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Using 3-way switches as a 4-way

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by reactancexl, Jan 27, 2004.

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  1. reactancexl

    reactancexl Guest

    I heard some contractors hooking up three 3-way switches instead of a four
    way. How is that wired? I always use a four way, but I think it is done
    for cost reasons.
  2. reactancexl wrote on 27/01/2004 :-
    For what exactly?

    Harry (M1BYT)...

    Remove the 'NOSPAM' in my email address to reply.

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  3. SQLit

    SQLit Guest

    Use a 3 way for a 4way?
    I for the life left in me do not understand what you are talking about.
    3ways are used in pairs to switch from 2 locations.
    4ways in the middle of the circuit add another location depending on the
    number of 4 ways.
    I await the lords of electricity to explain this one.

    Are you sure someone is not pulling your leg?
  4. Mike Lamond

    Mike Lamond Guest

    I remember an article, in a 1960 vintage homeowner's encyclopedia, that
    how to wire _two_ three-way switches to work as a four-way switch. The
    were ganged by runnning a screw through them to make the switches
    together. Electrically, you have same thing, but I don't think it really

    What the contractors may have been talking about is rearranging a
    circuit with three or more switches into several circuits with only two
    switches on each one. Why they might need or want to, I have no idea.

  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I think someone is blowing smoke up your...
  6. Brian

    Brian Guest

    6 way?!? I think you are smoking dope!

  7. SQLit

    SQLit Guest

    any chance you still have that book? and could scan the article. I would
    like to add it to my collection
  8. Mike Lamond

    Mike Lamond Guest

    Sorry, I don't have the set. It was my parents' from when they got
    married and bought their first house. Over the years it got pretty
    much beat up and was finally tossed out.

    There's a 1962 edition, virtually identical, on eBay:

    I'd forgotten earlier that the illustration showed the switched mounted
    outside on a pole next to the driveway, with no weatherproof cover and
    the happy homeowner reaching from his car to turn on the front porch
    light. Code violations, anyone?
  9. Beachcomber

    Beachcomber Guest

    Intermatic makes a Decora single-unit timer module (also a switch)
    that has a single lead that can be used with a simple spst switch at a
    different location. Thus, you can have 3-way operation in effect with
    one less traveler wire. I believe the instructions for the timer also
    indicate how to wire it up for three location control with one timer
    and two three-way switches.

    This might work for you if you're doing outdoor lighting or one of the
    control points needs to be a timer.

    The Intermatic model SS8 Decora Timer Switch also has a cool
    "astronomic dial" feature so that your lights go on at local sunset,
    whatever time of the year it happens to be.

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