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Old 05-03-2010, 08:31 PM   #1
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Help with four way switch

I have some issues and been having it for some time. I will try and explain as clearly as possible and before I forget. thanks for any and all help I receive.

I have a light that is controlled by three different switchs. The power is entering at the light fixture it self. I have labeled these switchs as such:

TS = Top Stair Switch
BS = Bottom Stair Switch
EW = East Wall Switch

The TS and BS are three way switchs and the EW is a four way switch.

The TS and BS have three wires coming into the switch and they each have a red wire, black wire and a white wire.

The EW switch has four wires coming into it and they are in pairs; white and black and another white and black. I have labeled them as E1W(east wall white #1), E1B(east wall black #1), E2W(east wall white #2), and E2B(east wall black #2). E1W and E1B are in the same romex as are the E2W and E2B.

All the wires run back to the light fixture and this is where all of the wires come together and are wire nutted together. Here is what I have.

the Power in black that feeds the entire scenario I have connected to the BS Black

the power in white(the other half of the power that feeds the entire scenario) I have connected to the white wire the comes from the light fixture itself

The light fixture black wire I have connected to the TS Black

The top stair white wire I have connected to the E2W(East Wall White #2)
The top stair Red wire I have connected to the E2B(East Wall Black #2)

The bottom stair white wire I have connected to the E1W(east wall white #1)

The bottom stair red wire I have connected to the E1B(east wall black #1)

and as i mentioned earlier the bottom stair black connects directly with the main black power source wire.

I know this is confusing and that is why I am asking for the skilled help of you all as I have been fighting this for a month or more.

I would like to confirm that I have all the wires connected to the correct wires and most of all I need to know where on the switches should I be connected the wires in the switch boxes themselves.

I am not sure where the red, white, and black wires should be connecting on the 3 way switch itself for the bottom stair and the top stair. This goes for the East wall switch box too.

thanks so much for your help.

I do have a diagram that I drew up, but it exceeded the size limits so I couldn't attach it.

If need be I can email the diagram directly to anybody that wants it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like the black wire at each 3-way should connect to the common terminal of each switct. The white and red connect to either of the other terminals of the 3-ways. At the four-way connect the white and black from one cable to the terminals labelled in on the 4-way switch and connect the other white and black from the other cable to to the terminals labeled out on the 4-way switch. Either cable can go to the in or the out on the 4-way, it makes no difference.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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here is a drawing. Note the black screw terminal is the COMMON. Go by screw colour not by position. The common can move position depending on the switch manufacturer.

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Last edited by joed; 05-03-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:05 AM   #4
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Just a suggestion--Use the screws,not the push in stab locks. Often they are not in line with the screws--easy to end up using the wrong terminals---Mike--
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