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ByDave Rongey © Ask the Electrician 2017 Author, Licensed Electrical Contractor

Does it Matter Where the Power Enters 4-Way Switch Wiring?

Yes it does matter where the power enters into the switch wiring. Actually that is just two scenarios, there are more, such as if the power enters at….

Electrical Question from Don about Circuit Wiring
Background: Don , a Homeowner from Bedford, NS
Question: I want to convert a 4-way switch controlling 2 lights to a 3-way switch controlling one of them and a 2-way controlling the other. I see that you’ve provided 2 diagrams for 4-way switches: One for if the electrical source is at the light fixture, and the other for if the source is at one of the switches. How do I tell which way mine is set up? Or does it not matter? The wiring at both the light fixture and the switch seems to be the same in both diagrams.

Additional Comments: Great diagrams. Thanks!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Don. Yes it does matter where the power enters into the switch wiring. Actually that is just two scenarios, there are many more,  such as if the power enters at one of the fixtures. The only way to know for sure is to check using a voltage tester.

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