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Old 12-13-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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4 way / 3 way or what?


Okay I searched the forum here, and I've googled it a good bit.

House built in '99. We've been in it for a few years. Wife painted the kitchen / living room and wants me to change the beige outlets / wall plates to white. Okay no problem...right? Here's the thing that's getting me.

In my living room there is a duplex outlet which is controlled by THREE different light switches in the room. The former owners used this for a lamp. My TV / Home theater stuff is plugged into this outlet now.

So I have three different switch boxes and each have a switch that controls this outlet. I simply want to eliminate these three toggle switches, since I'll be in there anyway switching out colors. I figured I could wire nut the wires together, put a blank in the switch's place and be done with it. I've done that before in other places with screwy switches.

But unless I'm missing something, since there are more than two switches controlled one outlet, doesn't that mean one of those switches has to be a 4 way switch and the other two have to be 3 way switches?

Am I missing something.

I kind of wanted to be able to pick up all my stuff, then take it apart. Looks like I'll be taking it apart to look at first.

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Old 12-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
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4 way / 3 way or what?


That's correct there will be 2 three-way switches and one four-way switch

Ok This is my approach

1.first is to see if there is a constant power in the outlet box. If there is then replace the outlet WITHOUT breaking the tab, so both outlets will have power. Then in regard to the three switches, disconnect every switch so there's only wires then find the original power and cap it. Any wires twisted together leave them that way.

2. Now if there is no constant power in the outlet box then again disconnect all wires from the switches, then find the original power. Once you have that, wirecap it together with on of the travelers, go to the next box and find the hot traveler you just gave power to, and connect it to a traveler to be sent to the third box. In the last box connect traveler to switch leg going to outlet. Then just put blanks on all switch boxes.

I hope this will help

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Old 12-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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4 way / 3 way or what?


Yes that made sense. I'm going to take the boxes apart and look at them to see how it's wired.

Right now I just ordered some switch guards for the three switch plates in question. I'll probably redo the wiring in the living room when I have more time. I wouldn't mind moving a couple of outlets around either while I'm at it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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4 way / 3 way or what?


Update: I pulled one of the switch cover plates in question last night. Didn't have a whole lot of time. One of the three switches that controls that outlet? The switch looks 'normal'. Doesn't look like a 3-way switch.

I'll yank it further out one night this week and take pics for my notes so I can do some digging. Looks like I'll be chasing down the wiring in the living room to see what's actually going on.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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4 way / 3 way or what?


How many wires are connected to it, not counting ground? Three way switch will have three wires. Four way switch will have four wires.
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