4 way switch wiring a light diagram base website a light

Please Note: To illustrate the wiring of these switches, Switch Boxes and Fixture Boxes are not shown but are obviously required for every application.

These diagrams are shown as using the Romex wiring method. These Romex cables contain a ground conductor which is required for all applications as well. The ground conductors are always bonded together to insure the integrity of the ground path.

If you are using metal boxes, the ground conductor must be attached to each box by using a threaded ground screw or provided attachment. The frames of the switches which have a ground screw are to be attached to the ground conductor as required. Explanation of Wiring Diagram 1. Question: Your example shows 2 wire Romex but most Romex I have seen has three wires one white-one black and an un-shrouded copper ground wire.

What is the correct connection for this ground wire? Answer: As explained in this page above: These Type-NM cables contain a ground conductor which is required for all applications as well.

I have an existing light switch, and I want to add a second switch for a new light that will be operated separately. The power comes into the switch which operates a single light at the end of the circuit. Is there a simple way to do this or should I get an electrician? The task of installing additional wiring for a light switch and new light fixture will depend on available access to the proposed location.

Hiring a qualified electrician will ensure that the installation is performed correctly where the existing circuit wires will be identified, and new circuit wiring will be extended to the new light switch and then out to the new light fixture.

Special attention will be given to the existing circuit capacity, the wire type and size, as well as making sure the additional wiring is protected and installed according to all the electrical codes that will apply.

4 way switch wiring a light diagram base website a light

Question from Denny, a Handyman in Sudbury Ontario Canada, Canada: How do I close off an existing light and add two new lights off of the existing light switch? I have a single light on a single switch in my kitchen ceiling. I want to close off the existing light and run two new lights off of the existing light box. It is not far from the existing light, so will I need to run wire from existing box to the two new boxes.

How do I close it off? The easiest way to add new light fixtures is to run the new wiring to the existing light fixture, splice the wires together as the old fixture was connected and then place a decorative blank cover over the fixture box. Arlington makes a white blank fixture box cover that works very well for this type of application.

If you would like to remove the light fixture box, and there is access to the attic area then the fixture box could be removed, and the wiring installed into a new junction box located in an accessible location where the new wiring for the additional light fixtures may be connected. The new junction box must be securely mounted and an blank cover must be installed after all the wiring connections have been completed.

4-Way Switch Diagram

Question from Rob, a Homeowner in Ottawa Canada: I have what I am sure is a simple question, but I want to be sure as the new light switches I want to install are expensive digital switches.

The new switches are obviously meant to be 3-way as they have a Red wire in addition to Black, White, Green. The old switches are not 3-way though and the electrical box they are in does not even have RED wires. The one old switch is the only switch controlling one light, while the other old switch is the only switch controlling three other lights.

My guess would be that I just cap off the Red wires from the new switches as they are not needed, but I do want to be sure. You are correct, when s new switch will not be used as a 3-way switch the Red wire is capped off with a small wire connector or electrical tape.

Question: Can one single pole switch control another single pole switch? Dennis from Denver, Colorado asks: Under the International Electrical Code, is it permissible for one single pole switch to control another single pole switch? Answer: Two single pole switches controlling each other and a light fixture would not function correctly therefore technically it would not be compliant with electrical codes. In a situation such as this you should consider the option of installing a matched pair of Master and Slave switches which will act just like two three way switches.

This type of switch may be found at most hardware stores or electrical supply distributor. Ask a Question! How to Wire a Light Switch Diagram 1. See How to Wire it Right! Estimated Time: Depends on personal level of experience, ability to work with hand tools used for wiring switches, and the available access to the project area.How to wire a 4 way switch.

4 Way Switch Wiring Diagram

Wiring a 4-way switch is simply adding a switch to an already existing 3-way switch circuit. This allows you to control a load from other locations in addition to the 2 locations that a 3-way circuit provides. First of all we need to go over a little basic terminology on switches. It should also help in understanding the functions of each type of switch. We will assume that the circuit in these examples are controlling the power source to the same load.

OK, assuming you are all caught up on the 3-way concept, we will continue by making a 3-way circuit into a 4-way circuit. All that is required is wiring a 4-way switch between the 2 3-way switches. Now don't let this be confused with where the switches are physically located in your home. This is how the circuit is structured.

Basic 4-Way Switch Wiring Diagram

The switches can be physically located to your liking but you must keep in mind the ease of routing the wiring from point to point. Also, this example is just adding a single 4-way switch which will give you 3 locations to control your light. To add more locations to this circuit you just simply add additional 4-way switches in series with the existing 4-way switch. As you can see, this is basically a 3-way circuit with a 4-way switch added between the 2 3-way switches.

Again, if you choose to have more locations controlling the load, then add additional 4-way switches. Keep in mind that the 4-way switches must always be between the 2 3-way switches. Now lets look at it from a flow point of view:. Using your mouse pointer, follow along with me as we go through the circuit.

Now this one gets a little tricky by keeping track of what switch you toggle in your mind, just hang in there. Now the power source black is coming in from the left. Then through the 4-way to the red wire going to the 3-way. Now it dead ends not connected which means the light is turned off. By toggling any switch, the light will now turn on.

Choose a switch and follow the flow of the switch that changes state. Keep in mind how the 4-way switch works. Left connections toggle between the two right connections. So top left red connects to bottom right black and when toggled top left red connects to top right red.

The bottom pole works in the same manner. It goes straight across. Here's How. How To Wire It.There is no standard for wire colors on 3 and 4- way switch travelers.

4 way switch wiring a light diagram base website a light

The colors will vary depending on whether NM cable or conduit was used. With NM cable, the wire colors for travelers will be black and red using 3- wire cable. With conduit, the wire colors for travelers could be any color. In the 2nd diagram below, blue wires are used for travelers. In the 1st diagram below, a 2- wire NM cable supplies power from the panel to the first switch box. The black line wire connects to the common terminal of the first 3- way switch. A 3- wire NM connects the traveler terminals of the first 3- way switch and the first 4- way switch.

A 3- wire NM connects the traveler terminals of the first 4- way switch and the second 4- way switch, and so on. A 3- wire NM connects the traveler terminals of the last 4- way switch and the second 3- way switch. Traveler wires are interchangeable on each switch.

The common terminal of the second 3- way switch connects to the light fixture s. The white neutral wires are connected together in each switch box.

Diagrams shown on this page are simplified for clarity. Electrical outlet boxes can have numerous NM cables going in and out. Ground connection diagram is shown separately. Alternate 4- Way Switch Wiring.

Question or Comment?By code, the number of conductors allowed in a box are limited depending on box size and wire gauge. Calculate total conductors allowed in a box before adding new wiring, etc. Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work. The user of this information is responsible for following all applicable regulations and best practices when performing electrical work.

If the user is unable to perform electrical work themselves, a qualified electrician should be consulted. How to Read These Diagrams. This page contains wiring diagrams for household light switches and includes: a switch loop, single-pole switches, light dimmer, and a few choices for wiring a outlet switch combo device.

Also included are wiring arrangements for multiple light fixtures controlled by one switch, two switches on one box, and a split receptacle controlled by two switches. When the electrical source originates at a light fixture and is controlled from a remote location, a switch loop is used. This circuit is wired with a 2-wire cable running from the light to the switch location. The neutral from the source is connected directly to the neutral terminal on the light and the source hot is spliced with the white loop wire.

The white wire is marked black on both ends to identify it as hot. At SW1 it is connected to one of the terminals. The black loop wire is connected to the other terminal and at the light, to the hot terminal on the fixture. This is an updated version of the first arrangement.

Because the electrical code as of the NEC update requires a neutral wire in most new switch boxes, a 3-wire cable runs between the light and switch. The red and black are used for hot and the white neutral wire at the switch box allows for powering a timer, remote control, or other programmable switch. Here a single-pole switch controls the power to a light fixture. The source is at the switch and 2-wire cable runs from there to the light.

The source hot wire is connected to a switch terminal and the other terminal is connected to the black cable wire. The neutral wire from the source is spliced to the white cable wire and continues on to the light. At the light, the white wire connects to the neutral terminal and the black wire connects to the hot.

Here two switches are wired in the same box to control two separate lights. The source is at the switch box and a 2-wire cable is run to each light. One source is spliced to each switch with a pigtail to power the two lights. This diagram illustrates wiring for one switch to control 2 or more lights.

The source is at SW1 and 2-wire cable runs from there to the fixtures. The hot and neutral terminals on each fixture are spliced with a pigtail to the circuit wires which then continue on to the next light. This is the simplest arrangement for more than one light on a single switch. A rheostat, or dimmer, makes it possible to vary the current flowing to a light fixture thereby varying the intensity of the light. The dimmer switch will have stranded wires that must be sliced to the solid cable wiring in a pigtail fashion.

A device like this should only be used with an incandescent light fixture and not with a ceiling fan or other motor. See wiring a speed controller for wiring a rheostat to control fan speed. To wire this circuit, 2-wire cable runs from the dimmer to the light. The source is at the dimmer and the hot wire is spliced to one hot wire on the device. The other wire from the dimmer is spliced to the black cable wire which runs on to the hot terminal on the light.

The source neutral wire is spliced to the white cable wire which continues on to the neutral terminal on the light. Here a receptacle outlet is controlled with a single-pole switch. This is commonly used to turn a table lamp on and off when entering a room.By code, the number of conductors allowed in a box are limited depending on box size and wire gauge.

Calculate total conductors allowed in a box before adding new wiring, etc. Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work. The user of this information is responsible for following all applicable regulations and best practices when performing electrical work. If the user is unable to perform electrical work themselves, a qualified electrician should be consulted.

How to Read These Diagrams. The wiring diagrams on this page make use of one or more 4 way switches located between two 3 way switches to control lights from three or more points. Several diagrams are included here that can be used to map 4 way and 3 way lighting circuits depending on the location of the source in relation to the switches and lights. Included are a 4-way dimmer switch diagram and an arrangement that can be used to control room lights from four different locations.

Check here for 4 way switch troubleshooting and help with 3 ways switches here. For circuits that control lights from two locations only, check the wiring diagrams at this link. In this basic 4 way light circuit, 3-wire cable runs between all the switches and 2-wire cable runs from the last switch to the light.

The electrical source is at the first 3 way switch and the hot wire connects to the common there. The circuit neutral is spliced at each switch box through to the light fixture using the white wire.

The black and red wires running between the boxes are connected to the travelers on each switch. The common terminal on the 3 way switch at the end of the circuit connects to the black wire running to the hot terminal on the light.

Take note that the traveler wires from SW1 are connected to the T1 pair on the 4 way switch and the travelers going to SW2 are connected to the T2 pair. Each pair of traveler terminals on the 4 way must be connected to only one 3 way switch. Don't mix up the pairs or the circuit will not work properly. This diagram illustrates wiring for a 4 way circuit with the electrical source at the light fixture and the switches coming after. Two-wire cable is run from the light to SW1 and 3-wire cable runs between the three switches.

The source neutral wire is connected directly to the light fixture and the hot is spliced to the white cable wire running to SW1. At SW1 it's spliced to the white wire running to the 4 way switch box where it's spliced to the white wire running to common terminal on SW2. The white wire is marked with black at each splice to identify it as hot. At SW1, the common terminal is connected to the black wire running to the light fixture hot terminal. The black and red wires running between the switches are used to connect the travelers on each switch.

3 and 4-Way Switches Made Easy

Here the circuit source is at the first 3 way switch and the light fixture is between there and the other switches. Three-wire cable runs between the light and all the switches. The source hot wire is connected to the common on SW1 and the neutral wire is spliced through directly to the light fixture neutral terminal. The black and red wires from SW1 are used as travelers and at the light fixture they are spliced to the red and white wires running to the 4 way switch.

4 way switch wiring a light diagram base website a light

The black wire running to the 4-way switch is connected to the hot terminal on the light and at the switch box it's spliced to the black wire from the common on SW2. The red and white are used as travelers between the 4 way and SW2.If more than three switches are needed, simply place more 4-way switches between the three way switches.

Instructions Please Note: To illustrate the 4 way switch wiring, Switch boxes and Fixture boxes are not shown but are obviously required for every application. These diagrams are shown as using the Type NM Cable wiring method. These cables contain a ground conductor which is required for all applications as well.

The ground conductors are always bonded together to insure the integrity of the ground path. If you are using metal boxes, the ground conductor must be attached to each box by using a threaded ground screw or provided attachment. The frames of the switches which have a ground screw are to be attached to the ground conductor as required. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding these diagrams.

Do you recommend using push in type wire connectors? Also when using a dimmer in a 4 way switch circuit can you place the dimmer in any of the switch positions? Dave's reply: The push in connections are ok, except for 20 amp circuits or high load devices that will be used, especially with outlets.

The function of a 4-way dimmer may depend on the type of dimmer you select and the switch wiring configuration as a whole. Lutron dimmers are great when multiple dimmers are required. I was replacing a 4-way switch that seemed to be burned out on one pole and still had problems. After using your web sight and thinking through my problem, I realized that the old 4-way switches about 23 years old did not conform to current standards.

The inputs and outputs were side to side, respectively, in stead of top and bottom as you show and how my new switch is designed. The old switch was labeled line 1 on one side to help with orientation. You can see the confusion this creates when you try to wire both an old style and new style switch in the same circuit. I eventually got it right! I thought you might want to make a comment somewhere on the page mentioning the different versions of these switches. Thanks for maintaining this site.

It saved me. Thank you Jim! Dave's Reply: Yes - there definitely is a difference with some 4-ways switches, especially the older ones.

Great to hear you got them working. The white wire of the cable going to the switch is attached to the black line in the fixture box using a wirenut. The white wire becomes the energized switch leg, as indicated by using black or red electrical tape.

Ask a Question!

4 way switch wiring a light diagram base website a light

This 4 way switch diagram 2 shows the power source starting at the fixture. I bought a new switch. The new switch has 4 terminals, two on either side, top and bottom. See How to Wire it Right! Estimated Time: Depends on personal level of experience, ability to work with hand tools used for wiring switches, and the available access to the project area.

Electric Switch Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for wiring switches should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes. Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing additional electrical wiring for light switches should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Summary: Fully explained 4 way switch diagrams. The electrical wiring adds additional wiring to the same principles of 3-way switching. Electrical Wire Connections to Switches and Outlets Do you recommend using push in type wire connectors? Different Types of 4-Way Switches I was replacing a 4-way switch that seemed to be burned out on one pole and still had problems.This page is dedicated to Wiring Diagrams that can hopefully get you through a difficult wiring task or just to learn some basics in how to wire a 2-way switch3-way switch4-way switchoutlet or entertainment component diagrams.

If you don't see a wiring diagram you are looking for on this page, then check out my Sitemap page for more information you may find helpful. How a 2-Way Switch Works. The power source is coming in from the left. Notice the black wire is the only wire that we are controlling through the 2-way switch.

You have an incoming hot wire black going to one screw it does not matter if you use the brass or silver screw on the side of the 2-way switch and a black wire from the other screw on the 2-way switch going to the load light, ceiling fan etc.

The white wires are wire nutted together so they can continue the circuit. Just use your mouse pointer on this diagram and follow the current flow from black wire hot wire through the 2-way switch, then to the load and return through the white wire neutral.

This should give you a good basic understanding how the 2-way switch circuit works and will help you in adding or changing a 2-way switch. How a 2-way Switch Circuit Looks. So the circuit above when explained should give you a good concept on how this basic circuit works. When wiring a 2-way switch, this image on the left will show how the connections should actually look when all connections are made.

Take notice of the ground wire. It's very important that the ground or bare copper wire is connected to the green screw on the switch. All grounds are connected, and the ground is connected at the light when possible. If no connection is available, then attach the ground wire to the box in a solid way.

How a 3-Way Switch Works. When wiring a 3-way switch circuit, all we want to do is to control the black wire hot wire to turn on and off the load from 2 different locations. The diagram here will give you a better understanding how this circuit works and how a 3-way switch is wired. The source power black wire is coming in from the left.