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Old 08-01-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
msk
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stumped, 4-way controlling 1/2 of outlets in room


So my wife talked me into replacing every outlet/switch out in the house. i've been learning as i go, but somehow got frustrated at one point and have some wires switched. any help would be appreciated. i have a 4 way switch, with a 3-way on either side, which control one half of the outlets in the room, the other half are on constantly. i'd replaced the outlets earlier in the process. i've been reading up on wiring a 4way, but it doesnt seem to apply.

at one 3-way, i've got a hot black, a white which reads 54volts, and a red, all from one cable.

at the other, ive got a hot red, and another red and white

between them, at the 4 way ive got a white and red coming in from each 3way?

despite my effort to keep wires labeled as i switched, i messed something up, ive tried every configuration i didn't think would burn the house down, all outlets work all the time. the switches are lighted, and at different points one or another would light up about halfway.

can someone tell me what i've done? is it possible i miswired something in one of the outlets thats messing me up? why do i have a hot on either end? everything i've read indicates only one, with the other side's common continuing to the fixture/receptacle.

any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
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at one 3-way, i've got a hot black, a white which reads 54volts, and a red, all from one cable.

at the other, ive got a hot red, and another red and white.
Is that all you find in each 3 way switch box?

When you measured 54 volts at a white wire, what was the other test lead of the meter touched or clipped to?

Are any outlets supposed to be controlled by the switch?
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #3
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Is that all you find in each 3 way switch box?

When you measured 54 volts at a white wire, what was the other test lead of the meter touched or clipped to?

Are any outlets supposed to be controlled by the switch?

no, all 3 switches are part of multiple switch boxes, but i was careful to do them one at a time so as not to confuse them.

the other end was on ground

yes, half of each (6-7) outlets had been controlled by the 3 switches.

in doing some further thinking, i disconnected all switches completely, and had hot on black on one end, and hot on red on the other. i was somehow getting the 54 once i had things hooked up, and it was switching sides depending on the orientation of the switch. the other side would have full voltage.

each 3way also has a red and white, which lead to the 4 way switch. since i didn't have a long enough jumper, i tied these together at the 3 way and tested continuity at the 4way, and they made a loop. so these are my jumpers, and i can hook one side to the bottom, and one to the top right?

thanks.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msk View Post
So my wife talked me into replacing every outlet/switch out in the house. i've been learning as i go, but somehow got frustrated at one point and have some wires switched. any help would be appreciated. i have a 4 way switch, with a 3-way on either side, which control one half of the outlets in the room, the other half are on constantly. i'd replaced the outlets earlier in the process. i've been reading up on wiring a 4way, but it doesnt seem to apply.

at one 3-way, i've got a hot black, a white which reads 54volts, and a red, all from one cable.

at the other, ive got a hot red, and another red and white

between them, at the 4 way ive got a white and red coming in from each 3way?

despite my effort to keep wires labeled as i switched, i messed something up, ive tried every configuration i didn't think would burn the house down, all outlets work all the time. the switches are lighted, and at different points one or another would light up about halfway.

can someone tell me what i've done? is it possible i miswired something in one of the outlets thats messing me up? why do i have a hot on either end? everything i've read indicates only one, with the other side's common continuing to the fixture/receptacle.

any help would be appreciated.

The plugs that the switches control you have to break the copper tab that connects the copper screws together aka hot side. It sounds like you didn't break the tab and you have constat power on one end when it's supposed to be the switched end. Break that tab on the outlets and you will fix your issue.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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It sounds like you didn't break the tab
I didn't. makes sense. back to work. thank you
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:30 PM   #6
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Welcome. Let us know how you make out
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:40 PM   #7
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did you break all the tabs on the outlets since they are half hots
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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all set


Thanks for help all. Broke out the tabs and after a little trial and error got all switches functioning properly. Thanks again.
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