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Old 11-01-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
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4-way switch


I have a 4-way lighting circuit. The previous owners disengaged the circuit for a ceiling fan and ran it off the hot all the time. None of the switches or circuitry has been altered. The hot runs into the light box with B,W & R. When the ceiling fan was installed the red was left dangling and the fan was attached to the white and black and controlled from a remote control switch.

I removed the fan and reinstalled a light. I kept the black continuing through the light box and attached the light wiring to the white and red. This configuration works with one exception. The 2 3-way switches work fine as long as the 4-way switch is turned "on". Once the 4-way switch is off both of the other switches are rendered useless - effectively making the 4-way switch a "master" switch.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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4-way switch


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Originally Posted by peterwelsh View Post
I have a 4-way lighting circuit. The previous owners disengaged the circuit for a ceiling fan and ran it off the hot all the time. None of the switches or circuitry has been altered. The hot runs into the light box with B,W & R. When the ceiling fan was installed the red was left dangling and the fan was attached to the white and black and controlled from a remote control switch.

I removed the fan and reinstalled a light. I kept the black continuing through the light box and attached the light wiring to the white and red. This configuration works with one exception. The 2 3-way switches work fine as long as the 4-way switch is turned "on". Once the 4-way switch is off both of the other switches are rendered useless - effectively making the 4-way switch a "master" switch.

Thanks in advance.
Usually the whites are all connected together in the 4 way box. The red and black travellers connect to the switch.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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4-way switch


The four way switch box should have two cables in it. One wire will pass through. Two wires from one cable will connect to one set of screws and the two wires from the other cable will connect to the other set. Make sure the sets are not crossed. Some switches have the pairs top and bottom . some have them side to side.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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4-way switch


Everything looks as it should. Yet the problem remains. Is it possible that one of the switches in the 4-way switch is malfunctioning? Would that cause it to become the aforementioned "master" switch?
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:47 AM   #5
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4-way switch


I would bet on a bad 4 way switch. To prove it: turn power off, remove 4 way and wire nut the like colors together. Turn on power and test, if the 3 ways work you have a bad 4 way.
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