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Old 06-26-2010, 11:08 PM   #1
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4 way switch problem


Hello. I need a little advice please. My recessed lighting in the ceiling is controlled by 3 different switches at 3 locations (close by to each other). They normally all work. Once in a while one of them (it varies to which one it is) will stop working and will not work again until i activate one of the other switches. Any idea why that is happening? Thank you
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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It sounds like your post title. 4 way switch. When you say close to each other, how close? Same box, 10 feet away? As long as one of the other switches works, there is no problem. If you want to eliminate one, let us know and we'll tell you how.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
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2 of them are within 10 feet of each other at the top of a staircase outside each bedroom and the third one is at the bottom of the staircase. I use this light to go up an down the staircase at night when the night light is not enough. I am just not sure why one of the switces randomly stops working and then starts again when one of the other switches is activated.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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Some case you may have loose connection however if you going to change the three et four way switches I will give you a quick run down how to do this in correct way.

First thing is turn off the circuit for this switches.

Second unscrew the switch Before you take the conductors off from the switches make a note how it hook up the common will have darker screw colour some case it will marked " common " that for three ways switches however for four ways there is couple way you have to it depending on which manufacter switch you use.

And make sure you don't get double pole switch by mistake { it do happend from time to time } The four way switch will hook up in two ways it will be done Incomming shuttle on one side while outgoing shuttle is on other side however some will go top to bottom so check the wiring diagram on the box of the new switch itself.

Once you get this done double check the netural or other wirenuts to make sure they are tight.

Once that done you can turn on the power and start with three way switches first to see both upper and downstair switch are functiong correct if so then try the fourway switch to see if work if not transponde it a quarter turn.

By the way the code is very specfic on the switches if you have more than 6 riser on the stairway you will need one at bottom and one at the top of stairway.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:38 AM   #5
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Is the problem totally random or does the problem only show up when one of the switches is in a particular positions?

Make us a chart with all possible combinations (there are eight combinations) including when the light is on:

Switch 1 up Switch 2 up Switch 3 up Light on
Switch 1 down Switch 2 up Switch 3 up Light off
Switch 1 up Switch 2 down etc.
Switch 1 down Switch 2 down etc.
etc.

Then we can tell you where to look first.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:41 AM   #6
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completely random.....and the problem does not happen very often....so i cannot replicate the problem......is it possible one of the switches is becoming defective and would that affect another one of the switches?
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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Yes it could be a switch going bad, although more likely due to a loose connection.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:32 AM   #8
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Thank you
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