Lighting circuit -- 2 3-way and 1 4-way

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Old 09-08-06, 08:47 AM
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Lighting circuit -- 2 3-way and 1 4-way

Around the beginning of the year I posted on here a few questions about running some wire for a barn and connecting lights and such. I'm pretty sure I followed the advice given, but for the life of me cannot find my old post. This is my situation:

I have power coming from the main panel to a 3-way switch via 14-2, from there I run 14-3 to a junction box that I have wired to the lights. I continue on to the 4-way switch with the 14-3, then run the 14-3 to the last 3-way. I'm probably not going to give you enough information at this point help me fix my problem, but a general response of "you should be able to do it that way" would be encouraging.

My questions:

Switch 1(3-way): I'm pretty sure I have the first 3-way hooked correctly, but let me get your opinion. The black wire(hot) incoming from the box is connected to the "common" screw. White(incoming) is capped together with white(outgoing) and the red is connected to one side and the black(outgoing) is connected to the other side. Does this sound right? I'm not looking at it as I type it but I've been looking at it so much I'm fairly certain that this is how it is connected.

Junction box: Not sure how this should be connected, but here is how I think it is connected. Red(incoming) is capped to red(outgoing). Black(incoming) is capped together with the black to the lights, the black(outgoing). The white(incoming) is capped together with white to the lights and white(outgoing).

Switch 2(4-way): White(incoming) is capped together with white(outgoing). Red(incoming and outgoing) is connected to the two screws on one side of the switch and black(incoming and outgoing) are connected to the other side of the switch.

Switch 3(3-way): I only have 3 wires coming in here. And 3 screws. Something here seems amiss. Where do the white, black and red hook up? I would have thought that the red and black are connected to the standard screws, but what do you hook the white too? I have to use it to complete the circuit, correct? How do I do that? If I hook it to the switch which screw does it go to? I'm missing something.

I seem to recall that I can connect the lights off any of the switches. Is that correct?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 09-08-06, 09:18 AM
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Do not attempt to wire three and four way switches based on screw location. Not all manufacturers put the terminals in the same location. You MUST pay attention to the screw colors.

Switch 1 (SW1) is correct. However, nothing else is.

At the junction box connect the white from SW1 to the white for the lights.

At the junction box connect the black from SW1 to the white for SW2.

At the junction box connect the red from SW1 to the red for SW2.

At the junction box connect the black for SW2 to the black for the lights.

At SW2 connect the black wires using a wire nut.

At SW2 connect the red and white from the junction box to the traveler terminals on one electrical side of the switch. This may not be the two screws on the same physical side of the switch. Look at the screw colors and/or the wiring diagram that came with the switch.

At SW2 connect the red and white for SW3 to the other two traveler terminals.

At SW3 connect the black to the common screw.

At SW3 connect the red and white to the traveler screws.
 
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Old 09-08-06, 09:18 AM
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First, eliminate the Neutral connections.

At 3-WS #1, connect the White wire of the 2-wire "Feed-In" cable to the White wire of the 3-wire cable to the J-B.

At the J-B, connect the White wire of the 3-wire cable from 3-WS#1 to the White wire of the 2-wire cable to the fixture.

This completes the Neutral connections.

At 3-WS#1, connect the Black wire of the 2-wire "Feed-In" cable to the "C" terminal of the 3-WS.---- connect the Black and Red wires of the 3-wire cable to the J-B to the 2 "S" terminals of the 3-WS.

At the J-B, connect the Red wire of the 3-wire cable from 3-WS#1 to the Red wire of the 3-wire cable to the 4-WS--- connect the Black wire of the 3-wire cable from 3-WS#1 to the WHITE wire of the 3-wire cable to the 4-WS---
connect the Black wire of the 2-wire cable to the fixture to the Black wire of the 3-wire cable to the 4-WS

At the 4-WS, make this temporary connection-- Black-to- Black, White-to-White-, Red-to-Red--

At 3-WS#2, connect the Black wire to the "C" terminal of the 3-WS, and the Red & White wires to the 2 "S" terminals.

The fixture should not operate On/Off from the two 3-WS's.

I suggest you progress to this point, and verify the correct operation of the two 3-WS's before proceding further.

The Black-toBlack- connection at the 4-WS is permanent.

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!!1
 
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Old 09-08-06, 06:36 PM
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Re

Bob, PAT

You guys are awesome. It works perfectly now. It turns out I had the junction box wired correctly after all. But the 4-way was completely wrong and the last 3-way was backwards. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 09-09-06, 08:50 AM
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My "Flawed" Instructions

Andrew;

Very pleased you realized a sucess despite the fact that my instuctions included a VERY serious mistake----a "ONE WORD" mistake

I stated---- "The fixture should NOT operate On/OFF from the two 3-WS's." --- WRONG!!!

Correct--- "The fixture SHOULD (now) operate On/Off--"

Glad I didn't confuse you----
 
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