# Electrical wiring

• posted on November 14, 2009, 1:03 am

I have an L-shaped hallway with 2 ceiling lights.
A 3-way switch is located at the end of each leg of the "L". Each electrical box has: A sheath with a black wire and a white wire. A different sheath with only a black wire. What wire gets connected to each terminal on each 3- way switch?
A 4-way switch is located at the intersection of the legs of the "L". The electrical box has: A sheath with a black wire and a white wire. A different sheath with a black wire and a white wire. What wire gets connected to each terminal on the 4- way switch?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 1:16 am

*You did not supply a whole lot of information so I am going to guess that the feed is in one of the light fixtures which will explain the lack of a neutral. I guess the black and white pair are the travelers and would go on the brass colored screws. The single black would go on the black screw.
Follow the diagram that came with the 4-way switch for each pair. It could be each pair on top and bottom or each pair per side.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 1:28 am
wrote:

The single black wire goes on the common on each 3 way. It is usually painted a darker color. The pair of cables goes on the other two unmarked screws.
A 4 way has two screws of one color and two of another. Each cable in the same sheath goes to the same color.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 1:39 am
Hi Metspitzer,
Re: The pair of cables:
Does it matter which cable goes to which unmarked screw?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 1:55 am
wrote:

no
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 3:30 pm
Hi, Metspitzer.
I followed your instructions.
Now both 3-way switches (at the ends of my "L"-shaped hallway) turn the lights on and off!
But the 4-way switch (between the 3-ways) does not. Why?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 4:06 pm
wrote:

Did you use new switches?
The 4 way may be bad. If both 3-ways work then you have also wired the 4-way correctly. It may be stuck in one position.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 4:32 pm
Yes, all three switches are new.
What do you mean by "stuck"?
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 4:50 pm
gary wrote:

He meant contacts staying in same position when throw switch...not likely, old or new.
It appears it _isn't_ wired correctly, despite the instructions... :)
There are two configurations of 4-way switches w/ their terminals/internal workings. If you've one and wired as if the other, it won't work...
A -- B A B X ("X" indicates connections cross) C -- D C D
Alternate is
A -- B A B | | C -- D C D
Nothing bad happens if wrong, just won't work. Try swapping.
You also need to make sure where the source actually is located physically and use locate a 3-way there and at the end run directly to the light for the other. The 4-way will then be in the middle. Possibly the location for the 4-way needs to be at a different location if the feed is nearest the intersection, for example.
When all else fails, "ring out" the wiring and draw a diagram... :)
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 5:14 pm
For the Leviton (Model no. CSB4) 20A 4-way switch:
each black wire is connected to a brass screw each white wire is connected to a black screw
Are you saying that:
one black wire should be connected to a brass screw the other black wire should be connected to a black screw
one white wire should be connected to a brass screw the other white wire should be connected to a black screw
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 5:34 pm
gary wrote:

...
I'm saying look at the datasheet (should be printed on the box) of the connections and draw it out and see...
OTOMH I have no idea which way that particular switch is nor am I able from here to know which pair of wires are running where...
--
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 5:22 pm
I have a Leviton (Model no. CSB4) 20A 4-way switch.
Currently, for each "pair" of wires: each black wire is connected to a brass screw each white wire is connected to a black screw
Are you saying that: for one "pair" of wires: the black wire should be connected to a brass screw the white wire should be connected to a brass screw
for the other "pair" of wires: the black wire should be connected to the other black screw the white wire should be connected to the other black screw
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 5:33 pm

*Try it and see what happens. You aren't going to blow anything up.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 7:50 pm
Everything's now working correctly!!!!!!
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 8:23 pm
gary wrote:

OK, so what did you correct (inquiring minds and all that...)?
--
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 15, 2009, 2:27 am
The electrical box has two sheaths. Each sheath has a white wire and a black wire.
For the 4-way switch:
I originally connected the two white wires to the black screws and the two black wires to the brass screws.
The solution was to connect one white wire to the black screw and its black wire to the brass screw; and connect the other white wire to the other brass screw and its black wire to the other black screw.
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 15, 2009, 11:55 am
gary wrote:

Typically on a 3-way switch there's a black screw and two brass screws; the brass screws are for the travelers. But memory seems to tell me that the way you described connecting the original 4-way switch is the way that makes the most sense for a normal installations (e.g. for each cable, one wire goes on a brass screw and one on a black screw, paired at the top and bottom of the switch)
then again, if it's working now, no sense messing with it :)
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
• posted on November 14, 2009, 4:43 pm

*4-way switch wiring can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. That's why you need to follow the diagram on the box. Try wiring the 4-way differently and see what happens.