4-way switching


Old 10-19-20, 04:26 PM
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4-way switching

Hi all,

I have been searching for hours for an answer to my question and have come up with nothing. I am in the process of replacing all of the switches and outlets in our home to something more modern. So far I have been successful with all but one switch in my house, the front floods. The flood lights are on a 4-way circuit and I have changed the first 3-way switch no problem, the middle 4-way switch also no issues. But the last switch on the circuit, which should be a 3-way has me totally confused. When I pulled the switch from the wall there were 4 wires connected to it, 1 red, and 3 black. Two of the black wires were mounted to the screws and the 3rd was push mounted into the back line terminal. I thought that was odd, but I wired the new switch the same as the original was, and when I turned the power back on it didnít work. Actually it flashes on and then immediately turns off. I have even tried wiring this into a 4-way assuming there might be another switch that I am unaware of. Does anyone know why there would be the extra wire? And why would the lights flash on and then off when I flip the switch? Any ideas on how to correctly wire the new switch?

Old 10-19-20, 04:37 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The push-in and screw terminal should not both be used. Usually a handyman will make this type of connection as it saves splicing the two black wires together and adding a single tail to go to the switch.

You need to make sure you know which two wires were together. In your application.... one of those black wires is probably hot in and the other is hot out.

Here's a problem you could be having. When replacing switches on a 4way.... the 2) three way switches should be replaced and operation confirmed. Then replace the 4w switch. Your 4w switch has four terminals. You need to know if the travelers get connected to each side or top and bottom. Every switch is different. Don't go by the old switch. Go by the package.


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