Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #16
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,875
Share |
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


It does not look like the ground is used as neutral since you confirm a neutral coming into switch box B picks up the light neutral. You also say that this neutral is from another circuit, which makes it a code violation whether it was 50 years ago or 1 year ago.

But a little investigation is in order, it is still very likely you may actually have two 2 wires like the first drawing. A better explanation of the wiring is needed. Problem is you have changed the wiring so I'm going to change the drawing to reflect another scheme those resourceful electricians used years ago and see if it might be what you had in the beginning of this 4 - way project.
Attached Thumbnails
Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?-2-cable-3-way-2.jpg  

__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie
Stubbie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2007, 11:30 PM   #17
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,875
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Joe

Do you remember how to draw one? Seems to me you had a wire connecting the commons of both screws but not the constant hot or switched hot connected to them. You wired a constant hot connecting two traveler screws between switches. I think it was like this....but I believe the neutral was switched somehow so maybe this isn't how they did it.
Attached Thumbnails
Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?-california-3-way.jpg  
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 11-23-2007 at 11:44 PM.
Stubbie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 05:42 AM   #18
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Also known as a chicago 3-way. I don't doubt that he has a code violation, what I am trying to discern is whether it is dangerous. Not all code violations are dangerous.

From his description, the neutral is not being switched, as is sometimes the case, especially with knob and tube wiring. Since Irich mentioned grounds, I am assuming it is not K+T.

I take my previous post back. No matter which leg the incoming feed neutral and the hijacked neutral is on, I don't see a life safety issue. In other words, I don't see a reason to go ripping out walls to correct this (assuming the neutral is not switched, then my story changes again ) code violation. Let the beatings commence.

I also contend that adding a 4-way to this does not compound the problem.

Andy

Edit to add...J187 drew a diagram on 10-20 -06 showing exactly what Irich has got, sure wish I knew how to use this 'puter. If the hijacked neutral was on the same circuit, then it is no longer a code violation, and still with only a two wire between switches.

Last edited by Andy in ATL; 11-24-2007 at 05:49 AM.
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 06:07 AM   #19
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


The las drawing is not how it was. There are no screws on either switch with two wires attached. The hot is in box A connected to the common screw ( the white on this cable is tied to the neutrals). Then a 2 wire cable goes from box A to box B - both wires are used as travellers. Then a 2 wire goes to the lite with the black wire on box B's common screw and the white tied in to the neutrals of another circuit. Hope this is a bit clearer. I wish I could draw it for you because the more I think about it, the simpler it seems. Thanks,

Rich

Last edited by irich; 11-24-2007 at 06:18 AM.
irich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 06:27 AM   #20
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Irich,

The way it is wired now, I see no life safety issues. I'm sure others will chime in, we'll see.

Back in the day...I'm talking early 20th century, switching the neutral was a common way to switch the light. Beings (back in the day) the neutral was the only way back to the source, many, and I mean alot... of people were killed. If your neutral was switched, then I would agree that this is a dangerous situation and would need to be remedied.

Your situation is different. The neutral is hijacked from another circuit. Arguments could be made about additive and subtractive qualities on this neutral leading to an overload on the neutral wire. How many Watts are being switched? On a single phase system, I just don't see a big problem, assuming you are not switching the whole frikkin house thru this 3-way

Andy
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 06:36 AM   #21
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


It is just one recessed lite. Thanks again.

Rich
irich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 06:42 AM   #22
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Check back, Rich, to see if the beatings commence. It could get fun!
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 08:19 AM   #23
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,374
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Here is a drawing of one. However from the other site I learned that he does not have the California three way. He has a power feed at both switches. Switch one picks up the hot and feeds it to sw2 on the travelers. At sw2 the neutral wire from the light connects to the neutral from the second power feed. The hot to the light comes off the common of the second three way.

http://www.hometoys.com/htinews/apr9...y/kingery8.htm


\
Stubbie: I think you almost have what he has in the first drawing except that the power feed at switch 2 comes in on the cable you have as onward power and there is only one cable between the switches. I suppose it is possible the power feed comes from the first switch. No way to know for sure.

Last edited by joed; 11-24-2007 at 08:29 AM.
joed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 08:26 AM   #24
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


That diagram is not right either. Close though. There is only one 2 wire to the lite and it is from the second box. Also, everything works fine - every combination of the 3 switches works wether up down or whatever.
irich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 08:29 AM   #25
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Irich, just to confirm...the neutral isn't attached to the switch at any point is it? Switching the neutral would be worth tearing the house apart for, just to make myself clear.

Is or isn't the neutral switched? Or is it just Hijacked?

Andy
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 08:37 AM   #26
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 14
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


I am absolutely positive it the neutral is not switched. It is hijacked from the second circuit as you mentioned. I'm guessing they either didn't have 3 wire back then or as someone said they were just too cheap to use it. thanks again for the help.

Rich
irich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 08:41 AM   #27
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


CARRY ON AND LET THE THRASHING BEGIN!

Andy

Edit to add: Joe, what you wrote in your post doesn't match the wiring diagram. The wiring diagram shows a neutral being switched. I need to take 'puter classes. If I could figure out how to draw on this infernal machine MY POWER WOULD BE ENORMOUS!!!! Just kidding

Last edited by Andy in ATL; 11-24-2007 at 08:45 AM.
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 12:17 PM   #28
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,862
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
All you are doing is cutting the travelers in half and installing the 4-way. Don't make it harder than that!!!
My recommendation is to not actually cut travelers in half.

Instead, any working 3-way setup can be turned into a 4 way setup thusly:

1. Run a new 3-wire cable from one of the original switch boxes to the third location.

2. Move the 3 way switch from that box to the third location.

3. Put the 4-way switch at the vacated original location.

(The common wire arriving at the original location connects only to the new conductor going to the common switch terminal at the third location. Suggest matching the color. It is possible that the box may have to be replaced with a larger box to meet box fill requirements.)

4. A 4 way setup can be converted to a 5 way etc. by running the new cable to one of the boxes that has a 3-screw switch in it.

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-24-2007 at 12:22 PM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 12:24 PM   #29
Electrician philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Lilburn, GA
Posts: 838
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


I hear ya Allan, but a tough tap to make for a DIYer. How do you make the colors match exactly? You have to reidentify the white to hot(not switched hot) as required in NEC 200.7(C)(2).

Andy
Andy in ATL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2007, 12:32 PM   #30
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,862
Default

Is it possible to add a 4 way switch to this configuration?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
I hear ya Allan, but a tough tap to make for a DIYer. How do you make the colors match exactly? You have to reidentify the white to hot(not switched hot) as required in NEC 200.7(C)(2).

Andy
If, at the original box where the new cable was run, the switch common terminal had a white wire tagged black, then you could connect the white wire of the new cable to that and use the new red and black for travelers. The new white would be tagged as required (at both ends) and now the colors would (probably) match.

White travelers must also be tagged at both ends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
You wired a constant hot connecting two traveler screws between switches. .
This produces a situation where any switch turned "on" keeps the light on, aka an "OR logic" circuit. I don't think there is a socially redeeming value for this in a home.


Last edited by AllanJ; 11-24-2007 at 12:42 PM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wiring double switch for new ceiling fan toolmanwannabe Electrical 17 11-15-2011 09:34 PM
Basic Switch wiring question; Dimmer to Toggle switch (Pictures included) inspectator Electrical 8 08-07-2007 01:19 AM
Help a hungover guy clear his head. 3 way switch with pic J187 Electrical 10 11-10-2006 08:10 PM
When Bulb blows, Dimmer Switch Blows mAv19 Electrical 2 05-26-2006 03:52 PM
Detached garage adding a 3 way switch. Slatherd Electrical 4 01-02-2006 02:53 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.