Last time I mess around with switches

I spent around 5 hours friday night getting the damn GE switch and addon switch connected to complete a 4 way switch configuration. The problem was the shoddy wiring behind the walls and then trying to figure out which wire goes to which as I had an extra wire over what I saw in youtube videos and instructions. Finally after getting it all connected and working. I couldnt get the switch back in to the hole because the wires were all over the place. I ended up breaking the gang plate trying to pressure it in with the screw. And finally after all was done, I heard sparks. So had to take it all out and redo the wiring. And after that, one of the wires came out of the slot while I was tightening the plate. Overall I am glad I got it working but I am not going to attempt another three way configuration any time soon.


Concerned here with the fact that you saw sparks. Have you done 3 - 4 way work before? Did you meter the lines to verify load voltage and traveler connection? Just want to make sure that you do not have a fire hazard about to happen

I didnt see the sparks, I heard them. it was happening in the screw nut that ties the jumper to the neutral wires. I figured it was not tight enough because tugging at the jumper cable caused it to come out of the screw nut.

Are you sure you have it safely secured now? Have you done electrical work before? If not, it might be wise going forward to pay for an electrician to do the more complicated stuff like this.

I have not done any electrical work before but the prices the guys charge is ridiculous. The other day I asked a company for a quote to install the Zen thermostat I bought; 175 dollars!!! And I got it done in 10 minutes. I had no problems doing the simple switches. This was the first one that gave me complications. I have replaced 40% of the switches in my home already.

I understand about the costs. I just had to have an electrician over to repair damage due to a tree falling on my connection to the house. Still, while the single units are easy to manage, I would recommend on the 3-way and above to hire an electrician despite the costs. Why risk your house, the charge for the work is reasonable if you consider loosing your house due to an electrical fire as part of the risk. Consider it insurance, and as you will most likely find out, each area of the house could be wired differently as there are no color standards to how switches are wired in the US. I have a 1954 house and a 2007 addition. Wiring was a mess to resolve. And I had an electrician friend who was willing to help (SMILE)


I fully agree with this. My brother is an electrician (thankfully) so the few times I got into a wiring situation where I would have to trace things out to be absolutely sure, I called him over. :slight_smile: Better safe than sorry with this stuff.

Best thing to do, befriend an electrician.

1 Like

Actually, that is how I did it. Had him over talked about some things and gave him pizza. (SMILE). He came back to help me with some of the issues I had, and he got more pizza and I had a nice conversation with a knowledgeable person.