4 way switch help

(Joshua Thompson) #1

I am trying to wire a 4-way switch with a GE 12722 Smart Switch and 2x 12723 Add-On Switches. The primary switch is wired to the GE 12722 smart switch and works great, but I am having a problem getting the other two boxes to cooperate. I have attached the wiring diagram of my setup. Switch 1 is primary, swith 2 is the middle switch, and switch 3 is the last switch. My issue is the GE 12723 only has 3 places for a wire: Traveler, Neutral, and Ground. Not sure what to do with the other wires. Can someone edit the diagram to how it should be wired?

(Pizzinini) #2

Unfortunately you dont show where the lamp is so there may be more options but here is one way that should work
Box 1: 12722 (connect all wires to switch)
Box 2: 12723 (connect both neutrals, travelers, ground to the switch and tie the loads)
Box 3: 12723 only (connect neutral, traveler, ground to the switch and insulate load)

never connect load or line to a 12723 - only neutral and traveler.

(Joshua Thompson) #3

Unfortunately I am not sure where the lamp sits but I assume it’s between box 1 and 2, is there any way for me to know?

(Pizzinini) #4

In that case the option above should work

Also, here is a general wiring diagram that may help . The lamp is always connected to the master switch. Slave switches are never connected to line or load.

(Joshua Thompson) #5

The diagram is great but my scenario doesn’t seem to be there as you told me to cap the load line in box 3.

(Joshua Thompson) #6

If I understand correctly, this is how I should wire. Note, I did not account for where the light is but I assume it’s between 1 and 2.

(Michael) #7

The lamp will be another set of wires, black, white and ground coming into one of the boxes. It’s important to pay attention to which set of wires each of the black wires go to especially when several are tied together.

Is your diagram accurate with the number of wires in each box? It’s important to find the line(lamp) to make this work.

(Joshua Thompson) #8

Yes the diagram is accurate except for there is another white line coming into box 1. Box 1 has the hot wire which is orange in the diagram but is actually a black wire. I made it orange to avoid confusion.

(Joshua Thompson) #9

I found a diagram of what I believe to be my current setup.

(Joshua Thompson) #10

Actually this is my current setup:

(Michael) #11

Well in this last diagram you don’t have a neutral as the white wires are travelers, but you say your switch in box 1 works so a neutral is coming from somewhere. I don’t believe the last diagram is your setup. You can confirm by removing the fixture and checking the wires in that box.

(Joshua Thompson) #12

It must be this one then:

(Ben W) #13

Just did this 2 days ago.

Pick your primary switch location and hook up the traveler/Line/Load/Neutral/ground to the 12722. I had 2 travelers coming into the box (one for each child) and stuck one in each hole on the traveler port on the switch,

On the child switches hook up the traveler/Neutral/Ground. The Line and Load in the gang box will need to be connected together, get a proper wire connector cap. The instructions are not super clear on that.

If it doesn’t work switch line/load on master 12722 it is probably backwards. Dump switches don’t care, but smart switches do.

(Joshua Thompson) #14

here are some pictures of the box. There are 5 wires going into the main box and 3 switches. This box controls a recessed light group, a fan, and it’s light. I wired the way you said but the fan light still does not work. I am not sure if I blew something in the fan. https://goo.gl/photos/N5acu1F7WZfh837aA
The right most wires are the ones I am working with and the middle switch is the one that controls the fan light. The other two switches work fine. I will note the red wire from one is twisted into the white wire from another.

(Michael) #15

OK so you definitely have your power source (line) coming into this box. That is the large bundle of black wires. So the black wire hooked up as load is going to one of your other boxes. You say that this switch is working OK its just the auxiliary switches that are not working? I am surprised that the aux switch in box 2 doesn’t work.

Are you sure there aren’t any other Romex wires in those boxes that would connect it to the light? My 4 way in the kitchen was this way. Are the black wires in box 2 just wire nutted together?

Maybe pictures of the other boxes will help as well. Believe you are so close to solving this.

(Joshua Thompson) #16

Box two has 2 sets of 4 Wires: Black, Red, White, Ground. The switch has 5 wires hooked to it: Both Red, Both Black, and Both Ground (tied together as 1).

Box 3 has 1 set of the same 4 wires, one of which is coming from box 2.

(Michael) #17

Did you say the switch you are working on is for a fan light? Does the fan switch happen to be to the right of it in your picture? At first I was wondering why you have a red wire and a white wire bundled together. I believe that is your neutral wire for your fan/light assuming the right switch is indeed the fan. I’d like you to confirm that so please take the wire nut off and use a multimeter to see if that is a neutral. Once that is confirmed I have an idea on how you can wire this up to work. Also confirm that your right switch (assuming fan) has power on one of those black wires.

(Joshua Thompson) #18

Hello! You are correct the middle switch is for the fan light and the switch to the right of it is the fan blades. I will have to test when I get home to see if it’s neutral but it probably is. How would I wire it in that scenario?

(Michael) #19


Well after further thought, the reason your auxiliary switches don’t work is because they aren’t getting a neutral connection. That white/red bundle is your load for both your fan AND light. The reason the red from that wire is connected to the white in the wire right next to it is for the completion of the 4 way circuit for your light.

The far right wire coming in from the top is your load for both your fan and light:
White: neutral for both your fan and light
Black: load for your fan
Red: load for your light

To solve this:
Box 1:

  1. Unbundle the white and red wire
  2. Remove the existing Load black wire that is at the top right of your middle switch and put a small wire nut on it, you don’t need it. Just to confirm this comes from the second to right wire from the back top of your box.
  3. Hook up the red wire you unbundled in step 1 to the Load (top right) on your middle switch.
  4. Hook up the white wire to the neutral on your middle switch - you should have two holes there so just add it to your existing jumper.
  5. Box 1 is done so you can turn power back on and test that the light and fan still works, if not don’t proceed.

Box 2:

  1. If your black wires are bundled, remove that wire nut and unbundle them and put small wire nuts on them individually as you don’t need those wires any longer.
  2. Hook up both white wires to neutral on your auxilary.
  3. Hook up both red wires to the traveler on your auxilary switch.

Box 3:

  1. Put a small wire nut on the black wire as you don’t need it any longer.
  2. Hook up the white wire to neutral on your auxilary
  3. Hook up the red wire to the traveler on your auxilary switch.

You should be good to go! I see in the picture that you still have the tabs on the side of your 3 smart switches in Box 1. You will need to remove those in order to screw them in as there isn’t enough width. You can remove them by getting pliers and bend them towards the front groove and go back and forth.

(Joshua Thompson) #20

Awesome I will try this in a few hours when I get home, thank you very much for taking the time! Fingers crossed!