Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


08:43PM | 04/12/04
Member Since: 04/12/04
1 lifetime posts
I am replacing my swiches on a 4 way circuit. I have a split level house with one 3 way at the bottom of the stairs, 1 3 way in the middle and the 4 way at the top. I have all of the "hot" wirea attached to the 3 ways and the travelers to the 4 way. Every diagram I look at says I have it wired correctly. Despite this, if I do not have the 3 way at the bottom of the stairs "on" then I cannot turn the light off/on from the 4 way. The other 3 way on the landing of the split level does not work unless both the bottom 3 way and the 4 way are "on." It appears that the circuit is not complete and that is way it only works in this limited fashion. The other confusing problem is unlike all of the diagrams, I have a 14/2 wire coming into both boxes where the 3 way switches are along with the 14/3 wires going to the 4 way. I have tested the continuity and the wires between the two 3 ways and the 4 way are good. Both 3 ways have the 14/2 coming in. The black in the hot and goes to the switch. The whites are tied together from the 14/2 to the 14/3. That leaves a black and a red from from 14/3 to attach to the 3 ways as the travelers. I do not know where the power is coming in because of the 14/2 cables in both of the 3 way boxes. I cannot figure out why the circuit does not seem complete. I also replaced the light fixture. Could that be the problem? The new fixture did not have colored wires, but they were shaped different. I attached them to the proper wires. I believe that the fixture worked properly before I tried to replace the switches. Help!



06:45AM | 04/13/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
3way and 4 way switches are not all constructed the same. You need to determine the common screws on new switches. They will be black colored or marked common. Connect the black from the 14/2 at both 3way to the common screws. Red and black from the 14/3 to the travellers.

Also at your 4 way be sure and verify the matching pairs for in and out of the red and black travellers. You can bypass the 4way by connecting the red to red and black to black. This will at least verify if you have the 3ways connected properly.

doug seibert

08:05AM | 04/13/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts

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