How to Install a 4 Way Electrical Switch


Installing an electrical circuit that includes a 4-way light switch is best done during a remodeling project or during the construction phase of a new structure. This is because the wiring has to be installed specifically for this type of circuit. It is possible to modify an existing circuit to include a 4-way switch, but it is recommended to have a professional electrician complete this modification for you. It is very important that you follow the wiring diagram found on the light switch packaging in order for the switch to work correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-3 or 14-3 electrical wiring Wire strippers Screwdriver Needle nose pliers
  • Run either 12-3 or 14-3 electrical wiring through the circuit in the area that the 4-way switch will be utilized according to the wiring diagram printed on the light switch packaging.
    Note: two 3-way switches are required for the 4-way switch to work correctly.

  • Be sure the power to the circuit is turned off before continuing.

  • Remove 5/8" of insulation on the end of the wires that will be connected to each switch and the light fixture.

  • Connect the main supply wire to the first 3-way switch. Then, connect the first 3-way switch to the 4-way switch (called a traveler) and then attach the 4-way switch to the second 3-way switch. Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging.

  • Mount the switches into their electrical boxes. Install, texture, finish, and paint the drywall, and then install the light switch covers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turn the power off to the circuit before working.

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