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I have a 4 way circuit (3 physical toggle switches). I am use to seeing this setup with two 3-ways and a 4-way in the middle. Looking at what I have, I have a 3-way, and two 4-way switches! All 4 terminals on both 4 ways have wires. There is not a 4th switch anywhere. One of those 4-ways should be a 3-way. Would one of those wires into the 4-way be useless? Is this just a different way to wire up a 4-way? In the end, I want to remove the 4 way and just be left with 2 switches in a normal 3 way. I thought I could just remove the 4 way, connect the travelers and be left with a 3 way, but I'm not sure what to do with the second 4-way. Thanks for the help.

  • If you splice travelers straight through, the status of any useless wire will remain unchanged. You do need to leave the splice box accessible. – NoSparksPlease Dec 9 '19 at 16:07
  • Thank you, I understand. My issue is, I plan on eventually replacing with a smart switch. So I will eventually need to figure out which of the 4 wires is not being used. Wonder if I just need to start trying to remove one at a time and see which one is not needed? – Yeshia Dec 9 '19 at 16:10
  • Do the three switches function correctly, each turning the light on or off?. – JACK Dec 9 '19 at 19:44
  • Yes. Everything works as expected – Yeshia Dec 9 '19 at 19:49
  • Any chance we can get photos of what is going on inside that junction box? What the wires are grouped with is quite important. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 9 '19 at 20:46
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Someone probably misunderstood the requirements or changed plans. One conductor is probably unnecessary at the end of the circuit.

Refer to standard 4-way wiring as a guide and see if you can replicate it with your wires.

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    Would I just try removing one of the Black terminal wires from a 4-way and see if it still works? Repeating until I find the unnecessary wire? Thanks – Yeshia Dec 9 '19 at 15:39
  • Difficult to say without seeing a diagram of your existing wiring. I don't do this for a living and can't picture your scenario reliably in my head. – isherwood Dec 9 '19 at 15:46
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Sorry to waste everyone's time. It was two 3-ways and a 4-way after all. Somehow I saw 4 wires but when I pulled it all out I saw it was just 3. Sorry again.

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