2 Lights & 3 Switches, Doesn't Look Right - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-24-2010, 07:09 PM   #1
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2 Lights & 3 switches, doesn't look right

First off.. hi all.. I'm a DIY guy as much as I can be and recently redecortaing my dining room I decided to change the light switches, only I can't figure out how or Why it's wired the way it is and what to do about it.

I have a hall light with 2 switches, and and the garage hall light with one switch

but when I went to change the switches I found 2x three way switches (one on each light) and a 4 way (I think-it had 2 wires marked input and 2 marked output red and white on each)

The only thing that makes sense to me is the 3 way on the garage hall is only there to get power from one of the other switches, it should be the only switch controlling that light. But now both lights come on together with most switches, and with some combos (having one switch off) one of the other switches will do nothing...

Also for I'm assuming the same reason the front 3 way switch had a connecting wire from the single switch connecting to the front light, it was going into the 'common' on the old 3 way.

(. are just used for space)

..........................3way-<hot>-1way(to front porch light)

Is this the right way to do it? I bought 3x 3ways not realizing the '4way' was there, but can I do it with just 3 ways? I realize the 'question' is a little vague, but I"m looking for some insight on the way this is set up


Last edited by curious1; 10-24-2010 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
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2 Lights & 3 switches, doesn't look right

Do you know how the wires go between the lights and switches and what colors they are?

If you have a 4 way switch setup, it is possible to use two 3-way switches in place of one 4-way switch.

But it would be awkward. If you did not flip the pair of 3-ways in the 4-way location correctly, then the other locations woul dnot be able to control the light.

A 3-way switch can be used as an ordinary (single location) switch, with one of the traveler terminals left empty.

Occasionally you will run into a master-slave setup, where two switches are in line and both have to be on for the light to be on. (One master switch might control more than one slave subcircuit.) Or a shared light where both switches have to be off for the light to be off.


Do you get coverage you can count on? From the bag of fertilizer? From your lawn sprinklers?

Last edited by AllanJ; 10-26-2010 at 10:39 PM.
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