4 Way Switch Wiring Diagrams
How to Wire 4-Way Switches: Here are some fully explained 4 way switch diagrams. 4-way switches are a convenient way to operate lighting fixtures from three or more locations.
Wiring a 4-Way Switch
[ad#block]Electrical Question: I have should have three switches that control the four can lights in the ceiling of my upstairs hallway.
- When I moved in only two of the switches were working and the third was not connected to the wires.
- The two black wires were connected with a wire nut and the two red wires were connected with a wire nut in the box.
- I purchased a 4-way switch to replace the unconnected switch.
- I cannot seem to get the wires connected to the 4-way switch so that all three switches control the lights at all times.
- No matter what I try there seems to be position that the switches get into that renders the other switches inoperable.
Background: Karen, a Homeowner from San Diego, CA
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Karen.
How to Wire 4-Way Switches
How to connect the wires 4-way switch wires so that all three switches control the lights at all time
4 Way Switch Wiring
4 Way Switch Wiring
- Fully explained 4 way switch diagrams. 4-way switches are a convenient way to operate lighting fixtures from three or more locations.
- The electrical wiring adds additional wiring to the same principles of 3-way switching.
The links below take you to full wiring diagrams with instructions that will help you identify the wiring method used in your home and assist you to wire your 4-way switch.
For more information about 4 Way Switch Wiring:
The Following links will assist you with 4-way switches
Light Switch Wiring
3 Way Switch Wiring Diagram, Helpful for Wiring 4-Way Switches which are wired with 3-Way Switches.
In response to the requests for this information, I have developed a comprehensive,step-by-step guide designed to walk you through the identification and wiring of your 3-way switches.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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In your diagram of the 4 way switch, the wiring on my left 3 way switch is the same, but the right 3 way switch has the blacks on the same side and the red on the other. Will this matter?
FYI, I have the same wiring problem as Karen described.
As you may know, a 4-way switch is wired with or between two 3-way switches, and 3-way switches can be wired several ways, I have identified eight ways three ways switches can be wired depending on the application. The key to wiring 3-way switches and the four way switches, is to identify where the power source enters the switching circuit. This is described in the wiring diagrams, and I have prepared a helpful guide which explains this due to a lot of misunderstanding.