Electrical Repair Questions? Ask an Electrician for Answers ASAP
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.
First, need to know how many wires and their colors are in each box? Total wires, not just waht is connected to the switches.
Hi Tommy, each box has 4 wires, black, white, red and ground
Ok, they did some non standard wiring on the 3 ways unfortunately, makes it very difficult without adding cables.
Do these control 1 light or multiples?
just one light
and the box says that it will work with existing wiring
ok, going to have to remove the light, then see if you find those same cables in the light box?
only if the existing wiring is there, they mis lead a lot on printing
that's going to be quite difficult as the light is high on the ceiling.
if the 3 ways were a standard, then they would have a 3 wire cable and a 2 wire cable in the box
maybe they set a junction box somewhere? Is there an attic or basement near the switches?
hmm, each location has the same wires, black, red, white and ground
they made the taps somewhere else, and dropped just waht is needed to operate the 3 ways.
the Z wave requires a hot wire and a neutral at each location
you do not have that in those switches
standard 3 ways flip flop power and no neutral
that's interesting because the aux switch doesn't have a hot, it simply has neutral, traveler and ground
it says it's basically a relay to the main switch
I have the manual, it states HoT, Neutral and Traveler
the other one is, Hot, Neutral,Load and Traveler
Maybe they have changed something, let me look for a newer one
we must be talking about two different systems. this one I bought at Lowes for use with the Iris home security system and looking at the switches, the main switch has line, load, traveler and neutral and the aux switch has traveler, neutral and ground
For some reason, when using the ZW-002 it shows the same everywhere, even the manufacturer
But the other is short a wire, it needs 4
That is why we need to find the junction point of those cables, that has to be changed no matter how many wires.
looking at the instructions that came with the switches it is showing what I mentioned above the aux switch (zw45610) has only the two connections plus ground
I think you have a single pole on the 2nd one, not a 3 way
hmm, with the previous switches installed, I was able to control the light from two locations, one at the foot of the stairs and one at the top of the stairs. that would make it a 3 way switch, correct?
CLICK HERE, it is the Lowes manual for the 3 ways. Look at Page 8 and see
One has 3 wires and green, the other is 4 wires and green
I think you picked up one master 3 ways and one single pole or somebody put it in the wrong box
The 45638 is the kit number at lowes, it contains the same GE z-wave switches that have been around for years
yes, that's the one that i have
it came in a sealed package
thanks for hanging in there :)
i have installed 2 of the other GE switches that lowes sells for this system and they are the same switch as the main switch in this system however they had the traveler connection taped over and they work fine with the single light that they're hooked up to.
these switches just came one to a package
but they are the identical switch
This is the key to the installation no matter how many wires.You have to supply a constant power to the switch, you must have a nueutral,you must have the load to the light, and you must have a traveler.That does not exist in your situation with only 3 wires and a ground.So, you have to find the junction box in order to chane the wire connections going to thatswitch in order to connect it, PLUS you are a wire short.
You cannot connect 4 wires to 3.
I do these all the time. Also help customers with their installations. It pops up many times on how the switches were originally wired and changes have to be made.
You can do one single pole and operate the light
ok, guess this is just not meant to be for me then as i'm not sure where the junction box would be.
Ok, how would i wire it up for single pole?
Need to look at your 3 way switches. There should be one screw that is an odd color from the other 2, that is the common screw
it still seems i'd be one wire short, right? neither location has the second black wire for the load, correct?
you have no neutral at either location
you have hot on one, load on the other, and 2 travekers at each
i thought the white wires were the neutral?
no, they are hot when the switches are flipped
3 ways only
oh, my mistake. ok, the old switch does have the odd color
new ones do for sure
probably black wires on the odd screws?
the screw head is black, yes.
ok, and which wire is connected to that screw?
on each one?
would've been black as i have it out of the wall right now. both switches are disconnected. i just have the wires coming out of the box now. power is off.
ok, we have to know in order to make the changes
there are many ways they wire them, there is no standard
connect the red and black wires together at both switches. Tape off the white wires. Turn on power and see if the light comes on
ok, give me a minute
yes, light is on
will you look on that one switch with the 2 wires so I can find its instruction of which wire gets power?
do you have the instruction sheet?
for the zwave switch?
the one with 2 wires
it needs a neutral too?
It must only be a slave, since it needs a neutral
we need a master with only 2 wires, but dont think they make one
not sure what you mean as both my old switches have three wire connections plus ground
not the old switches
Sorry, misunderstood you
no problem, we have gone through a lot so far
the z wave with the 3 wires, it needs a neutral too?
the slave/aux switch just has traveler connection and neutral connection plus ground
Ok, that is what I was afraid of, it is a slave
yes, that's how it' s been explained to me
so it only communicates with the master and cannot work on its own
yea, should have noticed that, sorry
I do not think the Z-wave line makes a master with 2 wires
So, our test will not help on the situation for Zwave
we know the black wires go on the black screws though
the black screws are marked line and load
one is line and the other is load. It is an or situation
is there a way to make one location a single pole location?
taking the slave box out of the equation?
Zwave 45612 is a 2 wire master
the main box could still be controlled via my wireless controller
Only needs the 2 wires in either box
wonder if it will work with the iris system?
CLICK HERE to see it
dont know on that, seems Z wave technology is the same, but not sure on the Iris system
basically, the switch that i have isn't going to work for me, is that correct?
correct, they need the neutral on both, and without finding the box the cable goes to, we cannot make any tap changes to give it a neutral
it's curious because, as i mentioned, lowes sells the main switch that i have now in a single package and the switch simpy has the traveler connector taped off.
but still need a neutral in any case with those
you do not have one at either box
so, regardless of the switch i get, the zwave system requires the neutral?
no, I just posted one that doesnt, it is a single pole
there are no 3 ways without a neutral
but I do not know if it will work with the Lowes Iris
ok, i'll have to check it out. i guess we've taken this as far as we can.
CLICK HERE to see it, it a 2 wire, no neutral needed, You would put it in either switch box and use the black for power and the red for load
join the black and red at the other switch box
just like we have now
and use one of my old switches for the other box?
or would i need two of these switches
no, single poles only work in one location
cannot use 2, only one
what do i do with the other location, tie off the red and black?
and cover with blank cover.
correct, or a dummy switch
ok, i think that's the direction i'll have to take.
thanks so much for helping me out with this.
wish it was easier on the other, they should explain more on the products and tell you what is necessary to even start ijstead of in the box
glad to assist, just wish the outcome would have been better
true, I've read on the forums that it's a trick to get installed...live and learn :)
technology is still going ahead, the future may eliminate the neutral
your most welcome
have a great rest of the day. thanks again
one last question
what's the white wire?
in your 3 way?
ok, give me one sec to write it up
on 3 ways. One switch gets power on the black screw, when the switch is flipped, it send power out one of the other brass screws to the other 3 way switch, when the other 3 way is flipped it connects it black screw which is the light to one of the brass screws coming from the other 3 way. So, what is happening, is the switch flips power from black to red, then black to white.
So your white is power and not a neutral
thanks again...take care. Bye