4-way switch bad?

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  #1  
Old 05-22-06, 02:25 PM
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4-way switch bad?

I don't do a lot of 4-way switches. Is there some special trick? The back of this Leviton says "input" on the top screws, and "output" on the bottom screws. I assume one pair of travelers is "input" and the other pair is "output." But the other 3-way switches only work when the 4-way is in one position, not the other.

Just for grins, I tried a different combo with the travelers, and same thing. Am I spinning my wheels? Is it possible that a brand new switch is just bad, or am I really showing my lack of experience with 4-way switches?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-22-06, 02:44 PM
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I just confirmed my assumptions with the book. I'll try another switch this afternoon.
 
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Old 05-22-06, 03:59 PM
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Mac :

I want to give you a quick head up with the 4 way switches some are actally double pole single throw so just watch out with this verison if getting a replacement switch make sure it marked " 4 way " not DPST set up

and also make sure you dont get travaller and common wire mixed up at 4 way switch location this will get everything screwy there .

[ it happend quite few time with some diy have to scream at my ears to get this fixed and took me a short while to figure it out ]

Merci, Marc

P.S. make sure you turn the breaker off before you fiddle around with any switches
 
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Old 05-22-06, 04:12 PM
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Switch an input with an output and try again.

Even better, tell us exactly what wires from which cables you have connected where.
 
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Old 05-22-06, 04:17 PM
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Yeah, I did all work with breaker off. Replacing the 4-way (it WAS a "4-way") didn't work. I should have done a continuity test of each device, but that'll be next. Hopefully, it's still a bad device and not a bad traveller, now that the sheetrock is up and painted.

I have only 2 combinations (out of 8) that have the lights come on. My guess is that one of the 3-ways doesn't work. That would cause that number of combinations.

First is powered 3-way, next is the 4-way, and last is the 3-way to the lights:

dn-up-dn-on
dn-dn-dn-off
dn-dn-up-off
dn-dn-up-off
up-up-up-off
up-dn-dn-off
up-dn-dn-off
up-dn-up-on

Next test is to remove the 3-way devices and do a continuity/resistance test on them to see if one is bad.
 
  #6  
Old 05-22-06, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bolide
Switch an input with an output and try again.

Even better, tell us exactly what wires from which cables you have connected where.
I've done lots of 3-way to 3-way set-ups before, never had any problems. I double-verified that my travelers were on the right screws at both 3-ways and at the 4-way (one pair on black screws, one pair on gold screws, as shown on the instructions, as well.)
 
  #7  
Old 05-22-06, 04:35 PM
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> dn-dn-dn-off
good.

> dn-dn-up-off
> dn-dn-up-off
bad.

> dn-up-dn-on
good.

> dn-up-up-unknown
should be off.

> up-dn-dn-off
> up-dn-dn-off
bad.

> up-dn-up-on
good.

> up-up-dn-unknown
should be off.

> up-up-up-off
bad.
 
  #8  
Old 05-22-06, 05:01 PM
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Yeah, that much I knew. I spent some time analyzing them and figure it MIGHT be a bad 3-way, so testing those is next. The 4-way that I removed just passes a continuity test. Would a resistance test tell anything more? Would a pair of travelers shorted together cause this? I don't think so unless it opened one?
 
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Old 05-22-06, 05:06 PM
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I won't bother making them dn-dn-dn-off until the whole system works. So ignore that combination and its preferred result for now, please.
 
  #10  
Old 05-22-06, 06:16 PM
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If you have the 4 way out of the circuit, wire nut the travelers together (hook one in to one out and the other in to the other out). Then, try the 3 ways. If they work OK the 4 way is at fault. If not, start testing the 3 way switches.
 
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Old 05-22-06, 08:11 PM
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Good idea, Bill. I'll keep that one in mind as I head over there again.
 
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