Electrician Talk banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help an old man out a little please!:blink:

I have a customer that wants to add some lights and combine some.

Here's what he has now:

Stairway with a 3-way at the top and bottom for the stair light

At the bottom of the stairs there is another 3-way in the same box as the stair switch for the room lights.

Other end of 3-way for the room lights is at the other end of the room.

Here's what he wants:

Make the stair lights and 1/2 of the room lights work on the same 3-way that works the stair light.

Use the other 3-way that currently works the room lights for the other 1/2 of the room lights. This would be changed to just a single pole.

Is there a way to do this without adding a 4-way switch?
 

·
RIP 1959-2015
Joined
·
39,618 Posts
Help an old man out a little please!:blink:

I have a customer that wants to add some lights and combine some.

Here's what he has now:

Stairway with a 3-way at the top and bottom for the stair light

At the bottom of the stairs there is another 3-way in the same box as the stair switch for the room lights.

Other end of 3-way for the room lights is at the other end of the room.

Here's what he wants:

Make the stair lights and 1/2 of the room lights work on the same 3-way that works the stair light.

Use the other 3-way that currently works the room lights for the other 1/2 of the room lights. This would be changed to just a single pole.

Is there a way to do this without adding a 4-way switch?
Yes, Find the switch-leg for the room, disconnect the lights that he wants on the stairway 3 way, if the switch-leg is in the other box then you will have to run it to the switch box that will have the single pole switch.

Continue the switch-leg that's controlling the light in the stairwell and feed the lights he wants on those three-ways.

Have fun...:blink::laughing:
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, Find the switch-leg for the room, disconnect the lights that he wants on the stairway 3 way, if the switch-leg is in the other box then you will have to run it to the switch box that will have the single pole switch.

Continue the switch-leg that's controlling the light in the stairwell and feed the lights he wants on those three-ways.

Have fun...:blink::laughing:
What about the travelers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
Dog yoyo, all things will be revieved with correct sketching... of existing power
source and desired application.

I see it correctly in my mine, I don't see in your mind! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,881 Posts
Split the room lights, tie the switch legs together, add switch leg for 2nd half of room lights.


Ya gots to know how the circuitry is laid out, specifically where the switch legs land and in what order the room lights are laid out.

In any case, unless they ran the 3 wire thru the room light JB's, you will need to get another switch leg to feed half the room lights.
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Split the room lights, tie the switch legs together, add switch leg for 2nd half of room lights.


Ya gots to know how the circuitry is laid out, specifically where the switch legs land and in what order the room lights are laid out.

In any case, unless they ran the 3 wire thru the room light JB's, you will need to get another switch leg to feed half the room lights.
I wouldn't have any problem if these were just SP switches, what I can't seem to get straight in my head is the travelers.
I don't know if I explained it well, but the result will be in effect like having a 4-way because there will be 3 switches controlling 1/2 the lights.

Splitting the other 1/2 is not a problem as it will just be a SP switch. As far as how the lights lay out, I pretty much will be changing that. Currently he only has maybe three 4' troffers and I'm taking them out and putting in 12 can lights.

I thought about changing the lone 3-way for the room lights to a 4-way, but I would need to run 2 more travelers there for that.

Maybe some of you drawing gurus could whip up a sketch. I tried drawing it out but the travelers keep throwing me off. Guess I'm just getting dumber!:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,881 Posts
I don't know if I explained it well, but he retsult will be in effect like having a 4-way because there will be 3 switches controlling 1/2 the lights.
You are correct. You didn't explain it well :laughing:
 

·
Armed and Unhinged
Joined
·
424 Posts
You said you were changing the 3way at the bottom of the stairs to a sp for the other half of the lights; what about its mate across the room? If you plan to put that with the stair 3ways then yes change the 3way at the bottom of the stairs to a 4way.
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are correct. You didn't explain it well :laughing:
Ok I'll try again.:thumbsup:

Stairs have a 3-way switch at the top and bottom of stairs, the bottom switch is in a 3-gang box.

Existing room lights also have a pair of 3-ways. One of which is in the same 3-gang box as the stair light 3-way. The other is at the other side/end of room.

I'm changing the existing 4' troffers to 12 can lights.

Customer wants the stair light to come on with 1/2 (6) of the room lights. He still wants to use the 3-way at the top of the stairs, the one at the bottom, and the one at the other side of room.
So that's three (3) switches for that one bank of lights plus the stair light.

He wants to use the remaining switch to control the 2nd bank of lights. It will just be one location or single pole.

I don't have a problem in splitting the circuit for the 2nd bank of lights. My problem is with the (4) 3-way switches. It would be just like a 4-way circuit but without the 4-way switch.

So how to combine/convert the two for the stairs and the two for the room into three switches, top of stairs, bottom of stairs, and other side of room, all to work one bank of lights.

I don't have a problem in figuring out how to move one of the loads to the other switch, I'm trying to figure out how the travelers would combine.

Is that a better explanation?

This is either impossible or so simple I can't see it!:no:
 

·
Armed and Unhinged
Joined
·
424 Posts
Ok I'll try again.:thumbsup:

Stairs have a 3-way switch at the top and bottom of stairs, the bottom switch is in a 3-gang box.

Existing room lights also have a pair of 3-ways. One of which is in the same 3-gang box as the stair light 3-way. The other is at the other side/end of room.

I'm changing the existing 4' troffers to 12 can lights.

Customer wants the stair light to come on with 1/2 (6) of the room lights. He still wants to use the 3-way at the top of the stairs, the one at the bottom, and the one at the other side of room.
So that's three (3) switches for that one bank of lights plus the stair light.

He wants to use the remaining switch to control the 2nd bank of lights. It will just be one location or single pole.

I don't have a problem in splitting the circuit for the 2nd bank of lights. My problem is with the (4) 3-way switches. It would be just like a 4-way circuit but without the 4-way switch.

So how to combine/convert the two for the stairs and the two for the room into three switches, top of stairs, bottom of stairs, and other side of room, all to work one bank of lights.

I don't have a problem in figuring out how to move one of the loads to the other switch, I'm trying to figure out how the travelers would combine.

Is that a better explanation?

This is either impossible or so simple I can't see it!:no:
First bank 3way at top of stairs, 4way in mid, then 3way on the other side of the room. Sp for the second bank. Take the travelers going up the step and to the other side of the room and throw them on the 4 way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,167 Posts
I don't have a problem in splitting the circuit for the 2nd bank of lights. My problem is with the (4) 3-way switches. It would be just like a 4-way circuit but without the 4-way switch.
You are going to change the (4) 3-way switches to (2) 3-ways working with (1) 4-way and the single-pole. How do you think you can get by w/out a 4-way?

If your switch leg for the 2nd set of lights is coming out of the box in the other room, you are going to have install a new conductor to the box at the bottom of the stairs.

I don't understand why the customer wants to control the stair lights from a location other than at the top and bottom of the stairs.
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are going to change the (4) 3-way switches to (2) 3-ways working with (1) 4-way and the single-pole. How do you think you can get by w/out a 4-way?

That's just it, I don't think you can.

If your switch leg for the 2nd set of lights is coming out of the box in the other room, you are going to have install a new conductor to the box at the bottom of the stairs.

Forget the second set of lights, I understand I will have to run a wire for them. I should have just left that part out of my description.

I don't understand why the customer wants to control the stair lights from a location other than at the top and bottom of the stairs.
I don't know why he wants the stair light on with the room lights. I think he is just thinking "cheap". I really don't think he necessarily wants to control the stair light from the far switch, that's just an effect of what he wants to do. Because now in the 3 gang box he has the stair light switch, the room lights switch, and one for the garage. He is just wanting to use what's there and not bother the garage light switch.
IOW, he doesn't want to neither change the box to a 4 gang, nor add another single box.

I already explained that to do what he wants, I will need to run wires to the 3-way at the other side and change it to a 4-way.

But I'm probably going to just convince him to let me add the other switch for the 2nd set of lights and be done with it.

I just wanted to be sure of what I thought, that you couldn't have 3 switches controlling one load without a 4-way.
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thought you already had a line going there from the previous 3way setup?
There is but he wants a dimmer at the bottom of steps. I didn't put that in my explanation. If the dimmer has to be there then the 4-way would need to be at the other side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,881 Posts
So that's three (3) switches for that one bank of lights plus the stair light.
Assuming a standard wiring method with one 3 wire going from bottom to top of stairs and another from bottom of stairs to across room.....

Simply install a 4 way at the bottom of the stairs connected to both sets of travelers.

All a 4 way does is interrupt and swap the travelers somewhere in the middle.

but he wants a dimmer at the bottom of steps. I didn't put that in my explanation. If the dimmer has to be there then the 4-way would need to be at the other side.
:jester: :laughing:

Now you complicated it too much to explain over the internets.

You can put the 4 way anywhere as long as you can get a 3 wire in and out of the location.

Or, use the slave/master dimmers and simply rewire. They each require power and one traveler between them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
youre wanting to control 1 set of lights from 3 locations and think you can do that without a 4 way? you think you can use 3 - 3 way switches?

wtf?

are you really an electrician?
 

·
Registered
Electrician
Joined
·
4,428 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
youre wanting to control 1 set of lights from 3 locations and think you can do that without a 4 way? you think you can use 3 - 3 way switches?

wtf?

are you really an electrician?
Did you read the entire thread?
I never said you could do this without a 4-way. I just asked if anyone knew how this would be possible.

The customer just asked me to do something on minimal cost and ask if I could make what he had work without running a lot of extra wires and cutting in boxes.
I told him no from the beginning, but I got to thinking of how to do this and I couldn't figure out any way but a 4-Way.

But with all the "gurus" on here, I thought maybe I'm missing something.

I'm not an electrician but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!:jester:
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top