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Old 03-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #1
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4way issue


I replaced my switchs with new ones and am having some issues i can't seem to figure out. I've attached a drawing to help explain things. It's for my 2 hall lights that are switched in 3 places. The first switch is a 3way and is where the power comes in. From this switch there is a 14-3 wire that runs to the first hall light, 2 travelers and a nuetral. From the light box there is a 14-2 wire that is spliced to the travelers and goes to the 4way and another 14-2 wire that goes to the second light, brings a nuetral to the second light and the black brings switched power back to the first light. From the 4way there is a 14-2 that goes to the last 3way, the 2 travelers. From the last 3way there is a 14-2 that only the black is used to bring the switched power to the second light.

I think the wiring will work and I have the 3way switches hooked up right, power to the common for the first 3way and switch leg to the lights on the other 3way. I believe the 4way is hooked up right, it's a pass and seymor and I have one 14- on the top and one on the bottom and the whites on one side and blacks on the other side.

The problem is that if the switches are in the right postion one of the 3ways won't work and if you flip the 4way it will "flash" the lights on quik and then off. I'm thinking the 4way is bad or not hooked up right? Anyone have any advice? I tried hooking the 4way up a couple different ways and thought I had it but I guess not. Thanks for any help with this.
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4way issue-4way-hall-lights.jpg  

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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4way issue


Thats the craziest 4 way system I have seen. Not failiar with the P&S 4 way but it sounds like it is made up wrong. Some 4 ways have the "pairs" side to side,top to bottom, and even some criss cross.

To tell you the truth I am scratching my head wondering if that is really a safe 3 way setup. Can another sparky jump in and correct me if I am wrong. Will the switch leg or "power" he calls it heat up a little bit by not having a neutral with it? Minimal maybe but still an isssue possibly...its early here on the west coast!!

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Old 03-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #3
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4way issue


That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen. OK, not quite, but close. the only thing this design accomplishes is that it saves some 14-3 wire.

If it worked before you changed your switches, then the culprit is your wiring. Double-check your "in" and "out" poles on the 4 way switch. My guess is you've got them wrong-way-around.
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:25 PM   #4
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4way issue


Hi all,

Interesting setup! Should work though. If it worked with the old switches, then the only 2 possibilities seem to be defective switch, or miswired switch.

Current will flow from the first switch thru either (but not both) conductors to the second (four way) switch. Then it will flow from this switch on either but not both conductors. So current will always be flowing into the third switch. Depending on the position of that switch, current may or may not flow to the luminaire.

Throwing ANY switch will change from "light on" to "light off" or vice versa.

I would guess the 4 way switch is miswired, can you remove it, be sure the wires that attach to it are properly identified, and reconnect? May use an ohmmeter to be sure you know what goes where.

Good luck, let us know how this turns out! Gene
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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4way issue


Thanks for the repleys everyone. I'm pretty sure it is a bad 4way switch. I am going to get a new one tonight and see what happens. I'll post back on the results or if I need some more help! Thanks again.
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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4way issue


Make sure you have a 4 way switch and not a double-pole switch. Look the same but different internals.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #7
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4way issue


Bypass the four way. Connect the incoming to the outgoing travellers together and see if the three ways work.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #8
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It is a 4way switch and I did bypass it and the 3ways work. So I'm thinking it is a deffective switch. Otherwise it was how I hooked the travelers up. I had one set on the top and one on the bottom and from what I've read that should be right? My travelers are black and white, it doesn't make a difference as long as one pair from one 3way are on the top and one pair from the other 3way are on the bottom right? Thanks
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:40 PM   #9
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4way issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
It is a 4way switch and I did bypass it and the 3ways work. So I'm thinking it is a deffective switch. Otherwise it was how I hooked the travelers up. I had one set on the top and one on the bottom and from what I've read that should be right? My travelers are black and white, it doesn't make a difference as long as one pair from one 3way are on the top and one pair from the other 3way are on the bottom right? Thanks
I believe and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, the travelers from the first three way should be on top and the travelers to the last 3-way on bottom. At least that's how I've always done it.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:24 PM   #10
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4way issue


I got a new switch installed today and all is working fine. Thanks for everyones help. Guess I just bought a bad switch the first time.

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