Rewiring lights

I need some advice. here's my situation. I have a set of five switches that control three lights in a hallway. I also have a set of two switches that control one light in a laundry area. Here's the set up:
Switch one is a 4 way switch and is part of the group that controls the hallway lights. Switch 2 is a three way switch that controls the laundry room light and is in the same box as switch 1. Switch 3 is also three way and is actually in the laundry room to control the laundry room light. Switch 1 is on a different cricuit breaker than switches 2 and 3.
I want to somehow add switch 3 to the group that controls the hallway lights, i also want the laundry room light to work in tandem with the hallway lighting circuit. For now, switch 2 can be completely disabled. So i wonder is there a way using the traveler wires that are coming from switch 3 to switch 2, to connect the switch and the light to switch 1? That would of course save me any fishing expedition. If that's not possible, how else can I accomplish what I'm trying to do?
I hope I was clear in my mission. If it's helpful, I have a multimeter and I can measure the voltages across any points on the switches.
Thanks in advance.
Billy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Did you check to make sure S1 is actually a 4 way? If it is, you are out of luck. If it is a 3 way, you might be able to make it a 4 way and entend it to S3 (though you would still need several other things to be just right).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is definatly a 4-way. So I'm completely screwed?
Billy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeh. You can use the travelers to go from S1 to S3, but how are you going to get from S3 to whatever switch S1 used to go to? You might be able to run a new cable from S3 to one of the 3way switches, if that is easier than running it to S1; but you will have to run a new cable. If the feed was to S3, rather than to S2, you might be able to recycle that; which might save having to run a new cable to S3, but you will still have to get it to where it needs to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OK let me approach this a different way then, just accepting that I'll need to fish wires. How do i accomplish my goal? Will I need to fish to more places than just S1 and S3? S3 can remain a 3 way? Assuming I have to fish, is this easier if I find one of the 3-ways in the 5 switch loop and fish from there to S3 instead? I appreciate your help Toller.
Billy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
To the best of my knowledge, they have to be linear. 3way-4way-4way-...-3way So, you have to do two things: 1a) Either change S3 to a 4way and get it in chain with the other 4ways. One way to do that is to use the travelers from S2 to connect S1 to S3 and run a new cable from S3 to whatever S1 was connected to, or 1b) Leave S3 a 3way, change one of the 3ways to a 4way and run a cable from it to S3. You might have to run 14/3 to have enough wires if you do that. 2) Somehow get the light on the same hot as the other lights. There should be some way to do that using either the neutral from S2-S3, or a wire in the new cable.
Without any knowledge of how either circuit is wired, or the design of your house, it is tough to be more specific. Just remember that the hot for the S2-S3 circuit is now surplus and can possibly be used for something else.
Good luck. One thing to remember if you have metal boxes, the current through any hole must sum to zero; some rewired circuits like this don't, and it is potentially dangerous.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Toller,
This is what I did. I kept S3 as a 3 way and found a three way in the other sircuit which I replaced with a 4-way. i ran 14-3 from the new 4 way to the 3 way and Bam, it worked. Thanks.
Then to add the other light to the chain, i used one of the travelers from S2 back to S3. i coupled the traveler with the wire from S2 that went to the light. Everything is working just fine, but i wanted to make sure that was ok is it?
Also, i have a multimeter to check the zero sum thing, but could you be more specific on where to put my probes, i don't understand the "current through any hole". Also, the bxes are plastic not metal.
hey thanks so much for the help.
Billy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sounds reasonable, but without seeing I can't say. But, if it works, it is probably okay.

If you have plastic boxes, it is probably not a big deal. Still a code violation, but not dangerous. Do you have an ammeter? Just put it around all the wires that go through a hole. It should always read zero. (current out cancels out current in). The idea is that you can't have the light's hot from one box and the neutral go to another. It sets up induction currents in the metal box, but since you don't have any metal boxes... Still it is something to avoid if you can.
Congratulations.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Toller. You rock!!
Billy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Go to comp.home.automation Ask about wireless switches. That would be a lot easier than fishing wires.
Bill

the
the
hallway
the
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.