Changing switches for a 4way?

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Old 11-20-07, 01:54 PM
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Changing switches for a 4way?

We have recessed lighting controlled by 3 different switches. One switch turns them on, then if you go to the other two, it will turn it off. So I'm assuming, that this is a 4 way switch.

I want to change the switches to be a little nicer, I just wanted to know what I need to buy from Home Depot or Lowes. The switches we have are old and cracked, and ugly!

Do they sell 4 way switches at Home Depot/Lowes, or are they 3 way switches, or what are they called?

Much obliged for any ideas.

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-20-07, 01:59 PM
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Typically---from what you described, you will need two 3way switches and 1 4way switch. Look carefully on dissasembly , one at a time. Not all 3 and 4 way switches have the same terminal positions!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 11-20-07, 02:00 PM
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Sure they do! They sell you the same thing they sell electricians.

Just bring the switch with you to the store, and they will get you the right replacement. I have found smaller hardware and electrical stores cost a little more, but give much better advice however!

Bruce
 
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Old 11-20-07, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Typically---from what you described, you will need two 3way switches and 1 4way switch. Look carefully on dissasembly , one at a time. Not all 3 and 4 way switches have the same terminal positions!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the heads-up. I will take photographs of all the switches (and wiring) before I go ahead and re-wire anything (so I can fix it if I break it!).

That said... is it possible to get a dimmer put onto a 4 way switch? I want the dimmer to be the same on all the switches... I am not sure if it's possible though.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 11-20-07, 02:11 PM
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If I'm wrong , somebody here will be able to correct me, but dependent on how the fixtures are wired, a 3 way dimmer would be available, This may work acceptably as the "Fixture feed switch"of the set, But again this depends on how the setup is wired.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 02:58 PM
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You need two 3-way switches and one 4-way switch. Do not remove the existing switches until you purchase the new ones. Then replace them ONE AT A TIME and make sure that everything works properly BEFORE replacing the next switch.

Dimmers are available in 3 way switches, but NOT in 4-way switches. You install one dimmer in place of one 3 way switch. It can be either three way switch.

When you replace the switches do not expect the terminals to match. Different manufacturers put the terminals in different locations. Pay attention to the terminal color on the existing switches and use the appropriate terminals on the new switches. Again, replace one at a time and verify proper operation of all three switches before going on to the next switch.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
You need two 3-way switches and one 4-way switch. Do not remove the existing switches until you purchase the new ones. Then replace them ONE AT A TIME and make sure that everything works properly BEFORE replacing the next switch.

Dimmers are available in 3 way switches, but NOT in 4-way switches. You install one dimmer in place of one 3 way switch. It can be either three way switch.

When you replace the switches do not expect the terminals to match. Different manufacturers put the terminals in different locations. Pay attention to the terminal color on the existing switches and use the appropriate terminals on the new switches. Again, replace one at a time and verify proper operation of all three switches before going on to the next switch.
If I flick the second 3way switch, or the 4 way, with the last being a 3way dimmer, will the lights come back on dimmed to the same amount?

Thanks for any info on that!
 
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Old 11-20-07, 03:02 PM
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The lights will always be dimmed to the amount set by the dimmer.
 
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Old 11-20-07, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
The lights will always be dimmed to the amount set by the dimmer.
Thank you!

I think I will be stopping by home depot today!
 
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Old 11-20-07, 05:47 PM
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there is other type of dimmer that will work on 4 way location but what it called multi location dimmers what typically this do have a Master dimmer and remote or slave dimmer the remote/ slave dimmer can work up to 4 to 8 diffrent locations but let me warn you very carefull with this.

the multi location dimmers with remote/slave units are very senstive to proper connection and have to follow the wiring diagram very carefull with this and btw those unit is not cheap but it work very well once it work properly.

Merci, Marc
 
 

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