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Wiring a 4-Way Switch

Most DIYers can easily tackle replacing a standard single-pole switch.  However, things get a little more complex when you need to add a 4-way circuit.  The 4-way circuit is used when you want to control the light or lights from three or more locations.  This article and detailed wiring diagram outlines the steps to wiring a 4-way switch.

When Do You Need a 4-Way Switch?

If you understand the logic behind the 3-way circuit, the 4-way will not seem that difficult.  The 4-way is used when you want to control the light or lights from two or more locations.

4-Way Switch – NOT To Be Confused With a 2-Pole Switch!

A 4-way switch has four terminals (do not confuse with and purchase a 2-pole switch by mistake).

4-Way Switch

The 4-way terminals are labeled “In” and “Out” (two of each). The mechanics of this switch are simple, in that they either switch the travellers straight through, or criss-cross them.

To add more than three locations for one set of lights, you would just insert more 4-way switches in between the two 3-ways. The following diagram illustrates the easiest way to connect a 4-way circuit.

NOTE:  The picture is a thumbnail – click on it to enlarge it.

Wiring a 4-Way Switch


Are there still questions that you need answered about wiring a 4-way switch?  Feel free to ask your question below or check out my Facebook page and ask there.  You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel and check out the many free videos covering a number of different DIY wiring topics, including many instructing you on different wiring configurations including 3 and 4-way switches.

Do You Have the DIY Skills to Wire That 4-Way Switch?


While wiring a 4-way switch is a little more complex that wiring a standard switch, it is something most DIYers are capable of doing.  However, if you’re not sure that your understanding of working around electricity and DIY skills have prepared you for wiring that 4-way switch or any other home wiring project, here’s a great resource to bring your skill levels up to speed.

“The Basics of Household Wiring” is a comprehensive resource (available as a DVD, instant download or e-book) that will give you the information you need to tackle this type of home wiring project easily and, more importantly, competently.  Don’t be intimidated by a DIY project that has you working around electricity.  The Basics of Household Wiring will teach you how to do DIY wiring projects safely!

Need a little more information?  Take a few minutes to watch this video clip for a good overview of the type of top notch instruction you’ll receive in this great resource.   Order or download your copy today.

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  • shakil

    i hav 2 pc 2 way swtich & 2 pc normal stich so how to use that 4 swtiches 4 way swtich connection

  • Randy

    I’m trying to install a more complicated 4 way switch setup than shown here. It has 2 3-way (each end of the circuit) and 2 4-ways in the middle. The power comes in at the 2nd switch and the lights are between the 3rd and 4th switch. Anyone with a schematic that does this?


  • Walt Rivers

    I want to add a switch. I have a 3 way to 3way to fixture. I would like to replace the last 3 way with a 4 way to fixture and add a 3 way. I think I have it but I’d like a diagram to prove it.

  • abid hussain

    please clear 4 way switch dafination

  • This is an excellent article for explaining the design and logic of a 4-way switch. 

    One edit that needs to be made:

    The sentence reading; “The 4-way is used when you want to control the light or lights from two or more locations.”

    Should say; “The 4-way is used when you want to control the light or lights from three or more locations.”

    This is because a 2-way switch is used for a single location, a 3-way switch is used for 2 locations, and a 4-way switch is used for 3+ locations.

    • Internetelectrician

      Et, you are absolutely correct! I will fix that, and thanks for pointing that out!

  • Fohwofasa Money

    hw can i connect d 4 switch

  • what is d name of d 4 way switch, and hw can i connect it?

  • .. I like this article, on the 4-way switches ..


The Basics of Household Wiring DVD

"If you're looking for a good reference to help you understand simple home wiring, I personally recommend 'The Basics of Household Wiring' DVD".

Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician
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