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4-way switch configurations are used to control lights with three or more switches. A 3-way switch is used on each end with one or more 4-way switches in between the two 3-way switches. They do not have an on/off position like single pole switches. It is important to understand how these switches are wired before attempting to troubleshoot or replace. Below is a conventional wiring diagram for a 4-way switch configuration.

The diagrams below show the conventional wiring for 3-way switches in a 4-way configuration. Unfortunately, not all 3-way switches are wired the conventional way. See Alternate 3-Way Switch Wiring Configuration for another way 3-way switches may be wired.

If you have any problems with these switches, it may be best to call an electrician.

Conventional 4-Way Switch Wiring

4-way switches have four terminals each with two pairs of travelers (one set usually black and one set usually brass color). A four switch configuration will have two 3-way switches, one on each end and two 4-way switches in the middle.

In the diagrams below, the first switch (3-way) common terminal connects to 120 volts.

The first switch (3-way) travelers (brass color) connect to one pair of the second switch (4-way) travelers (black or brass color).

The other pair of the second switch (4-way) travelers connect to one pair of the third switch (4-way) travelers.

The other pair of the third switch (4-way) travelers connect to one pair of the fourth switch (3-way) travelers.

The fourth switch (3-way) common terminal connects to the load (lights).

Ground connection is not shown in these diagrams.

4-Way Switches

Toggling 4-Way Light Switch

Toggling 4-Way Light Switch

Conventional 4-Way Light Switch Diagrams

4-Way Light Switch Wiring Diagram 1 4-Way Light Switch Wiring Diagram 2