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Old 04-06-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


I had a contractor do the rough in for our basement electrical about 6 months ago. For the stairs and hallway we have a string of can lights that are currently hooked up to two switches, one on the top of the stairs and one on the bottom of the stairs. When the rough in was done, the electrician added another switch rough in located down the hallway, but did not put in the actual switch.

In this new box, there are two sets of wires coming in. One set has BLACK, RED and BARE COPPER. The other has BLACK and RED. The two BLACK are tied together and the RED's are capped off separately. I suspect the BLACK are together because the lights are live (working) right now from both the other switches.

Here is my question - Is this new box the location of the 4 way switch? or is the wiring I described the location of the three way switch and the 4-way needs in one of the other switch locations?

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Sounds like the location of the 4 way.
A 3 way switch has 3 terminals for 3 wires.
A 4 way switch has 4 terminals for 4 wires, grounds not included.

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Old 04-06-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Is it possible to move the 4-way switch to one of the other boxes without extensive rewireing?
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #4
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Highly unlikely.
You would be missing a wire.

Any reason you would need to?
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Why would you want to move the location of the 4w in the circuit? it will work the same way regardless.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #6
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


I agree it sounds like the 4 way location (the new, added box), but the part that is giving me some hesitation is that if that location was added after the initial 3 way was roughed, is why there would be two sets of wires. It would normally be 1 3-wire cable.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Why would you want to move the location of the 4w in the circuit? it will work the same way regardless.
Dimmer location is what I am guessing.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


In the new switch location, it is next to two other switches which I am putting on fancy dimmer switches that control other circuits. I'd like to add a the same style dimmer swich to the hallway lights so all the swiches in that box look the same. The dimmers are only 3-way.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


You will need to derate the dimmers that are mounted next to other dimmers.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Where's the white wires? Does not sound the location of the four way or all the three wires would just be connected together. If this was the four way location then the black and red would be travellers between the three ways and need to be connect together. You need to tell us how the cables run between the switches and the fixtures.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Like Joe said, the cables should have been paired for this to work properly. There does seem to be some wires missing.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #12
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


I didn't see any white wires. I'm attaching a picture of the wires I pulled from the box. I will also look into derating the switches (look up what it means.)
Thanks for all your help.
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?-edit.jpg  
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #13
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New Switch Location, 3-way or 4-way?


Might not even be part of the multi way switching system. You need to know where the cables go. If it is part of the multi switch setup then there should be more disconnected wires in the fixture or other switches.

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