Mobile Site        Sitemap        Copyright © 2016 Electrical101.com. All Rights Reserved.        Terms of Use

Switches | Outlets & Plugs | Ballasts | Replace Ballasts | Troubleshooting | Light Bulbs | Basic Electricity | Save Energy | Misc Articles

Electrical101 Sitemap

Alternate 4-way Switch Wiring

Alternate 4-way switch wiring is fairly complex. Power enters the first light fixture box instead of the first 3-way switch box. This wiring configuration is no longer allowed as of the 2011 NEC if a neutral wire is not present in the switch boxes.

In the diagram below, a 2-wire NM cable supplies 120 volts and neutral from the panel to the first light fixture box on the left. The 120 volts (black) wire eventually connects to the common terminal of the first 3-way switch. The neutral (white) wire connects to the light fixture(s) and the white wire(s) of the NM cable(s) that connect between the light fixture boxes. This neutral wire terminates at the last light fixture box and does not travel through any switch boxes.

A 2-wire NM connects the last light fixture box to the first 3-way switch box. The black wire connects to the common terminal of the first 3-way switch. The white wire (120 volts switched) connects the white wires of sequential NM traveler cables together and eventually connects to the common terminal of the second 3-way switch. These wires should have black tape on both ends to indicate 120 volts instead of neutral.

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. The traveler wires are interchangeable on each switch.

The common terminal of the second 3-way switch supplies 120 volts switched from the second 3-way switch through the switch boxes and back to the light fixtures using the NM white wire with black tape on each end.

Diagrams shown on this page are simplified for clarity. Electrical outlet boxes can have numerous NM cables going in and out. See Actual Switch Box Wiring.

Ground connection diagram is shown separately.

Alternate 4-way Switch Wiring Diagram

Alternate 4-way Switch Wiring Diagram

Home

Electrical Switches

Light Switch Wiring

Multiple Switch Wiring

3-way Switches

3-way Switch Wiring

Alternate 3-way Switch Wiring

4-way Switches

4-way Switch Wiring

Alternate 4-way Switch Wiring

Dimmer Switches

Dimmer Switch Wiring

Photocells and Timers

Ceiling Fan Switch Wiring

Motion Detectors and Occupancy Sensors