Electricians: question about 4 way switch

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by spike308, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    Austin TX!
    Full Name:
    Mike Z
    My upstairs hall has a 4 way set up to contol the upstairs hall lighting.
    one switch at bottom of stairs
    one switch at each end of the upstairs hall.

    can I use a dimmer on ONE of the switches?
    I tend to think not, 'cause I can not get the darn thing to work properly! i.e. not all switches can switch on and off.
    I have a book on wiring, it says you can only have one dimmer on a 3 way, does not mention 4 way switch set up.
    I've finally got the darn wiring figured out (40+ y/o house - its copper wiring BTW)

    Currently (no pun intended), with the dimmer switch on, the other 2 can independently turn on and off the lights.
    If the dimmer is off, nuthin' with the other 2 switches

    and yes I turned the breaker off when messing with it!
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  3. ASG 86TR

    ASG 86TR Formula 3

    Aug 23, 2001
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Adam G
    Mike...I think if you go to Lutron web site, they have a new set-up that uses one primary, and several "remote" units. They work as though they are controlling the circuit, but the primary unit is actually controlling it. This solves those difficult 3 and 4 way issues...
  4. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    Austin TX!
    Full Name:
    Mike Z
    I was crusin' their site earlier.

    the answer to my question is yes you can do it.
    after a whole lot of screwin' around, I'm convinced the dimmer is bad (it was new 1 year ago, but never worked right).
    after taking it out of the wall, it was really quite warm, not quite hot, but close.

    I finally chucked it, put a regular 3 way switch on, and all is well... so probably a bum dimmer (after up and down 2 flights of stairs about 20 times!).
  5. bonedoc

    bonedoc Karting

    Jul 31, 2004
    If you have 2 switches, you need a 3 way switch. If you have 3 switches for the light, that is a 4 way switch. This may be part of the problem.

    Also, I think there are companies that have 3 way dimmers. I had mine setup up with them, but I was not happy with the way they worked.....not to mention the buzzing that they have as the bulbs age.

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