As we know, there are several types of switches, each one for a specific application, so it is essential that the electrician knows how to install a single switch, double switch, triple switch, bipolar switch, a three-way switch and four-way switch, but undoubtedly the installation of the parallel switch and the four-way switch is the most feared by some electricians. If you have any difficulty understanding how these two switches work or how they work, you can rest assured, because we are going to talk about what is a three-way switch and a four-way switch, how they work, their applications and how they work. Come on, guys!
The three-way switch, known as the parallel switch, is used to trigger a lighting point from two different places, parallel switches are commonly used in corridors and stairs. It is called a parallel switch because of the two cables connected and that are interconnected between the parallel switches so that one cable is parallel to the other, but it is very common for people to think that the connection of the three-way switch is a parallel connection. It is important to note that there are also parallel bipolar switches, they are little used, but their installation is also very easy.
Three-way switch: how to install?
Installing the three-way switch is simple, it requires some cables, a receptacle and two parallel switches, but remember to take some essential precautions, as we must disconnect the circuit before performing the installation and make sure that none person accidentally turn on the circuit breaker, in addition, we must use suitable tools, with the appropriate specifications and insulation!
The receptacle connection is the same in all cases, so we connect the neutral cable to the side terminal of the receptacle, and the return cable to the central terminal of the receptacle.
Connecting the switches is also very simple, so we must connect the other end of the return cable to the central terminal of a switch, while the phase cable is connected to the central terminal of the other three-way switch.
Now there are four terminals, two from each switch, so we interconnect those terminals of the three-way switches so that one cable is parallel to the other, that is, we interconnect the upper terminals of the switches using a cable and the same is done with the lower terminals. The image below has a connection diagram for the parallel switch.
If you have any questions, we have a complete article on parallel switch, explaining how it works, and how to install a parallel switch step by step, just click on the parallel switch link .
The four way switch, which is also known as the intermediate switch, is a switch that, interconnected to two parallel switches, is capable of controlling a lighting point of at least three distinct points, also being used in stairs and corridors.
For the intermediate switch to work correctly, it must be installed between two parallel switches, making it possible to install any number of four way switches to activate only one lighting point, but as long as they are installed between the parallel switches!
Four way switch: how to install
To install the four way switch, it is necessary to understand the connection of the three way switch, without knowing this installation it is not possible to install the parallel switch, but rest assured that with a good diagram in hand, installation is easy.
We will do the simple installation of an intermediate switch, using only two parallel switches. In this way we will connect the central terminals of the parallel switch, so we must connect the phase conductor to the central terminal of switch 1, then connect a cable from the central terminal of switch 2 to the central terminal of the receptacle, and finally we connect to the side terminal the neutral conductor from the receptacle, as shown in the diagram in the image below.
We must connect a cable from the upper terminal of switch 1 to terminal “A” of the intermediate switch, then connect a cable from the lower terminal of switch 1 to terminal “C” of the intermediate switch, as shown in the image below.
Finally, we connect a cable from the upper terminal of switch 2 to terminal “B” of the intermediate switch, then we connect a cable from the lower terminal of switch 2 to terminal “D” of the intermediate switch, as shown in the image below.