Problem with 4-way light circuit

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-25-03, 06:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 146
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Problem with 4-way light circuit

I'm hoping someone will know what's wrong right off the bat... I've wired the a 4-way light circuit and powered it up, but it's not working properly. Instead of the 4-way switch turning the light on and off, it basically turns the circuit on and off (i.e. if the 4-way switch is in the up position, it allows the other two 3-way switches to work properly, but if the 4-way switch is in the down position, none of the switches work at all). I'm thinking that I have the wiring crossed somewhere, most likely at the 4-way switch. If it matters, the circuit runs like this:

power in->----light->-----3-way switch->---4-way switch->---3-way switch

Thanks in advance for the help...

Brian
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-25-03, 09:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, you have the wires mixed somewhere. However, without telling us how you wired it we have no way of telling you what is wrong.
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-03, 09:41 PM
frenchsparky
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
have to becarefull here with 4 way switches it come 2 diffrent way to hook it up.

and some 4 way switch can look like double pole switch also.

any chance that can you get the manufacter switch name ?? if have number do bring it too and we can pinpoint it there


some 4 way swtich have double dark brass screw and some marked as 1 ,2,3,4 or common ( it will show double arrow there behind the device)

before you do that make sure you power down ( shut the power off first before you start messing around the switch )

some case it can slove by change the connetions by 90 degrees and it work some case but best bet is let us know what switch manufacter you have so we can steer you right there

merci, marc
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-03, 10:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Look closely at the back of the 4-way switch. Typically two of the screws are marked "input" and two are marked "output". The two wires from one cable should be connected to the two "input" screws, and the two wires from the other cable should be connected to the "output" screws. Mix this up and you have trouble.
 
  #5  
Old 10-26-03, 07:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 146
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The switch is by Eagle Electric. I posted a picture of what it looks like at:

http://home.comcast.net/~mearsb/switch.jpg

If it's difficult to see, I have the reds from each cable attached to the top (dark) screws, and the whites from each cable attatched to the bottom (light) screws.

I'm fairly confident that the wiring at the other switches is correct. From John's response, I actually think that I should have a white and red from the same cable at both top screws, and the same from the other cable at both bottom screws. There's no marks whatsoever on the switch... only the colored screws.

Thanks for the help!
 
  #6  
Old 10-26-03, 07:39 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,029
Received 111 Votes on 101 Posts
<a href="http://www.homewiringandmore.com/switchoutlet/4way/4wayfixture.html">Here</a> is a drawing of how your switch should be wired.
 
  #7  
Old 10-26-03, 01:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, you are correct. Connect a red and white from one cable to the dark screws, and a red and white from the other cable to the light screws. The screw coloring is equivalent to the marking.
 
  #8  
Old 10-28-03, 02:06 AM
Vernon Harris
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Working with 3 and 4 way switches can be fun if you know a few facts. Your diagram is a basic diagram to control a lamp from 3 locations. The internal configurations of a 4 way switch can be different for older switches verses newer ones. If you don't have the diagram of your 4 way switch, you can easily determine how your switch functions if you have a standard voltmeter with an ohmmeter function. The attached JPEG file has two drawings. The upper ones shows how the internal connections are made when the switch is in some position; the toggle control is either up or down. The lower diagram show what the internal connections look like after the switch has been flipped. Notice how the internal connections change. The connection straight across the top terminals now goes to the lower terminal on the output and the opposite for the connection across the bottom terminals, it now goes to the upper terminal of the output. Each time the 4 way is toggled or flipped the connections reverse. To test your switch, use a meter with a continuity checker and check where the terminals "switch to" when the switch is flipped. Knowing this you can properly hook up the input and output wires. Of course, the electrical power must be removed before the testing, or better yet remove the switch entirely and test it at some convenient place such as a table. Contrary to what some electricians may tell you, you can continue to add additional 4 way switches to provide additional control points at other locations. I once wired the overhead lights in a cabin so the lights could be controlled from six different doors entering the main room. Actually, the number of control points is unlimited. Hope this helps.
 
  #9  
Old 10-28-03, 04:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 146
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
After my last post, I went back and switched the wires that I thought I had backwards, and everything now works perfectly. Thanks to all of you for your help.

John, an extra thanks to you. I don't know if you remember, but you helped me quite a bit in the planning stages of this project. This last circuit finishes everything, and it all worked out great. The bathroom is done and also looks great. Your help (and others who offered advice) was greatly appreciated!

Brian
 
  #10  
Old 10-28-03, 06:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Good job, Brian. Congratulations. Time for a beer. Feels good, huh?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: