outlet controlled by three switches

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Old 07-13-18, 08:46 PM
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outlet controlled by three switches

Hello,

I have an outlet that is controlled by three switches; two are three-way and one is a four-way switch. The outlet is only powered when the three-way switches are 'up' and the four-way switch is 'down'. The room is not very big and I see no need for more than one switch. I ultimately want to run surface-mounted wiring from the outlet to a ceiling fan/light that would be controlled by the single switch.

The location for the switch I would like to keep has a three-conductor cable while the four-way and second three-way switch I want to remove each have two-conductor cable.

Any suggestions on how I can remove the two switches and use the switch with the three-conductor cable to control the fixture?

Thanks in advance,
Tom
 
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Old 07-13-18, 08:50 PM
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You are going to need to map the wiring and tell use the number of cables and the wire colors in each box.
 
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Old 07-13-18, 11:49 PM
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There has to be at least 1) three wire cable at each three way switch and 2) three wire cables at the four way switch.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 06:51 AM
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The wiring of your two 3 way switches and one four way switch is not standard. There are 6 combinations of your switches UP and DOWN. Three combinations should power the outlet and three combinations should remove outlet power. Need all detail as to what type of cable is in each switch box and outlet box to assist you further.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 07:43 AM
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Of course - should've known to sketch these out first. Again, all I want in the end is the 3-way switch with the 3-wire to control the outlet that will then go to a ceiling fan/light that will be installed with surface-mount. I also need to preserve the single-pole switches that control the dining fixture and the exterior fixture.

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Last edited by PJmax; 07-14-18 at 10:51 AM. Reason: enlarged/reoriented/labeled pics
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Old 07-14-18, 11:04 AM
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Some interesting wiring. This would be a lesson in how not to wire/install three way switches. I labeled the pictures so we know where you want the control to be.
Switch D is the easiest to bypass..... white to white and black to black.
The three wire cable in A and B is not the same cable.
Your diagram C shows the feed to the common of the 3w switch. We then see a two wire cable, more than likely going to the 4w switch.

Hmmm.... something is not drawn correctly.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:11 PM
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Thanks PJ. Disconnected the 4-way as you instructed. The two remaining 3-ways only power the outlet in one combination.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:25 PM
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I will review the way I diagrammed the boxes
 
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Old 07-23-18, 08:50 PM
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So D is now out of the picture and I confirmed the sketch at A and B. Not so clear on C. I had planned to leave it the way it is now and live with the switches not operating correctly but I ran into what I imagine is an unsafe condition.

As I was disconnecting the white on the three wire at the outlet I noticed it was carrying between 80-110V. As I watch my meter, voltage steps down from 110 to 80 over the course of ~20sec and then back up to 110. Im not all too experienced but I know this cant be right - Any thoughts?
 
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Old 07-23-18, 09:35 PM
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As I was disconnecting the white on the three wire at the outlet I noticed it was carrying between 80-110V. As I watch my meter, voltage steps down from 110 to 80 over the course of ~20sec and then back up to 110. I’m not all too experienced but I know this can’t be right - Any thoughts?
What are you measuring to?
 
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Old 07-24-18, 04:13 AM
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Measuring between the white wire and the ground wire
 
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Old 07-24-18, 06:27 AM
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White to ground should be close to 0 volts. Was it a digital meter?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-24-18 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 07-24-18, 06:57 AM
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Yes a digital meter. Also confirmed the voltage by getting unintentionally shocked
 
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Old 07-24-18, 07:15 PM
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OK - I'm pretty sure what I've diagrammed is correct. I went back into box 'C' and made some measurements:

- with the 3-way in 'B' in the 'down' position, I have 120V between all 3 wires and ground on the 3-way in 'C', regardless of position of that switch
- with the 3-way in 'B' in the 'up' position and the 3-way in 'C' in the 'up' position, I have 120V on the top black wire and the white wire on that switch
- with the 3-way in 'B' in the 'up' position and the 3-way in 'C' in the 'down' position, I have 120 V on both black wires
- additionally, I have no power going to the other switch in 'B' that controls the exterior fixture. I assume this is because my outlet in 'A' is removed

Any more thoughts? I'm close to calling-in a pro because this is becoming too much for me to grasp.
 
 

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