The traveler terminals will always be connected from switch to switch. Travelers never connect to a device load or to a source wire. It doesn’t matter which traveler terminal is used for which traveler wire, reversing them should make no difference.
A 4 way switch must be wired between two 3 ways as shown in the diagrams on this page. A 4 way has five connections: one ground, and 4 circuit terminals divided into two matching pairs. Each pair of terminals should be wired to the traveler wires from one of the 3 way switches. The travelers can be wired to either terminal in a pair, but don’t mix up the pairs or the circuit won’t work properly.
A rheostat, or dimmer, makes it possible to vary the current flowing to a light fixture thereby varying the intensity of the light. The dimmer switch will have stranded wires that must be sliced to the solid cable wiring with a pigtail. A device like this should only be used with an incandescent light fixture and not with a ceiling fan or other motor. See wiring a speed controller for wiring a rheostat to control fan speed.
This represents a change in the NEC code that requires a neutral wire in most new switch boxes. If you are running a new circuit check the electrical code to understand this and any other updates to the required procedure.
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