The Key to 4 Way Switch Wiring
How to Wire a 4 Way Switch: My old 4-way light switch broke. I bought a new switch. The new switch has 4 terminals, two on either side, top and bottom.
Guide to Wiring a 4 Way Switch
Electrical Question: My old 4-way light switch broke so I bought a new switch and I am trying to connect the wires.
- The new switch has 4 terminals, two on either side, top and bottom.
- My old switch has two on top, two on bottom.
- Each of the two are one in front of the other.
- Should I twist my old switch with the toggle still up and down, and then reposition the wiring to the new plug? or should I twist the switch with the toggle sideways and then reposition the wiring to the new plug?
- I think the first way would be correct, but I don’t know.
This electrical question came from: Bob, a Homeowner from Newbury, New Hampshire.
Additional Comments: Thanks for the diagrams.
Thanks for your electrical question Bob.
How to Wire a 4 Way Switch
Application: Wiring a 4Way 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 Connections to the 4 Way Switch Screw Terminals
- Identify the electrical circuit and turn the source power or circuit breaker OFF.
- Label the circuit to advise others that work is being done on the circuit.
- The two sets of screws should be identified with two colors, for example:
- Gold and Brass.
- Brass and Black.
- The key is to match the pair of wires with each set of colored screws to keep the wire sets paired up correctly.
- Once the sets of wires are identified for each set of screws the position of the wires to the screw terminal set should not matter, as long as the sets of wires and screws are maintained.
- IMPORTANT: Be sure to attach the ground wire of the circuit wiring to the green ground screw located on the 4way switch.
More about Wiring a 4 Way Switch
- Light Switch Wiring
- Wiring Diagrams
- 4-way switch wiring
- 4 Way Switch Diagrams
- 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.
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 Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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