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Understanding 4 Way Switch Wiring

How Do You Wire 4-Way Switches? Wiring for three switch controlled locations it is necessary to install two 3-way switches.

Wiring 4-Way Switches
Electrical Question: How Do You Wire 4-Way Switches?

I have a switch system for a ceiling light fixture controlled from 3 wall switches.

Here is the Problem:

I have a Double Pole; Double Throw; (DP/DT) switch that would not light the fixture at the same time I could light the fixture from 2nd switch. Then the 2nd switch also stopped working. I replaced the DP/DT switch (same terminals used) the fixture would not light from any of the 3 switches. With my volt meter checked the DP/DT switch and power in and out is now available. I replaced the other 2 switches ( same terminals used ) also replaced the lamp and no change- the fixture will not light; and also no voltage at other 2 switches or at fixture.

This electrical question came from: Al, a Homeowner from Mount Vernon, Washington
Additional Comments: Easy to submit an electrical problem!

Dave The Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Al.

Understanding 4-Way Switching

Application: Wiring a 4-Way Light Switch.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Power Tools for installing electrical wiring, and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with hand and power tools.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional 3-way or 4-way switch wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Wiring for 4-Way Switch Control From Three Locations

4-way switches are a convenient way to operate lighting fixtures from three or more locations.

More about Wiring 4-Way and 3-Way Switches

4 Way Switch Wiring


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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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