The 2 story foyer light is controlled by 5 switches. 1 is a dimmer at bottom of stairs. 1 at top of stairs. And 1 switch at each of 3 doors entering lower foyer.

We want to hang a large mirror on one wall. This would hang over top of a single gang switch.

The pictures below show the switch from the left and right side view.

I want to eliminate this switch and put a blank cover over it.

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Is it a simple matter to do this?

  • 1
    Can you post photos of the inside of the box in question please? Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 0:02
  • @ThreePhaseEel I will when I get back to the house on Monday. Is it safe to assume the dimmer switch is the #1 switch in the sequence?
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 0:05
  • 1
    It's fairly safe to assume the dimmer will be at one end or the other of the sequence Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 0:10
  • Should be able to do it if it is one of the 4 way. If it is a 3 way, no way
    – Jack
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 6:17
  • Are those photos of the same switch, or of different switches? Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


Go ahead and yank it

Since this is not one of the required switches for the stairwell lighting, and a 4-way, it's pretty easy to remove. Simply nut the two black wires together and the two white wires together after removing the switch, then put a blank single gang cover plate over the box, turn the breaker on, and hang your mirror.

  • Hi TPE. I yanked that 4 way and connected the wires like you said. I now have a 3way and two 4 ways left. When I turn one of the 4 ways off it kills the 3 way and other 4 way. When I turn it back on the other 2 function as they should. What am I missing?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 0:16
  • @Kris -- that sounds like one of the wirenut jobs was bad, make sure to crank it down tight, or use lever-nut type connectors if you aren't confident with your wirenutting abilities Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 0:19
  • I’m 99.9% sure that the wire nutting is fine. Is it possible that I have the 3 way in the wrong location?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 0:25
  • 1
    I think I will ask a new question with the correct number of switches.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 2:15
  • 1
    @Kris -- yeah, a new question would be a good idea at this point, we'll need photos of the insides of all the boxes involved though Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 2:42

Yes, so long as you are removing a 4-way. You just need to (turn off the breaker first!!!!) tie the two inputs to the two outputs at that box -- doesn't even matter which goes to which. Use proper-sized wire nuts, and as you suggested, put a cover on the box. It is a code violation to leave the box inaccessible, so don't plaster or drywall over the cover.

If you want to remove a 3-way, I strongly recommend you replace the next 4Way in line with a 3way, leading to a 3-4-4-3 sequence. Tie the hot line into one of the output lines from the 3way you're removing, and cap off the other output line there AND as it enters the 4way location which you are changing to a 3way. Drop the 3way into that location and you're done.
(BTW, you could use the existing 4way by simply disconnecting the 'dead' input to it from the former 3way location. That may violate code, so check with a local electrician first)

  • Thanks I added pictures of the switch How will I know which switch is next in line?
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 23:05

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