How to Wire 3 Switches To control 1 Light
In a four-way switch configuration, three switches control a single fixture, whether it’s a light, receptacle or other appliance. The configuration is named “four-waybecause the middle switch within the circuit has four connecting terminals rather than the usual three found on most switches. Wiring a four-way circuit involves threading “traveler wirescarrying current among the switches, ending at the light fixture. This circuit uses an existing receptacle to tap into the branch circuit providing power.
Things You will Need
Utility knife or keyhole saw
Two-wire BX (metal-sheathed) cable
Three-wire BX cable
1 four-way switch
2 three-way switches
Drywall patch kit
Preparation and Running the Wiring
Make the cuts within the wall and ceiling for the switches and fixture. Running the cable along the foot of the drywall is the easiest way to connect the switches. Above the last switch within the circuit — switch 3 in this text — make a small cut where the wall and ceiling meet to make threading the cable to the fixture easier.
Remove the baseboards along the trail from the ability source receptacle to each of the switches. Make a small cutout within the drywall beneath the switches and outlet for threading the cable.
Run two-wire cable from the electrical source (outlet) to switch 1. The cable should fit in the 1/4-inch gap between the drywall and the floor. You could have to chop small grooves or drill holes to allow the cable to run around or through the studs. Leave 8 inches of wire exposed at each end.
Run three-wire cable from switch 1 to switch 2 and two-wire cable from switch 2 to switch 3.
Run two-wire cable from switch 3 to the sunshine fixture using fish tape fed through the opening above switch 3 across the ceiling to the fixture hole. Attach the cable to the tape at the fixture and pull it back toward you. Drop the cable down to the switch hole.
Install the boxes at the switches and the fixture. The fixture junction box is attached to the brace bar that’s strung between two joists
Connecting the Wiring
Connect the wiring at switch 1, attaching the black wire from the power source to the switch’s labeled common terminal. Connect the red and black wires from switch 2 to the remaining terminals. Connect the remaining white wires and ground the switch to the switch box.
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Connect the wiring at switch 2 by connecting the two black wires to the left terminals of the switch and the two red wires to the precise side. Connect the white wires together.
Connect the wiring at switch 3 by connecting the fixture’s black wire to the common terminal and the traveler wires to the remaining terminals. Connect the white wires together.
Connect the fixture by attaching the black and white wires to their respective colors on the fixture. Hang the fixture in keeping with the manufacturer’s instructions. Attach the switches to their boxes, replace the baseboards and use the drywall repair kit to repair the hole above switch 3.
Tips Better Homes and Gardens; 2003
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