4 way, what am I missing??

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hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
My first troubleshooting experiences was with four ways when I was young, I was doing a project wiring two three way and one four way for the 4 H hour on TV, (now I'm really dating myself) when I was in junior high. I wired it as was shown on the 4 way box, but it wouldn't work. So I took a battery and a light bulb, and figured out how the switch actually worked, it turned out it wired side to side as others have said, instead of top to bottom as the box shown! Never trust the instructions!:lol:
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
I've seen many bad 4/ways as well as the ones with unusual locations of in and out, and dpst sold as 4/way, but the hardest ones to troubleshoot were those that worked fine hanging out of wall, put them back in and install switchplate (often multigang) and they stop working, just the tension of the screws evidently. More recently ran it to same thing with single poles (cheap junk brand, not leviton p&s etc).
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Wait until you have a customer that wants a switch in every room for the floodlights, then on trim out hands you motion sensor floods! Then wonders why they don't work half the time.
 

hurk27

Senior Member
Now that you are all done, maybe the customer will ask you (like some have asked me), "Can you put them so the light goes on when the switch is up?):dunce:
I always tell them the closes I can get is that when all the 3-ways and 4-ways controlling the lights are down the lights will be off, and I always get a weird look, but Its the best I can do., and I gotten so use to it its automatic when I wire them in, I swap the travelers on one 3-way and put the grounds down and land the same color traveler on the same side of the 4-way (top and bottom wired) with the ground terminal down, and it comes out the same every time, if its decora side to side wiring then I keep the same color on top and bottom.

Just remember to swap the travelers at one of the 3-ways, so if you had red on the same side as the common on one put the black on the same side as the common on the other 3-way, and when all switches are down lights will be off if you put all switches in with ground down.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
wire pulling grunt
I wired a moderately big shop for a good customer this past year. There were several three -ways and a couple of four-ways used to control the lighting. He likes things primo, so I made sure to connect the switches so that when all the switches are down, everything is off.

I have been back many times to add an outlet or hook up a piece of equipment. On arrival I find the switches all higgly piggly, up and down at each location.

Before I leave I start at the furtherest switch and work my way to the exit, putting all switches down. Upon my exit every switch is down and everything is off..... Nice.

The next time I am called in to do some more work I just know I am going to be complimented for my efforts. It hasn't happened yet, but I know it will.
 

Slimmm

New member
Travelers are definitely mixed up in the drawing. One set goes to black screws. The other set goes to gold screws.
 
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