just has many, not a myriad, variations of the one circuit, depending on where the switches are located relative to each other, where the power enters the circuit, and where it leaves to go the fixture. But when you break them down to the schematic, they eventually are all the same. This discounts speciallized systems with proprietary circuitry and switches. These have to be wired according to the manufacturers specifications and use their exclusive switches.
    Last edited by hj; 11-14-2009 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #26
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,687

    Default switch

    Wire COLOR means absolutely nothing. The wire's purpose is what determines which gets connected where. At this point the only way to determine that is to test each wire to see if it is a traveler, hot, neutral, or switched leg to the light.

  12. #27
    DIY Member cej22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Midway, UT
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Wire COLOR means absolutely nothing. The wire's purpose is what determines which gets connected where. At this point the only way to determine that is to test each wire to see if it is a traveler, hot, neutral, or switched leg to the light.
    I'll repeat that this issue is resolved thanks to Jim Port's advice. Everything is working. Thanks.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •