Help! wiring a 4-way switch

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  #1  
Old 01-04-07, 08:20 PM
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Question Help! wiring a 4-way switch

I want to wire a 4-way switch so I can operate the lights in my shop from three different doorways. I plan to install a row of recepticles in the ceiling to plug florecent lights into. the plan is 5 recepticles and 10 lights.

I mounted 2 recepticles and 3-way, 4-way, 3way switches on a board (in that order) so I could work out the wiring. I installed a pig tail on the whole deal so I could plug it in and see if the switches controlled the recepticles.

my first attempt failed. I wired it in this order- power source, recepticles(lights), switches. I've only found 3-way diagrams, and used the 4-way info off the package. i realize there is several ways to do this. any help, advise or useful links would be greatly appreciated

thanks, Vince
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-07, 08:56 PM
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Don't go to the recepticals first...that complicates things to much, and wastes material, as you would have to use 12-3wg from the first receptical through all the recepticals to the switches.


Instead, go from the source to the first three way to the four way to the second three way, and then to the recepticals. Assuming 20A circuit (use 14 guage instead if 15A), you will need 12-2wg to the first three way, then 12-3wg between the switches, and 12-2wg to the recepticals.

Alternately, go from the source to the first receptical with 12-2, from the first receptical to the second with 12-2 (and so on to all the recepticals), and also go from the first receptical to the first 3way switch with 12-2. Then 12-3 between switches. This would be a switch loop type install. Unfortunately, it also crowds the first receptical box, so use a big box if you go this route.

Choose which specific way you wish to go and we can help with the specific wiring at each device.
 
  #3  
Old 01-04-07, 09:24 PM
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What part failed? Did you get a light to come on at all? On the three ways make sure the black wire in the 12/2 is on the black screw and on the 4 way put one color on the top screws and the other color on the bottom screws.
 
  #4  
Old 01-04-07, 09:34 PM
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I tripped the breaker back at the box! I figured once was enough.

thanks for the tips. I'm gonna give it another go tomarrow. I'll let you all know how it goes.
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-07, 10:10 PM
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The white wire should only be connected to the silver screws on the recepticles and that's it or else you will trip the breaker!! There are itmes such as dead-ending a three way where you use the white wire other than a neutral but you don't need to do that.
 
  #6  
Old 01-05-07, 06:44 AM
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To wire it the way you want you need 3 wire cable between the receptacles.
Wire like this
first receptacle
Power black to black
power white to 3 wire white and silver receptacle screw.
3 wire red to receptacle gold
connect all grounds toether

rest of receptacles except last one.
black to black no conenction to receptacle.
Reds to gold screw
whites to silver screw

last receptacle.
Black to white going to switch. color white black.
red to black from switch and gold screws.
White from previous light to silver screws.

wire to first switch only needs to be 2 wire
rest is standard 3 way wiring with black wire to one common screw and white wire to common screw on last 3way switch.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 07:40 AM
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picture

Go to www.electrical-online.com to see a picture of the wiring.
 
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Old 01-05-07, 03:33 PM
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got it! I went to the switches first then the receptacles.

thanks for all the advise.

Between my switches, if I use 12-2 with an additional single wire for a carrier, instead of buying 12-3, would that pass code? would it have to be solid or is stranded ok?
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-07, 03:51 PM
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I donot believe it is code. The single strand wire is meant to be in conduit rather it be solid or stranded. Not to say it cannot be done.
 
  #10  
Old 01-05-07, 03:55 PM
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Cool

Xjvince. What do you want to do? Tape a wire to the romex jacket? Stop the silliness and go buy the 3 wire cable!
 
  #11  
Old 01-05-07, 03:57 PM
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"I use 12-2 with an additional single wire for a carrier, instead of buying 12-3, would that pass code? would it have to be solid or is stranded ok?"

It is not to code, because it is extreemly unsafe.
 
  #12  
Old 01-05-07, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by xjvince View Post
got it! I went to the switches first then the receptacles.

thanks for all the advise.

Between my switches, if I use 12-2 with an additional single wire for a carrier, instead of buying 12-3, would that pass code? would it have to be solid or is stranded ok?

No it would not pass code. Do it over again.
 
  #13  
Old 01-07-07, 09:38 PM
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I had not ran any permanent wires. I just used a bunch of scraps on a mock up, as mentioned in the original post. I was just curious, had a large roll of 12ga available and hadn't bought any 12-3 yet.

since my last post I have talked to my inspector on the phone and got pointed in the right direction. I have bought my 12-3 and I'm in the process of running wire.

thanks for all the help and concern.

till next time, Vince
 
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