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4 Way Switch w/ power & light at first switch??

#1
08-07-09, 05:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
4 Way Switch w/ power & light at first switch??

Hello Everyone,

I have torn down some walls in my basement and trying to relocate some light switches. I have done search after search looking for my situation only to find everything except mine. I have 6 recessed lights hooked up to (2) 3-way switches and a 4-way switch in between. The problem I am running into is that the main feed as well as the first light come in at box #1 (3-way switch). I can't find a diagram that explains how to hooked it all up with this situation. The other lights run off of each other. Can someone help me out? Thanks!

#2
08-07-09, 07:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,575
You will have an odd color screw on each three way. The other two are travelers. The travelers of 3-way_A go to one side of the 4-way the travelers of 3-way_B go to the other side. You use three conductor cable for this. The white of the three conductor cable is recolored black. The two blacks are used as the travelers. At the four-way the reds are wire nutted together.

3-way_A is where the power and light come in. At 3-way_A both (neutral) whites wire nutted together. Black of light to common of switch. Black of power in to red.

At 3-way_B black and recolored black to travelers. Red to common.

The grounds are extended and connected to all switches and fixtures and any metal boxes.

The color chosen to recolor the white of the three conductor can be any color except green. But to avoid confusion it should not be red and it is not left white because it is not neutral.

Last edited by ray2047; 08-07-09 at 07:42 AM.
#3
08-07-09, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks! I think I may have it but I am a little confused. Maybe it would be easier if it is explained by what wires are coming into what box.

Box A (3-Way) has = (Main Power wire) black, white, ground ; (Light wire) black, white, ground and (3 wire to Box B) black, red, white, ground

Box B (4-way) has = (3 wire from Box A) black, red, white, ground and (3 wire from Box C) black, red, white, ground

Box C (3-Way) has = (3 wire to Box B) black, red, white, ground

Can you some how explain with this what wire is connected to what in each box? Your help is appreciated!

#4
08-07-09, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,575
Originally Posted by the4lams
Thanks! I think I may have it but I am a little confused. Maybe it would be easier if it is explained by what wires are coming into what box.
To keep things simple you can post questions on grounds later

Box A (3-Way) has = (Main Power wire) black, white, ground ; (Light wire) black, white, ground and (3 wire to Box B) black, red, white, ground
Recolor the white wire from the three conductor black and connect to one of the travelers screws on the switch. Original black of three wire conductor to other traveler screw. Red of three conductor to black of power in. White of power and light together. Black of light to common (odd color screw) of switch.
Box B (4-way) has = (3 wire from Box A) black, red, white, ground and (3 wire from Box C) black, red, white, ground[
Recolor whites black. Blacks from one switch on one side* and blacks from other switch on other side. Tie the reds together..
Box C (3-Way) has = (3 wire to Box B) black, red, white, ground
Recolor white black. Blacks to travelers. Red to common.

*On the 4-way swirch you have two screws of one color and two screws of another color. Each set of colored screws is a "side". In other words both travler wires from a switch to the same colored screw.

Last edited by ray2047; 08-07-09 at 08:57 AM.
#5
08-07-09, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks for all your help! I will try this tonight when I get home. Do I just run additional lights off the first light as you would normally with one switch?

#6
08-07-09, 10:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,575
Do I just run additional lights off the first light as you would normally with one switch?
Yes. Do you have any questions on grounds?

#7
08-07-09, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Is there anything different than to tie them together in each box and attach them to the green screw?

#8
08-07-09, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,575
No, and would suggest plastic boxes so no need to ground the boxes. Suggest you use a deep box for A just to be sure you don't exceed wire fill and you have plenty of room to work.

#9
08-07-09, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks for all your help! I will post this evening or tomorrow to let you know if I did it correctly.