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Need diagram help on easiest way to wire split receptacles on 4 way switch.

Need diagram help on easiest way to wire split receptacles on 4 way switch.

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  #1  
Old 11-21-12, 01:48 PM
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Need diagram help on easiest way to wire split receptacles on 4 way switch.

Since something isn't clicking in my mind about this, I'm looking for help coming up with a diagram for multiple split receptacles being controlled in 3 locations. The ceiling is out, as well as the walls, so I can route the wires any way I wish. Not looking to save wire, so the easiest and cleanest method would be best.

I think putting the split receptacles in a daisy chain at the end after the switches is probably the simplest way for me to comprehend and tackle this.

The first image is the room layout looking at it top down. The second image I found browsing that is close, but the power starts at the receptacle, and uses neutral hots, something I'd like to avoid if possible - but I can certainly do that if that's the easiest method.

If someone could help me fill in the blanks or point me to a good diagram I would greatly appreciate it!
 
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Last edited by shootmenow; 11-21-12 at 03:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-12, 02:59 PM
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To have half of each duplex receptacle switch controlled and the other half live all the time you need 3 2i43 ca wire cable going between all the receptacles.

To have half of each duplex receptacle switch controlled it is easier to leave the power feed at one receptacle and run a circuit subbranch to encompass the switches which may use a white wire for some of the hot connections.

You can also start by running power to a switch but here you would run an extra 2 conductor cable from the starting switch skipping to the first receptacle to provide power for the always live receptacle halves.
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-12, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for your response. What is "2i43 ca" wire?

And if I understand you correctly, the second diagram is actually the easiest way to do this (running power to the receptacle first)?

I can leave out the 4 way switch, and only use two (the two on the right wall) if I really need to. I prefer to have 3 locations, but I can live with 2.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 04:51 PM
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I think I found a diagram that will work with 2 switches instead of the three. For some reason I just can't get my head wrapped around 3, it's like I need some puzzle pieces that I can lay out and rearrange - such poor visualization skills.

Does anyone have a diagram with a 4 way switch and multiple receptacles besides the one I've already attached?
 
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  #5  
Old 11-21-12, 05:34 PM
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I'm looking for help coming up with a diagram for multiple split receptacles being controlled in 3 locations. The ceiling is out, as well as the walls, so I can route the wires any way I wish. Not looking to save wire, so the easiest and cleanest method would be best.
Two points first: #14 wire is appropriate if the circuit feeding these receptacles is protected at 15A. If it's protected at 20A you will need to use #12 wire. And the diagram you found will work, and was compliant with the code when it was drawn in 2007. It is not compliant with the 2011 edition of the NEC because it does not place a neutral conductor in each switch box.

That said, I'm finding your concept of feeding the receptacles off the third switch appealing. The easiest way to do that in compliance with the 2011 code, I think would be to run 14-4/G cable between the switch boxes, and 14-3/G from the third switch box (the second 3-way location) to and through the receptacles.

Once you do that, you can splice the white wire all the way through to conduct neutral. Pigtail the black from the panel to the common terminal on the first 3-way and to splice to the red wire in the 4-conductor. That will leave the black and blue wires in the 4-conductor to be the two travelers. Wire the 4-way according to the instructions that come with it. At the third switch box, splice the white wires together, again, and splice the red wires together. Terminate the black going to the receptacles to the common screw.

At each receptacle, break the brass tab off the hot side and terminate the black wire to the upper half (the switched half), the red wire to the bottom half and the white wire wire to the unbroken silver (neutral) side.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 05:58 PM
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Just when I thought I was getting it figured out I certainly appreciate you guys helping with your up to date knowledge.

Ok I understand there has to be a neutral conductor in the switch box but does that just mean there needs to be one available? Or does it actually have to be connected to this circuit? Sorry I didn't mention it earlier, but I will have another circuit running between the same 3 switch locations (recessed lights) that will have a neutral conductor. Will that meet the code requirement?

If not, I'll have to see how expensive a small amount of 14/4 will run.


If that does meet code, would there be any issues with the following diagram (knowing those won't actually be just single gang switches)?


I'm ok on the #14 wire and 15amp, the only thing I'm concerned about is fill - I'm going to have to double check those limits to make sure I'm okay.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 06:14 PM
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That last pic will work fine.
 
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Old 11-21-12, 09:11 PM
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I understand there has to be a neutral conductor in the switch box but does that just mean there needs to be one available? Or does it actually have to be connected to this circuit? Sorry I didn't mention it earlier, but I will have another circuit running between the same 3 switch locations (recessed lights) that will have a neutral conductor. Will that meet the code requirement?
Sometimes we all wish it could be that easy, but it isn't. Unfortunately, for a lot of good electrical safety reasons, the neutral used for this circuit must be the neutral for this circuit. In addition, it must be housed in the same raceway (cable sheath) as the other current-carrying conductors for this circuit.
 
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Old 11-23-12, 04:25 PM
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Ok after researching the new neutral in every switch box issue I understand the purpose. Though not a safety issue, it is useful for motion detectors, dimmers, etc. Not thrilled about that but I understand it's pluses and I want to do things to code.

As I thought would happen Lowes nor HD carry the 14/4 in the store. Of course. Well I want to get this done this weekend so I'm just going to run a second 14/2 wire to each split receptacle. No biggie I guess, just gotta buy and run more wire.

Are there any issues with the arrangement below? This should be how AllanJ mentioned earlier. Box fill should be okay since these are 3 and 4 gang boxes being shared.
 
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Last edited by Nashkat1; 12-08-12 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 12-08-12, 05:46 PM
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For anyone that comes along this thread later, and is a novice like me, it should be noted that on a four way switch the red and black wires should be paired on the top and bottom, not on the left and right which is commonly seen in online diagrams (I assume for simplicity).

Here's is my final layout:
 
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Old 12-08-12, 06:26 PM
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it should be noted that on a four way switch the red and black wires should be paired on the top and bottom, not on the left and right which is commonly seen in online diagrams
There is no top or bottom to a 4-way switch and the location of the travelers in and travelers out will vary with the manufacturer. It should be noted also that the traveler aren't always red and black. Color is the choice of the installer. So long as it is redesignated at hot each box the installer in certain cases could choose to use a white as a traveler when no neutral is needed..
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-08-12 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:38 PM
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on a four way switch the red and black wires should be paired on the top and bottom, not on the left and right which is commonly seen in online diagrams
That varies by manufacturer, as Ray said. The real answer is "follow the diagram that came with the switch - often printed on the outside of the box."
 
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