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Old 11-23-2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Hi all,
My house was built in 1972. I am remodeling the basement and want to add a 4 way switch to an existing light that already has 2 - 3 way switches. The problem is that they used 2 wire cables to run between the switches. It seems as though they have a 2-wire from switch A to switch B that connects to the two top screws on each switch . Switch A has the feed coming to it's bottom screw and the white is neutral. Switch B has a 2 wire to the lite fixture with the black connected to the bottom screw on switch B and the white tied to neutral. Is it possible / safe to add a 4 way to this configuration? Any ideas on the best way to go about it if so? Thanks in advance,
Rich

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Old 11-23-2007, 11:35 AM   #2
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Sure, 4 ways are designed for use with 3 ways. But without my ability to draw this for you here, I am certain someone can help with a diagram. I will keep an eye out on your thread, just to be certain you get the info you need.

Hey Stubb!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 11-23-2007, 12:41 PM   #3
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Here is a link to a decent diagram -

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switchoutlet/4way/
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:41 PM   #4
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


It is very easy to get all twisted wiring three ways. you can't let them whip ya. In my one year in comm. work I've seen a surprising number of guys get whipped.

All you are doing is cutting the travelers in half and installing the 4-way. Don't make it harder than that!!! Check the very simple wiring diagram provided with the 4-way(make sure you have that before you leave the store) and congratulate yourself on a job well done when finished.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


it easy u have these 3 thing (C,L1,L2 ) or (C,W1,W2) u8 will have 4 times so if u are adding exstra switch to ur 3w u can link all the C to gether then u connect each L1 to the light u want to u can call me if u get stuck and i will help u on the phone 07910406496 i wish that will help
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:20 PM   #6
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Thanks for the replies. I think you all missed the point that it wasn't wired conventially with 3 wire between the switches - they used a 2 wire. Anyhow, someone on another board figured out what I was trying to describe and it worked like a charm. Thanks again,

Rich
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:39 PM   #7
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Irich

The first thing that I need to get straight is.... you do not mention a 3 wire cable between switches. This cable would have a red wire in it. That red wire would appear in both switch boxes. You don't mention a red wire. You do say there is 2 wire cable between switches. So I made a drawing I want you to look at it and tell me if it's what you have.

The 2nd drawing is the correct way your situation should be wired. Once I know what you have presently I can tell you how to do the 4-way addition.

EDIT: If you have only one 2 wire cable between switches then the only way it will work is if the ground is being used as a neutral..... that ain't good.

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Old 11-23-2007, 08:06 PM   #8
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Stubbie, I thought of that, and actually typed the word"check to make sure the neutrals in both boxes are on the same circuit" and deleated it. I bonked it and don't know why. Oh well.

Andy.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #9
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Well it appears it is all mute since someone has already told him what to do, however if he has a ground wire being used to carry the neutral from the source in switch box A to switch box B he has a very unsafe situation. Lets hope that problem stays inside the wall where it can't "bite" you.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:49 PM   #10
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


If the ground was being used a a neutral wouldn't I see it tied to a white wire someplace? I did get it working. The 2 wire between switches are (were) being used as travelers on both switches. All the ground/bare wires connected together. what would it look like if the ground was being used as a neutral?

Rich

Last edited by irich; 11-23-2007 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Irich, How is the neutral gettin from the feed to the light? The only way it is is if a neutral is "stolen" at the other end. Are both 3-ways in a single gang box?

I apologize for dropping the ball earlier. It happens. My curiousity is piqued at this point. I formally ask Irich not to leave me hanging and allow me to see how this is wired correctly.

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:15 PM   #12
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Andy - Even though it is working I would still like to know it is safe. the 3way switches worked fine for the 14 years I have lived here and I am sure they are original. I'm thinking it is some old school way of wiring??

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:17 PM   #13
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


they are not in single gang boxes and switch B's box is where they are picking up the neutral, (from another circuit), to the lite.

Rich

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:26 PM   #14
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Here is the rub...as I see it. In my opinion only, and open to be shot down...If the circuit that the neutral is stolen from is on the same "leg" as the feed circuit, then no harm no foul.

Do you understand what I mean by "leg"? Its about my bedtime but I'll be around tomorrow. Thanks for letting me stick with it. I'm guessin' others will post their opinion so be a little patient and check back.

Andy

Edit to add to Irichs edit I deduced that as soon as you said "hijack"

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:45 PM   #15
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Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


I think from what I read on the other board he has a carter or California threeway setup.

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