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Electrical Wire and Cable

Wiring a 4-Way Switch

How to Wire a 4 Way Switch: How do I install and wire a 4 way light switch for my hallway light fixtures.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

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Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
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4-Way Switch Wiring Diagrams

Electrical Question: How do I  install and wire a 4 way light switch for my hallway light fixtures.

This electrical wiring question came from Melchor, a Electrician from Imus Cavite, Philippines.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Melchor.

How to Wire  a 4 Way Switch

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Important: Installing additional fixture electrical wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Hi Melchor, you will find wiring diagrams for 4-way switches and the electrical calculations area by following these links which will assist you with your electrical wiring project:

4 Way Switch Wiring Diagram
4 Way Switch Wiring

4 Way Switch Wiring

Light Switch Wiring

Wiring Diagrams

Lighting for the Home
recessed lighting

Planning and Installing Home Lighting

Home lighting articles covering recessed lighting, under cabinet lighting, lighting terminology and more.

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

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, Handy Women, and Electricians
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
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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.

More articles about 4-Way Switch, Electrical Wiring, Lighting and Home Electrical Wiring:
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Wiring a 4-Way Switch”
  1. David Morris says:


    Regarding a 4-way switch with two 3-way switches; Our home was built in 1956. The 4-way switch wiring diagrams don’t seem to correspond to our set up. I replaced one of the 3-way switches and now the system does not entirely work s it did. On that 3-way, there are 2 wires on the left side; the top wire is white & the bottom wire is black. On the right side, the one wire (on the bottom) is black. This was the original arrangement with the original 3 pole switch. Is there any chance that the new switch has any “internal differences?”

    Your advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Most Cordially– David Morris

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi David,
    As you know, 4-way switches are wired in conjunction with two three way switches, of which can be wired several ways, and this is why I produced an extensive eBook about Wiring 3-Way Switches specifically about the topic complete with the wiring diagrams. Three way switches are typically not built differently, however Decora type switches can be tricky. Four way switches could be wired with the pairs at the top and bottom, or side to side, depending on the brand switch, however this is typically indicated by the brass and gold colored sets of screws.