Red switches as the 4-way node?

I have some red switches set up in single-pole and 3-way configurations and I’ve looked at the wiring guides for 4-way, but all of the 4-way configs in the guide have the switch as one of the “end” nodes. Is it possible to wire a red switch into the 4-way position (the middle of the three nodes)?

Hey @seth – great question! I don’t think this is possible due to the travelers needing to be attached to each side of the 4-Way switch and the Inovelli switch needs both line and neutral to work :confused:

I see. I wasn’t sure if that was why there were two backstabs for travellers.

In that case I would suggest the product page copy is slightly off, because the switch can’t be used in “any” 4-way setting, but only at specific points of the 4-way.

I’ll preface this by stating that I am not an electrician and I have only install the Black switches to date … But in the general sense:

The 3-way node and Inovelli switches are SPDT switches (at least the Black are, and presumably the Red are as well). The 4-way nodes are DPDT switches (with internal ties to flip-flop the connection pathways, the internal ties are why the 4-way switch only has 4 screws instead of 6).

Every “code compliant” wiring diagram I’ve seen for a 4-way switch setup has a 3-way (SPDT) switch on each end and as many 4-way (DPDT) switches between them as desired. Typically the line and load will be attached to one of the 3-way switches (although the line and load don’t have to connected to the same 3-way node).

I have read about an obsolete wiring scheme where the line goes to the load first and then down to the switches; however, this resulted in there not being a neutral in every junction box (which in now required by most electrical codes).

Therefore, because the Inovelli switches are 3-way (SPDT) it is very unlikely that they can serve as a 4-way node (requires DPDT). If there is a way to do, then it probably doesn’t comply with electrical wiring code.

However, in the unlikely event power is coming into the circuit at the 4-Way box it may then be possible.