Troubleshooting 4-way switch.

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Old 10-25-16, 06:49 PM
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Troubleshooting 4-way switch.

I replaced one switch in a 4 way switch. It was working fine but there was a need to change it.

All of the terminals on the existing switch were brass. The new one were different. Top left and bottom right are copper. Top right and bottom left are brass. I attached the wires in the same configuration hoping that it would be that simple. It was not.

When the new switch is in the down position all of the other light switches in the 4-way work together turning the lights on and off as they should. If the new switch is in the up position none of the switches can turn the lights on.

Using a basic continuity tester. (2 wires with a bulb in-between) I found continuity in the following combinations.

With the Switch Down (other switches working):

Copper to Copper (diagonal)
Brass to Brass (diagonal)
Copper top to Brass top
Brass bottom to Copper bottom

With the Switch Up (no switches working):

Copper to Copper (diagonal)
Brass to Brass (diagonal)
Copper top to Brass bottom
Brass top to Copper bottom

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I removed the switch and tested the bare wires with the ground. I changed the positions of the other switches in various ways. In most cases the none of the wires were hot. In one position the bottom right wire was hot.

I reinstalled the original switch and the 4 way works perfectly.

Any ideas on how I can figure out how to rewire the new switch?

Thanks
Pamela
 
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Old 10-25-16, 07:25 PM
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4 ways are made in different ways. The screw positions mean nothing. Your diagrams are a bit confusing to me so the easiest way is to identify the travelers in the box and then connect as below.

With most switches, the travelers should connect one set to the top screws and one set to the bottom, or one set on one side, and one set on the other side.
 
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Old 10-25-16, 07:27 PM
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There should be a diagram embossed on the back of the new switch. Follow that diagram. If your uncertain how to follow the diagram post it.
 
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Old 10-26-16, 05:06 AM
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If you put the old switch back inline and it worked then you must not have hooked up the new switch properly. As advised, look at the directions that came with the switch.

But also do one more thing and I say this because I have seen this happen before. Since the old switch worked when put back inline again and the new one does not are you sure that the new switch is a 4 way switch. Don't assume it is because it has 4 screws plus ground screw. Look at the face of the switch. Do the words "on" and "off" appear on the switch. If so what you have is a two pole switch and not a 4 way switch. This is just a heads up to save you some time. If there is no on or off on the switch then follow the diagram.
 
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Old 10-26-16, 07:28 AM
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4-way Switch

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and trying to help.

AFJES: Yes it is a 4 way. Lutron CA-4PS-WH (a 4-way General Purpose Switch)


ray2047: There is no diagram embossed on the back of either switch. The instructions inside the box say: Tag the wires on the different colors screws of the original switch. Then connect the tagged wires to the copper screws. Problem is, the original switch does not have any colored wires.


Tolyn Ironhand: After writing this I continued to more systematically to find the two hot wires. Which I did. They are the two bottom wires. As you said switches are different and they can be paired in different configurations. So how do I know which configuration to use?

Hoping these pics will help?

I installed them as shown (on both switches). The two hot wires on the bottom. 2 Red on the left. 2 Black on the right.

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Thanks
 
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Old 10-26-16, 09:03 AM
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Problem Solved

Thanks for all your help. I found a help line phone number for Lutron. He figured out which line should go where for me. Wish I'd noticed the number earlier.
 
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Old 10-26-16, 04:30 PM
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Good! I'm glad you figured it out.
 
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