Running new light off 4-way switch


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Old 04-17-14, 10:07 AM
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Running new light off 4-way switch

I have a hallway light that has 3 switches. There are 2 conduit feeding the junction box which has just the 1 switch. I am trying to figure out if I can run another light out of the box (completely separately switched).

Conduit 1:
1 white
1 yellow

Conduit 2:
2 white
2 yellow
2 orange

The white are all wired together.
The Yellow are pigtailed into the switch.
The 2 orange are wired to the switch.

It seems the orange is the traveler wire. Can I use something here to power the new light? If it isn't clear, then how can I test to see if I can? I would think I would need to use a meter on the white and yellow wires to test it?
 
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Old 04-17-14, 11:13 AM
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It seems the orange is the traveler wire.
There are two travelers not one. There is one common. What color wire is connected to the commons of the 3-way switches?
I would need to use a meter on the white and yellow wires to test it?
Maybe yellow white but colors are at the option of the electrician. A cheap analog not digital multimeter is best. ($8-$15 is all you need to spend.)
 
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Old 04-17-14, 12:45 PM
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The orange are connected to the hot. I figure that means I can use that and the white for my new light. I guess my meter can verify that by testing it and then again after flipping one of the switches in the 4 way circuit.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 01:21 PM
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The orange are connected to the hot.
But you wrote:
The orange are connected to the hot.
and there is only one hot so they might be commons but you wrote:
The 2 orange are wired to the switch.
which would make them more likely travelers unless you really mean one to each switch. Please tell us the color wire on each of the brass screws (travelers) of the two 3-way switches and the color of the wires on the dark gray (common screw).
 
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Old 04-17-14, 01:25 PM
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I disconnected the wires, but took a picture. 1 orange is connected to the brass screw. The yellow and other orange were connected to 2 holes on the back and I couldn't read the labeling.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 01:45 PM
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Back stabs* are identified by the color of the closest screw.

Here is a typical 4-way. Your colors will probably be different. Actual wiring may also be different.

Attachment 30120

*Note back stabs are less reliable and should be moved to the screws.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 01:47 PM
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Back stabs are identified by the color of the closest screw.
Then orange would be to the brass screw and yellow wire would be to the black screw.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 02:25 PM
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There is also another power source nearby I could probably use. It would be less convenient, but I wouldn't have to play with all the 4-way stuff.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 03:24 PM
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At a 4-way switch circuit such as I drew there is no available power supply unless you pull another wire so if yours is similar using from a different source might be best and least confusing. Just to be clear travelers can not be used as "hots" for other purposes than the circuit they are a part of.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 03:32 PM
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Then orange would be to the brass screw and yellow wire would be to the black screw.
You see part of the problem in understanding is you never specify whether you are talking about the 3-way switches or the 4-way switch. If that is the 4-way switch black does not mean common. It is most likely used for one set of travelers and the brass for the other set of travelers.
 
 

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