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Joe Pine 12-11-2012 09:18 PM

Wiring four way
 
Wiring the following: power going to the first switch then to a second switch followed by 2 lights, then ending with a third switch. How would I wire this?

fa_f3_20 12-11-2012 09:46 PM

OK, it goes like this: 14/2 (or 12-gauge, depending on the circuit) from the line to the first switch, which is a 3-way switch. From there, you run 14/3 to the second switch location, which is a 4-way switch. From there, you run 14/3 to the first light location.

From the second light location, run 14/3 to the third switch, which is a 3-way switch. This is a switch loop. I'd use the red and black for the travellers, and mark the white wire black and use that as the switched hot going back to the lights. At the second light, that gets connected to the black of the light fixture.

Now the problem is that, between the two lights, you need four conductors: the two travellers, the switched hot coming back from the third switch, and the neutral. You can get 14/4 romex, but you'll probably have to order it. if the code authority allows, it might be less trouble to run both a 14/3 and a 14/2 between the lights. Make the red and black of the 14/3 be the travellers; use the black of the 14/2 for the switched hot going from the second light to the first light, and connect both whites to the neutral. Be sure you keep those two runs together to the extent possible.

Note that all this assumes that your jurisdiction is not yet requiring that every switch location have a hot and a neutral, for the use of automation devices. If they are, the problem gets more complicated.

AllanJ 12-11-2012 10:04 PM

How about this?

14-2 feed to the first switch (3 way), 14-3 from first switch to second switch (4 way), 14-3 from second switch to first light, same as above.

No cable from second light to third switch (3 way).

Instead run both a 14-2 and another 14-3 out of the first light. The 14-2 goes from the first light to the second light. The 14-3 goes non-stop from the first light to the third switch (may pass by the outside of the second light box if that is the most convenient route).

In and out of the first and second switches you would use the red and black for the travelers and white for the neutral as above. From the third switch you need a colored wire from its common terminal, for switched power coming back to the light box where it connects to the black wires for the lights. So from the third switch you need to use the white wire of the 14-3 as one of the travelers. Using black tape or stain for marking both ends of the white traveler is still needed.

It is also possible to run a 14-3 from the second switch non-stop to the third switch rather than have travelers go through the first light. Here you need a 24 cubic inch switch box for the second switch where the 14-2 goes off to the light and you have two 14-3s. Chances are you will have more room in a square light box compared with a typical single gang box for the switch, thus the idea of going 14-3 up to the first light and then worrying about the third switch.

hammerlane 12-12-2012 07:19 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Pine (Post 1071363)
Wiring the following: power going to the first switch then to a second switch followed by 2 lights, then ending with a third switch. How would I wire this?


the diagram does not include ground wires shown for ease of drawing...in this setup there is not a neutral at the 3-way switch at the far right of the diagram. also may have a box fill issue at the 4-way switch location

joed 12-12-2012 08:54 AM

The above drawing is the way to do it except for one code issue. There is no neutral at the last three way switch. Neutrals are required in switch box by the current NEC code. Connect the lights at the last switch to be compliant.

fa_f3_20 12-12-2012 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 1071579)
The above drawing is the way to do it except for one code issue. There is no neutral at the last three way switch. Neutrals are required in switch box by the current NEC code. Connect the lights at the last switch to be compliant.

Yeah, if I had to do this job to the newest code, I would just avoid doing any switch loops on multi-way circuits, even if it makes the total run longer. I'm starting to think that eventually you're going to see 14/4 and 12/4 turning up at a lot of suppliers due to the new code.

Oso954 12-13-2012 12:27 PM

Quote:

I'm starting to think that eventually you're going to see 14/4 and 12/4 turning up at a lot of suppliers due to the new code.
It's already out there. But, Southwire and Cerro wire are calling it 12/2/2 and 14/2/2. They are pricey.

AllanJ 12-13-2012 10:56 PM

The 12-2-2 and 14-2-2 have two white wires allowing use for two independent circuits. (One of the white wires has a thin colored stripe to tell it apart from the other.) Use the old rule of marking the ends with colored tape or stain (not green) if you need to use one of the white wires as a hot wire. The 12-4 and 14-4 have one white wire, the other three are usually red, black, and blue.

Colored wires #6 and thinner may not be remarked with white tape and used as neutrals.

frenchelectrican 12-13-2012 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 1072711)
The 12-2-2 and 14-2-2 have two white wires allowing use for two independent circuits. (One of the white wires has a thin colored stripe to tell it apart from the other.) Use the old rule of marking the ends with colored tape or stain if you need to use one of the white wires as a hot wire. The 12-4 and 14-4 have one white wire, the other three are usually red, black, and blue.

Colored wires #6 and thinner may not be remarked with white tape and used as neutrals.

Allan.,

On cable or cords they are allowed to be remarked reguardless of size but indivual conductor then no it have to be follow as you mention.

Merci,
Marc


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