4 way switches

Old 07-01-01, 09:41 AM
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i am wiring a garage with 4 over head lights and three switches to opreate the lights. how do I do this.
Old 07-01-01, 10:52 AM
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Hope these 2 sites will give you the info you require, if you need more, just ask.
Old 07-01-01, 10:54 AM
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Buy two 3-way switches and one 4-way switch. Run power to the first 3-way in a 12/2. Run a 12/3 from the 3-way to the 4-way, and another 12/3 from the 4-way to the second 3-way. Run 12/2 from the second 3-way to the first light, another 12/2 from from the first light to the second light, etc.

Somebody here is going to recommend the following site, but I like my scheme above instead, especially for more than one light. It's really easy to screw up multiple lights when the power comes to the light before the switches.


Anyway, the site above will show you how the switches work, but don't wire it that way.

The following site:


shows my preferred method, but it shows two 4-way switches. You only need one, so you can skip the other 4-way switch. Use the FIRST picture with 4-way switches, NOT the SECOND picture (which shows the light between the two 4-way switches). The second picture is subject to the multiple-light confusion I noted above.

Be very wary of following a diagram with only one light when you have more than one light.
Old 07-01-01, 11:35 AM
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4 way switch

smashedworm (i won't ask),
you will need two 3-way switches, and one 4-way switch. I will describe the wiring and if you are unsure of how to do it repost or email me and I will draw a sketch for you. The 3 way switch is a single pole double throw switch, so what it does is switches your 120 volts from one terminal to the other. The 4 way is a double pole double throw, with some extra wiring in it. What it does is rolls the two hot legs. The 3 way switches go on each end of your circuit and the 4 way switch goes in the middle. By the way you can install as many 4 way switches as you like. Your 120 volt source (2 conductor w/gnd) cable comes in to the first 3 way switch with the black (hot) wire going to the black screw on the switch. The white wire in this cable is the neutral. You will need one run of 3 conductor w/gnd from this switch to the 4 way switch. The red and black wires in this 3/c cable will go to the copper colored screws on the 3 way switch, the white in the 3/c will be spliced to the white in the 2/c supply cable. The red and black in this 3/c cable will attach to one pair of terminals on the 4 way switch. I have found that 4 way switches sometimes have the terminals side by side and some are top and bottom. Check yours, it should be marked on the switch. You will need a run of 3/c w/gnd from this 4 way switch to the second 3 way switch. The red and black in this second run of 3/c will go to the second pair of terminals on the 4 way switch. The white wires from both the 3/c cables are spliced together. At the second 3 way switch the red and black wires from the 3/c cable go to the two copper colored terminals on the switch. The black wire in a second run of 2/c will go to the black screw on your 3 way switch and will go to your light. The white wire in this run of 2/c splices to the white in the 3/c. This will be the neutral for your light.

Last time I wired one, it didn't work the first time. The problem is usually with the 4 way switch because of the way they are marked.

I will be glad to draw a sketch and email it to you.

Old 07-02-01, 08:17 AM
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thank you every one for the help, I will give it a try and see what hapepens

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