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Author Topic: 4-way switch question  (Read 7059 times)

jayman13

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4-way switch question
« on: January 23, 2011, 01:29:35 PM »

I have a standard hall light with three switches that control it.  Two of the switches we hardly ever use because of the location.  Can I just use a WS467 in one of the switches and then disconnect the other switches by going into their switch boxes and capping off the connections?  Also, if I want to use WS4777 (the one with a slave) can I then have two working switches and then disconnect the 3rd?  Thanks in advance.
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rjniles

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 01:54:49 PM »

No you can not remove 2 of the 3 switches and cap the wires and then use a WS467 switch at the third location. To do this you would have to reconfigure the wiring in the removed switche's boxes. The exact method of wiring change would depend on the way the existing is wired. BTW, the setup you have is (2) 3 way switches and (1) 4 way switch.



Your best bet is to get a master switch such as the WS4777 and 2 slave switches and replace all 3 switches.
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jayman13

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 01:57:58 PM »

thanks.  What if there are 5 switches?  Would it then just be one master and 4 slaves?
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rjniles

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2011, 07:34:42 AM »

thanks.  What if there are 5 switches?  Would it then just be one master and 4 slaves?

Yes that is what you would need.
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Mellowmark

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2011, 05:08:30 PM »

It would be relatively simple to eliminate the extra switches. All you would have to do is wire nut the wires together in the box then blank it. I changed the   traveler to a neutral in one of my boxes and use it with an XPT style controller.  I you have a voltage tester and an extension cord you can follow the hot wire Through the circuit tag it and your on your way.
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jayman13

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2011, 10:48:44 PM »

Thanks.  Why can't they make a switch that looks relatively normal but can be used with fluorescent lighting?  All the compatible switches with neutral wires seem to be rocker types.  Why can't they be push button ones like the PCOW3?
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dave w

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 09:17:05 AM »

Thanks.  Why can't they make a switch that looks relatively normal but can be used with fluorescent lighting?  All the compatible switches with neutral wires seem to be rocker types.  Why can't they be push button ones like the PCOW3?
Did you look at the Smarthome.com "ToggleLinc" switches? They have a convention toggle switch look. Their Insteon line is compatable with X10 protocols. But they create sticker shock.
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rjniles

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 09:34:55 AM »

It would be relatively simple to eliminate the extra switches. All you would have to do is wire nut the wires together in the box then blank it. I changed the   traveler to a neutral in one of my boxes and use it with an XPT style controller.  I you have a voltage tester and an extension cord you can follow the hot wire Through the circuit tag it and your on your way.

There are 3 wires (not including the bare ground) on a 3 way switch (4 wires on the 4 way). You can not just wire nut them together, you will create a dead short circuit and trip the circuit breaker. Depending on how the circuit is wired,you can connect some of the wires and eliminate the switch. There are also some code issues with re-purposing one of the travelers as a neutral. If you try to do this you had better understand the wiring and what changes need to be made.
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Mellowmark

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 09:11:59 PM »

Well if you look at a diagram and see that the four way is only the traveler wires connected to a crossing switch. If you wire nut them together there is no neutral involved the only thing that will happen is the light will come on and you will not be able to turn it off.  Then take one of the three ways out and only use two wires to a single pole switch.  Cap the other one off.  now you have a single switch .  It is not as hard as it would seem. if the switch does not operate the light then change it to a different two wires. The travelers are basically the same hot wire. so connecting them together is not as dangerous as it sounds.  you can remove any other three way and wire nut the wires together.  The only tricky part would be if you want to change one of the travelers to a neutral than you will have to be sure witch wire is what.   Not that hard with a tester and an extension cord.  And you would have to make sure that you only connect the two travelers one to one in the four way box. so they go straight through the box. Tag the hot and white one seperatly.



















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rjniles

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 06:07:13 AM »

Well if you look at a diagram and see that the four way is only the traveler wires connected to a crossing switch. If you wire nut them together there is no neutral involved the only thing that will happen is the light will come on and you will not be able to turn it off.  Then take one of the three ways out and only use two wires to a single pole switch.  Cap the other one off.  now you have a single switch .  It is not as hard as it would seem. if the switch does not operate the light then change it to a different two wires. The travelers are basically the same hot wire. so connecting them together is not as dangerous as it sounds.  you can remove any other three way and wire nut the wires together.  The only tricky part would be if you want to change one of the travelers to a neutral than you will have to be sure witch wire is what.   Not that hard with a tester and an extension cord.  And you would have to make sure that you only connect the two travelers one to one in the four way box. so they go straight through the box. Tag the hot and white one separately.

A lot different than "All you would have to do is wire nut the wires together in the box then blank it."  You have to wire nut the correct wires together and the devil is in the details. This is not something for the electrically naive.



















 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 10:18:52 AM by rjniles »
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dave w

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Re: 4-way switch question
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 09:29:44 AM »

You can not just wire nut them together, you will create a dead short circuit and trip the circuit breaker.
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