4-way wiring issues please help!!


Old 10-13-14, 05:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1
4-way wiring issues please help!!

I have two sets 3-way switches that control one light each. Two of the switches are next to one another. I would like to connect them with a 4-way switch so that I can control both lights, from all three locations.

I am not sure which wires I need to connect to the 4-way switch, and which I need to tie together with a wire nut. Each 3-way has a hot, and 2 other wires.

Any help would be appreciated!!Name:  IMG_20141012_210206482.jpg
Views: 416
Size:  26.0 KB
Sponsored Links
Old 10-13-14, 07:46 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,112
Welcome to the forums.

A three way switch has two travelers and a common. At one three way switch the common is the "hot line" in. At the other three way switch.... the common is "switched hot out" to the lights.

Right now you have 4) three way switches. You have two of them in the same box. You can't just randomly connect three way circuits together like that.
Old 10-13-14, 07:51 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Post moved to Electrical.
Old 10-14-14, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,093
This is what you need:

Three wires from switch #1 to switch #2.
Three wires from switch #2 to switch #3
Two wires from light #1 to light #2
Two wires from one light to one switch (not the middle switch).
Power (hot and neutral) to any one light or any switch other than the middle switch.

Chances are you will need to run a new 2 wire cable between the two lights.

You would need to trace the wires you have to see whether you havet he wires for all this. They make tone generating and sensing kits for this purpose.

Hint: Do not unhook any wire without first labeling it where it was connected to.

* The 2011 National Electrode Code calls for a neutral in each switch box. Depending on how the power gets in it may be necessary to have an additional wire daisy chaining through the various boxes over and above the aofrementioned.
Old 10-15-14, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,093
New question: (multiple choice) Where does the power come in to feed the existing 3 way light and switch setup?
a. At the light fixture.
b. At the box (pictured above) where the two switches one for each light are located.
c. At the other switch box.

(separate answer for each light)
Old 10-15-14, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 377
Since you have not specifically told us how many cables (containing how many conductors) come into each box nor does the picture really show this the answer to your question is: can be from any three of your selections. As mentioned as long as one common screw on one switch has a hot going to it and the other switch common wire goes to the light the power can be coming from either of the switches or the light. We can't tell from info provided.
Old 10-15-14, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 138
to the original poster ..... I'm sorry to have to say this but by the very fact that you have to ask this question .... you shouldn't be messing around with this. AND .... I don't know about the rest of you but do you really want the responsibility of trying to tell someone how to do this in this format?
Just my opinion.
Old 10-15-14, 02:38 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,112
Jimmiee.... read some more threads at DIY. A homeowner has the right to do any thing he wants in his own home. The OP asked a question. He has the right to get an answer. Based on the replies that have been posted he may just decide that it isn't worth the aggravation or is beyond his comfort zone.... the decision is his to make.

We are deal with potentially hazardous subjects in almost every forum. The poster needs to recognize the limits of his abilities.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes