Replace a 4 way switch


Old 12-23-00, 05:38 PM
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I did not keep track of how the wires were connected to the switch I am replacing!! duh. Difficulty getting all (3) switches working properly at same time!!.
Switch #1 (5 wires)3blk wires on 1 terminal, 1 white ter., 1 white terminal
Switch #2 (4 wires) (Replacing switch) 2 Blk, 2 white what goes where?
Switch #3 (3 wires) Blk ter., Blk ter., White ter.
Old 12-23-00, 06:32 PM
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I question why you never mentioned any red wires. Are all the cables going into these boxes 2 wire [black and white] with a bare wire?

You should be able to look at your switch and find two screws the same color and two more screws another color matching each other.

Take the two wires hanging out that are coming from the same cable and connect it to the two screws that have matching colors.

Do the same with the second cable connecting to the second set of matching screws.

Try your lights out and let us know how you did.

I suspect that you may have an electrician that wires a three way switch with 12 or 14/2 cable only.

Hope this helps

Old 12-23-00, 06:57 PM
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I'm going to take a different approach than Wg. One or the other should work. I am going to assume that all your wires are individual wires (i.e., you do not have a Romex-like cable). If this assumption is wrong, you can stop reading now and follow Wg's advice. But if it's right, Wg's approach won't work.
First of all, I think the wire colors are all screwed up and not according to code. I won't attempt to fix that.
One more assumption: I assume that none of the wires you mention are the neutral grounded conductor. Either you didn't mention extra wires in the boxes not connected to the switch, or the neutral wires in fact never even enter the switch boxes.
Switch #1: I assume the power comes to this switch on one of the black wires. The other two black wires are taking power on to other unrelated things. (BTW, if these black wires are not pigtailed to the switch, you should do this. There should never be more than one wire under a screw.)
I assume the two white wires are the travellers to switch #2. If this is correct, you'll find that the three black wires are connected to the common screw (usually but not always marked "COM" or colored black).
Switch #3: I assume the two black wires black wires are travellers from swtich #2, and the white wire is carrying hot to the light. If this is correct, you'll find that the white wire is conneced to the common screw (usually marked "COM" or colored black).
Now for switch #2: Since the two whites are from switch #1 and the two blacks go to switch #3, you need to connect the two whites to the "in" side and the two blacks to the "out" side. The "in" and "out" might be marked in several different ways. Wg suggest they might be indicated by screw color, but they might also be labeled in English.
Good luck. And be sure to let us know what worked.

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