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Old 07-05-2007, 01:54 PM   #1
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messed up 4 way circuit

12-2 power into first switch box.
(2) 12-3's out... first to switch box #2, second to switch box #3.

Load off of switch box #2.

I know how to power a load from a four way switch in the middle (box #2), but the 12-3 should have went from box to box, not first box to both second and third box. I dont see any way to make the third switch work as the four way needs 2 live conductors in and two out and any way I look at it I have 3 plus ground.

AM I missing something before I fish a new wire?



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Old 07-05-2007, 02:41 PM   #2
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Hot lead into box 1 feeds straight through to box 3 where it connects to common of a 3-way. The two travelers from the 3-way in box 3 connect to one side of the 4-way in box 1. The travelers from the other side of the 4-way go to box 2 where they connect to the 3-way. The common of the 3-way in box 2 is the hot lead to the light. The neutral in box 1 feeds straight through to the neutral of the light in box 2.

You have all the wires you need.


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Old 07-05-2007, 07:12 PM   #3
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Here is a drawing.

Last edited by joed; 07-05-2007 at 07:13 PM. Reason: to add the pic
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
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Nice drawing!

When you hook up the 4 way swich, make sure that the "travellers" from one 12-3 go to a screw set. Usually, on a 4 way, one set of screws is brass, and the other is black. Each gets a traveller set. In the drawing above the red-and-white set from the right side 3 way would go to one set of screws, and the red-and-black set would got to the other set.

I hope I didn't confuse you, I was actually trying to clear it up.
John from Baltimore
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:09 PM   #5
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oh... great...duh. The four way switch goes in my #1 switchbox.... therefor it IS in the middle. Great picture... except most three ways have the common black screw on the bottom and the two travellers go on either side on the top... but I got it. thanks guys!

I actually rough wired this myself back in like October and I knew I thought it out then. Guess I should have drawn a sketch on the wall, but I always say, nah I'll remember. lol

Today was not a good day. I spent several hours jerking around spinning my wheels running phone lines and tried to test with an old analog phone (that worked at the house). When I got it out to the garage to test the new line it didnt work. I made about 7 trips back and forth from the garage to the house (like 200 feet+) checking, testing, getting tools, reconnecting, retesting, etc... nothing. I finally brought the phone back into the house and it didnt work on the old line where it worked before. I thought I messed that line up so I re-did that one too! Still didnt work. I finally went to another line with another working phone and swapped it out and found the analog phone had mysteriously died. My wife later claimed it had an intermittent switch problem (not quite in those words) when answering or hanging up. ARRRGH!

After this I went on to my four three and four way circuits and got them all done except this one.

And yes I understand John, otherwise you could backfeed power instead of through feed. Finish it up in the morning...

thanks again
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