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Old 05-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #16
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4 way switch troubleshooting


I would make sure that one of 3way switches have hot leg, and the other 3way have switchleg that goes to light. Make sure you got your two traveler wires going between first 3way, through two 4ways. and end up to last 3way switch. Like Frencelectrician suggests, bypass both 4way switches by connected wires with wirenuts. Then make sure you got your 3way switches right by using right terminals on the switch. after that install your 4ways. Good luck

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Old 05-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #17
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Wow!
You guys are great! Sorry for not getting more info back sooner. The power is coming into my first three way and it feeds my exhaust fan from there. I have 4 switches that feed this exhaust fan, The first 3 way and the two middle 4 ways work perfect when my last 3 way is in the down position. I really do appreciate all of your efforts and will try every one of them if need be..

God Bless!
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:18 PM   #18
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Thanks Yoyizit,

I would need a little help in rewiring my brain to understand what you are trying to explain to me. I am all for black and white truth tables. Hopefully a light will go on in my head to grasp this..
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:05 PM   #19
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4 way switch troubleshooting


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Originally Posted by DOITRIGHTTHEFIRSTTIME View Post
The first 3 way and the two middle 4 ways work perfect when my last 3 way is in the down position.

I think there are two faults present.
The wiper [instead of one of the stationary contacts] of your last three way is connected to one of the travelers, and the travelers at the last three way seemed to be shorted together, maybe inside the switch.
I don't think just one fault can make these symptoms.
The wiper terminal should have a different color than the other two [stationary contact] terminals. Check your last three way with an ohmmeter.

Hopefully a light will go on in my head to grasp this..
My light is burned out, the truth table killed it. . .

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-06-2009 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #20
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Sounds like you hav ethe wrong wire onthe common of the last three way. The wire inthe common of the last three way should not connect to anything between the first box whre the fan is and the common terminal. It should feed through both of the 4 ways with no connection to the switches.

You only have two more tries to get the right wire on the common.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:47 PM   #21
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4 way switch troubleshooting


I can't come up a schematic that would account for your symptoms.

Unless someone's already come up with this, here's another approach.

Working with only the first and last switch, confirm that alternately flipping each switch makes the light go on twice and and off twice.

That is, starting with both switches down and
the light either on or off,
flip #1 up and
then #2 up and
then #1 down and
then #2 down.
The light show go on and off with each switch flip.

The center two switches should be in whatever position it takes to make this happen.

Does this work?
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:54 AM   #22
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I can't come up a schematic that would account for your symptoms.

Unless someone's already come up with this, here's another approach.

Working with only the first and last switch, confirm that alternately flipping each switch makes the light go on twice and and off twice.

That is, starting with both switches down and
the light either on or off,
flip #1 up and
then #2 up and
then #1 down and
then #2 down.
The light show go on and off with each switch flip.

The center two switches should be in whatever position it takes to make this happen.

Does this work?
Yes, it works fine this way. If I have last 3 way down,1 4 way up, 1 4 way down and 1st 3 way up I can shut fan off from all locations and turn it on and off from the two 3 way locations but cannot regulate the fan from the 4 ways???

Thanks again for everyones help!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #23
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
Sounds like you hav ethe wrong wire onthe common of the last three way. The wire inthe common of the last three way should not connect to anything between the first box whre the fan is and the common terminal. It should feed through both of the 4 ways with no connection to the switches.

You only have two more tries to get the right wire on the common.
I have the white as a common throughout and is not tied to anything until the last 3 way.

Thanks
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:14 AM   #24
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4 way switch troubleshooting


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Originally Posted by renoet View Post
I would make sure that one of 3way switches have hot leg, and the other 3way have switchleg that goes to light. Make sure you got your two traveler wires going between first 3way, through two 4ways. and end up to last 3way switch. Like Frencelectrician suggests, bypass both 4way switches by connected wires with wirenuts. Then make sure you got your 3way switches right by using right terminals on the switch. after that install your 4ways. Good luck
Thanks,

It seems like the 4 ways are simple because I have a red and black and a red and black and they are installed correctly and the white is the wire nutted wire through out the system and goes into my last 3 way. My confusion is more because everything appears to be wired correctly but doesn't work?? I don't think it is a bad switch because they do operate the fan depending on what position some of the other switches are in. Can a bad ground be a cause of anything??
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #25
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4 way switch troubleshooting


It's not a ground problem. If you believe everything is correct try switching around one set of the black and red wires on one switch. This will usually fix the problem. Why? I have no Idea. I have only had this happen a few times over the years.

Last edited by RenoDon; 05-07-2009 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:36 AM   #26
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4 way switch troubleshooting


Quote:
Originally Posted by DOITRIGHTTHEFIRSTTIME View Post
1 4 way up, 1 4 way down

turn it on and off from the two 3 way locations
Just explaining this is confusing.

I have stepped through, on paper, every way of wiring the two end switches, and I don't believe they can cause your symptoms by themselves.

Furthermore, I think the two end switches are wired correctly, assuming you checked all four switch positions.

It seems the 4-ways are only acting like travelers when they are in certain positions, instead of all the time [when the end switches are being switched and the 4-ways are not being switched].

I recommend removing one 4-way, and in its box, wirenutting an incoming traveler with an outgoing traveler and then doing the same to the other traveler, as if the switch is replaced with a through cable.

Then, step through all 8 combinations of the three remaining switches [3 switches with two positions is 2≥ = 8] and see if they work properly.

The light should change each time you flip a switch according to this Gray Code truth table: 0 is switch lever down, 1 is up.

000
001
011
010
100
101
111
110

While the 4-way is out of the circuit, check it.
Label a switch terminal "1".
Find a terminal that has continuity to 1 and label it "2". Label the other two terminals 3 and 4 and check that they have continuity and
that there is no continuity between 1 & 3.

Flip the switch lever:
if there is now continuity between 1 and 3 there should also be between 2 & 4 and none between 1 & 2.
or
if there is now continuity between 1 and 4 there should also be between 2 & 3 and none between 1 & 2.

In use, 1 & 2 replaces a traveler and 3 & 4 replaces the other traveler.


Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-07-2009 at 11:39 AM.
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