Single Pole Switch Off Of 4-way Circuit - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-23-2010, 02:46 AM   #1
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single pole switch off of 4-way circuit

Hey folks.

Need some advice, as I'm having some trouble wrapping my head around this circuit.

Wiring hallway and stairs. Plan is to have a light fixture at the bottom (fixture 1) and top (fixture 2) of stairs, and one further down the 2nd floor hall (fixture 3).

Would like to use three 4-way switches: 1 inside the front door (switch 1), 1 about 6 feet down the hall (switch 2) and one at the top of the stairs (switch 3).

On this same circuit I'd like to have a second light controlled by a single switch further down the 2nd floor hallway.

Have 12/2 and 12/3 for the circuit.

This area is bare to the studs right now, so easy to run cable. Panel is in the basement, so easiest line in would be switch 1 or switch 2.

Have wired many 3 and 4 way circuits in the past and am comfortable doing so.

I guess my main question is where should the line into the separate 2nd floor fixture come from?

I know it's relatively simple, just can't think of it right now.

Any help is sure appreciated.



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Old 10-23-2010, 06:08 AM   #2
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I wouldn't call it simple! 3-way and 4-way wiring can be confusing.

First off - you don't need three 4-way switches. The first and last switch would be 3-way, the middle one would be 4-way. 3-wire (+g) cable between all switches, 2-wire (+g) between final switch and fixture(s).

The simplest way, to me at least, to wire your lights is:
Power in-->switch1-->switch2-->switch3-->lights

From Switch 3, if the box in the wall is big enough, you could split off 2 branches and run one branch to the two upstairs lights (first one, then the other), and one to the downstairs light.

For your other light, if you want it on this circuit, you need to find a common point to split unswitched power. This could be in your Switch1 box above, or you could split off in the basement. Run 12/2 to your switch, then 12/2 from the switch to light.

Is this circuit 20-Amp? If so, you do need 12gauge wire. If it happens to be only 15 amps, you can run 14 gauge (way easier to work with and cheaper).



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Old 10-23-2010, 08:24 AM   #3
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Take power to the box for the single switch.
Take that power to the first location for the 3 way switch.
Take 12/3 from that switch to the next switch. This will be the 4 way switch.
Take 23/3 from that switch to the next switch.
From the last switch, ake 12/2 up to the first light, then take another 12/2 from that light to the next light.

Make sure that the boxes are rated for the number of wires that will be there, and switches are counted a 2 wires.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, you cleared it up perfectly. Sorry if the original post was a little confusing. I'm on vacation. It was 0345 and a little vodka on board...
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