REALLY not understanding how to wire 4-way - can anyone step-by-step walkthrough?


I’ve been dreading this circuit for the last 6 months. I’ve finished replacing all the toggle switches in my house to GE Z-Wave Plus with minimal fuss except this last circuit, a chandelier in my foyer that is on a 4-way switch.

To be blunt, I am at a total loss how to do this. I have tried asking on my local handyman Facebook group, and apparently installing 3 switches is too small a job for anyone to bother with.

There are a couple of topics dealing with 4-way switches on SmartThings community, but frankly they’re abstract diagrams that don’t make a lot of sense and I’m hoping to get a “this wire goes here, that wire goes there” sort of guide.

In my circuit is the following:
The 4-way switch: Leviton 50504-2W
The 3-way switches: Leviton 1453-2W

The 4-way is wired with two black wires on the right, one going to a black terminal and one to a copper, and two red wires on the left in a similar configuration. I’ve attached a photo for clarity. Thanks in advance!

A 4-way scenario can make your head hurt for sure. If you search around though, you should find diagrams of how 4-way switches are wired.

If I recall correctly GE/Jasco does not include instructions for using their switches in 4-way scenarios. However. if you contact them they will either email or send you a link to a document that shows you how to use their master switch and two add-in switches.

This may help. The trick is to find where the electricity comes in from the circuit breaker first, that is where your main switch goes. Then from there you travel out to your addon switches. You may need to connect the hot wires along the way to get to your light with wire nuts.

NOTE if there is a gfci in the mix, you may need an electrician. I had to call one because every time I hooked it up, it would pop the gfci. Still don’t understand how he fixed that.

Good luck

Happy to help. Key to 4+ way switches is actually not the 4way switches with 4 wires, it’s the 3 way switches with 3 wires. On those switches you will find a screw that is bronze/black for your “common” wire. One switch will have line from breaker and the other will have load to fixture. With light off, use a multimeter and see which common screw has power and which one does not. This will tell you load vs line.

Please take the face plates off, unscrew switches and take clear pictures of your boxes and post here and we can try to help.

Also, a multimeter (if you know how to use one) is your friend.

Always wondered what Americans were on about when they said 3way and 4 way switch’s! Now I can see what they hell you mean it’s a 2way and intermediate setup! :smile: why would you call it 3 way and 4 way that just confuses everyone and I’m a electrician!

The ‘3 way’ switch only has 2 positions hence 2 way and the ‘4way’ is a intermediate switch switching the strapper lines in also only 2 positions. So not 3 way or 4 way.

The video above setup is correct although you could have the master Device in any of the switch positions if it’s wired as his drawing

Also an electrician… but in America… That’s what they are called here.
We also call Football… Soccer.
We are just Kooky Americans!

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I agree–the 3 way and 4 way designations are confusing. Essentially, it is how many terminals are on the switch…3 terminals/screws for 3-way and 4 for a 4-way. Makes sense, right. :slight_smile:

Yeah if it didn’t use the term ‘way’ :smile: as that is in reference to the switch positions :confused:

This is one of those things where you get different explanations depending on who you ask. The explanation I’ve heard likens it to referring to the logical power pathways. Two sources … one destination. Think of a road intersection that looks like a Y. Hence, 3-way. Oh wait, you’d probably call that a roundabout. :slight_smile:

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