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# Convert 4-way switch to 3-way switch

#1
07-17-05, 02:40 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12
Convert 4-way switch to 3-way switch

I'm trying to convert a 4-way circuit into a 3-way circuit by replacing the 4-way switch with a 3-way switch and removing the 3-way switch closest to the light source. However, I seem to be having trouble figuring out what to do with the wires from the removed 3-way switch as well as where to put the input/output wires from the old 4-way switch into the 3-way switch. Would someone mind helping me out with the wiring? Thanks!

#2
07-17-05, 05:05 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
First you need to tell the number and colors of the wires at the switches. Pay attention to which wire is on the odd coloredscrew on the 3 ways.

The 4 way switch only breaks the travellers.

#3
07-17-05, 06:57 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
What is your goal in removing the 3-way? Are you removing the wall that it is in, or will the box remain to contain the splice?

If the box will remain (permanently accessible and with a blank cover plate), then all you need to do is connect the common wire on the 3-way to either one of the travelers, cap off the other traveler, and leave the 4-way switch alone.

If the box is to be removed, then you'll have a lot more work to do removing the cable(s) in the box from whereever they come from. So the first thing to do is to figure out how many cable are in the 3-way switch box you want to remove, and exactly where they come from.

#4
07-17-05, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12
The reason why I'm removing a 3-way is because 2 of the 3 switches are within 8 feet of each other along a hallway and I did not see a reason to keep both switches there. I'm not removing the entire box. I only want to remove the switch and cover it with a blank plate.

I will provide more details about the wiring as soon as I get home. Thanks for the help guys.

-mike

Originally Posted by John Nelson
What is your goal in removing the 3-way? Are you removing the wall that it is in, or will the box remain to contain the splice?

If the box will remain (permanently accessible and with a blank cover plate), then all you need to do is connect the common wire on the 3-way to either one of the travelers, cap off the other traveler, and leave the 4-way switch alone.

If the box is to be removed, then you'll have a lot more work to do removing the cable(s) in the box from whereever they come from. So the first thing to do is to figure out how many cable are in the 3-way switch box you want to remove, and exactly where they come from.

#5
07-18-05, 12:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,717
I would just leave it. What's the difference if there is a switch or a blank plate there?

#6
07-18-05, 07:09 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by joed
I would just leave it. What's the difference if there is a switch or a blank plate there?
I'm trying to replace all the regular switches with the button style switches and a blank face plate costs a little less than an extra 4 way switch. In addition, it was wired properly when the house was built (one switch would prevent the other switches from working) and I want to make sure it works this time around.

I figured/hoped there would be an easy way to simply tie a couple of wires together in one of the boxes and then throw a face plate over it.

Anyway, here are pics of the wires in the boxes. If you need pictures of any of the boxes from another angle, please let me know and I'll get take them. Thanks for all your help!

3-way switch

4-way switch

3-way switch to be removed