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Electrical Question from Kris about 3 Way Switch Wiring

How to Avoid the Confusion about 3 Way Switch Wiring when your replacing a set switches and something went wrong and now the lighting is all messed up


How to Avoid the Confusion about 3 Way Switch Wiring
Electrical Question: I’m replacing a set of 4 switches and I did something wrong and now the lighting is all messed up.
See attached.

Any help is appreciated.
Received from Kris a Homeowner in Cheshire CT

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question.

Avoid the Confusion about 3 Way Switch Wiring

Kris – I need a few of my own questions answered to understand what the configuration is.

Are all the lights that you show supposed to work at the same time, or separately?
If these lights are all supposed to come on with any of the four switches then you need to place 2 4-way switches into this configuration which are typically wired with two 3-way switches.

NOTE
To see how to wire 4-way switches see the resource links below to access the 4-way switch wiring diagrams.

I must say I’m curious, why are you changing out these switches? What happened to cause you to change out all these switches?
So many times –  I hear “the rest of the story” after I have you tell me what is really going on here.
So Kris – give me some feed back so I can help you get this mess straightened out!
Thanks!

RESOURCES

Wiring Diagrams
wiring-diagram

Electrical Wiring Diagrams

Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.

How to Wire a Switch
electrical-switches

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Wiring Diagrams
Wiring Diagram

Electrical Wiring Diagrams

Articles about Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.

For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area


» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.


  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
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
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

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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