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How to Connect a 4 Way Switch

2012-09-20   Views:1

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Four-way switches are a convenient way to operate lights from three or more locations. The first switch and the last switch in a four-way switch configuration are always three-way switches. Wiring a four-way switch can be confusing, because the direc

How to Connect a 4 Way Switch

Four-way switches are a convenient way to operate lights from three or more locations. The first switch and the last switch in a four-way switch configuration are always three-way switches. Wiring a four-way switch can be confusing, because the direction of the electrical path depends on the switch manufacturer, but the most common is a straight-through feed. Remembering that the black wire is your common (COM) wire takes the confusion out of the installation.

Skill level:Moderate

Things you need

Phillips or flat head screwdriver

Instructions

1 Turn off the power to the four-way switch circuit by turning off the breaker at the main electrical panel.

2 Locate the switch box for the four-way switch. It is commonly located between two three-way switches at either end of a hallway or a room.

3 Locate the black common (COM) wires inside the four-way switch electrical box. The common wire supplies electricity to each switch. The common terminal screws located on the four-way switch are usually dark in colour and labelled COM. Wrap one black common wire around the top screw labelled COM on the four-way switch and wrap the other black common wire around the bottom screw labelled COM. Tighten both screws to hold the wires firmly onto the four-way switch. The common screws may not always be located on the same side of the switch.

4 Connect the red traveller wires. Traveller wires connect the switches together and do not carry electrical current. Wrap one red traveller wire around the remaining screw at the top of the four-way switch and tighten the screw. Wrap the remaining red traveller wire to the last empty screw on the four-way switch. Tighten that screw as well.

5 Push all the wiring back into the electrical box and attach the four-way switch at the top and bottom of the box. Cover the switch with a single gang switch plate.

6 Turn the power back on to the four-way lighting circuit by turning the breaker back on at the main panel.

Tips and warnings

Make sure the electricity is off to the area you are working in to avoid electrical shock.

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