4-way Switch Puzzle

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  #41  
Old 08-08-11, 08:56 PM
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Bud, thanks for defuzzing my brain.

Bud, from post #1
I hired an electrician to put is some new switches. I later discovered that the 4 way switch would only work in certain configurations.
I'm wondering if there was a fundamental wiring mistake by the sparkie. A hidden Jbox with crossed wires?
 
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  #42  
Old 08-08-11, 09:02 PM
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the original switches worked fine. could the fault be with the new swtiches?
 
  #43  
Old 08-08-11, 09:07 PM
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So you used to have regular 3 and 4 way switches in those locations?

Bud
 
  #44  
Old 08-08-11, 09:10 PM
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no idea, just bought what the electrician told me to buy.
 
  #45  
Old 08-08-11, 09:15 PM
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OK, B is out of the picture and C appears to be working fine from this test and the previous test. A is the question. With power OFF remove A and one at a time connect the black from the black screw to the red and then the black. As each is connected, go to C and it should be able to turn the light on/off.

Bud
 
  #46  
Old 08-08-11, 09:18 PM
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bud, thanks for the ongoing help. getting late - will take another swing tommorrow after work.
i hope this is as frustrating yet challenging for you as untangling a faulty imbedded "if/then statement" is for me!
cheers.
 
  #47  
Old 08-08-11, 09:22 PM
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Used to do both at bell labs. Funny how simple the problems seem once you find the solution.

Remove that switch A and test it to each traveler. The light should then work with switch C up in one case and down in the other.

See you tomorrow.

Bud
 
  #48  
Old 08-08-11, 10:45 PM
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These sort of problems are what keep us coming back. Bud has a good handle on it so I am just going to set back and enjoy watching.
 
  #49  
Old 08-09-11, 03:12 PM
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Ok, Bud, I have two set of instructions from you:
  • Remove that switch A and test it to each traveler. The light should then work with switch C up in one case and down in the other.
  • A is the question. Remove A and one at a time connect the black from the black screw to the red and then the black. As each is connected, go to C and it should be able to turn the light on/off.

I think they are both saying the same things, but to verify I am going to:
  1. remove the black wire from the black screw
  2. cap the black wire to the red wire that is currently connected to the brass screw
  3. check and see if C works
  4. replace red wire to brass screw
  5. cap the black wire to the black wire that is currently connected to the brass screw
  6. check and see if C works

will go attempt now.
cheers,
allec
 
  #50  
Old 08-09-11, 03:33 PM
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With black capped to red (step 2) C works in the up position.
With black capped to black (step 5) C works in the down position.
 
  #51  
Old 08-09-11, 04:14 PM
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Sounds like you got ir right and since each traveler works with sw C it sounds like sw A is the problem, the actual switch and not the wiring.

Look over the switch carefully to see if there are any designations like C for common. Could someone have moved the black and one of the brass screws?

I suspect the switch is fine, it is just that we haven't located the common screw.

Bud

If you want to speed this up we will re-install sw A. The next step will be to switch the black on the black screw with the red on one of the brass screws. test sw A and C

If not, then put the red back where it was and switch the two black wires, test again.
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 08-09-11 at 04:41 PM.
  #52  
Old 08-09-11, 05:27 PM
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there was a label with the word common on the switch. i swapped the black for the copper screw, wired per your diagram with the new screw locations, and it works!

thanks for all the help!

happy camper:
 
  #53  
Old 08-09-11, 05:30 PM
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Thumbs up! Good job yourself. And thanks Ray

Bud
 
  #54  
Old 08-09-11, 05:33 PM
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Excellent! Thanks for letting us know.
 
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