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Author Topic: GE 3-way switch installation troubles  (Read 12889 times)

Offline GroundLoop

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2012, 11:36:11 pm »
I just converted four 3-way switches from X10 over to GE Z-Wave, and had no idea how much work I was in for.

The X10 slave switches didn't need neutral, for starters.   Some of the switches had load/line reversed, and some had Hot on the White wire, so I think the lesson was -- assume nothing.

Once I identified the Load (light) and Traveller wire (usually red), I ended up rebuilding the wiring box with a Hot, Neutral (both sides) and just the red traveller, ignoring the other wires in there.  That worked.

Of course, now I have a big wad of thick-gauge wire that doesn't fit nicely in the box, so the switches tend to sit crooked, but hey.. I know how it's wired. :)

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2012, 05:43:17 pm »
This isn't really going to help with figuring out your wiring but after much frustration I just figured out that I have 2 defective 3 way switches from GE.  For some reason 2 of the 3 way packs that I just bought don't work in a 3 way configuration but work as a regular switch.  I could tell they were defective by switching them out for a working GE 3 way with no issues.  Quite disappointing to have 2 out of 9 purchased have problems.

I'm also having problems with another GE switch that won't turn off but started a separate thread for that.

i would appreciate if you can post once you fix your issue of the GE switch that won't turn off. thanks. tomorrow, i will try to reverse the hook up of load and hot wires.

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2012, 11:59:44 am »
The white in your existing 3-way wiring is not a neutral, it's a traveler.

Is the primary switch currently working? It should work standalone, so you could focus on that first.

You may have to connect the primary to neutral in that box, as well as the original white wire, so that the aux on the other side of it gets a neutral too (if there isn't one in its own box, or use the line in the aux box, if the aux can work with either line or neutral).

thanks guys, ufd108, oti and cdubbshort. i installed the primary 45609 as a standalone to see if it's not defective and it is not. i replaced an existing single pole switch with 45609 and hook it up exactly the same way-except that i did one extra step: i tapped into the bunch of whites tied together and connected it to the neutral terminal wire of the 45609. it looks very simple but GUESS WHAT, THE DAMN 45609 DOES NOT TURN OFF. when i turn it off, it will turn on after 1 - 2 seconds later. i have to pull the air gap to turn it off. can you guys clue me in again. thanks for your help. pardon my stupidity. what did i do wrong; there are only 3 wires: hot, neutral and load right? and i connected all these 3 wires to the correct terminal of 45609. very frustrating.

the GE45609 was defective-returned it to amazon and got a new replacement the next day. now this primary switch works as a standalone.

Offline stevenfmurray

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2012, 09:17:10 am »
Those GE45609/45610 kits are very unreliable at best, at least in my experience. I just finished installing several of them- 3 out of 5 of them that I got from Amazon were defective in some way.  With 2 of my bad ones, the primary switch would not accept a signal from the secondary switch for some reason. What I did is replace them with individual 45609s.  Then they worked perfectly. I then used the 45609s from the kits as single pole switches.

Offline GroundLoop

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2012, 09:57:36 pm »
Out of 20+ GE switches, all have worked correctly (when wired correctly).
One switch had the Blue LED fail (totally out all the time), but other than that, so far so good.

The most effort was figuring out the 3-way switch wiring, and in every case, redoing it with a real neutral.
Everything I thought was a switch failure was actually a wiring failure, usually caused by my 'fixing' something in another box.
A clothes dryer comes with a wiring schematic.  A house should too. :)

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2012, 04:35:09 pm »
Both are travelers (in a traditional 3-way).

Sounds like you have power and load in the box where you have the primary. By just hooking up the primary to line and neutral, the primary would be powered and the LED should toggle as you toggle the switch. You can (then) also hook up the load; light should toggle on/off. Then try to get the aux wired in.

(From your description it sounds like you have the white connected between aux and primary, expecting it to be neutral, but the (additional) connection to neutral is actually missing.)

hi, i installed 2 GE45609 as a standalone successfully. please i need help again in this GE 3way connection.  here is the situation in my existing standard 3-way switches:
SWITCH 1: white, red and black (load). as you said, the white and the red are both travelers. this switch is not connected to the line (hot). i think i can install the primary here (this is a 3-gang box) but not so sure.
SWITCH 2: this switch is alone it a single box; has no load wire but has a hot wire connected to it; has a red and white wires which you said are both travelers.
can you please advice me if my plan will work:
in SWITCH 1,  i will install the primary, jumper from the bunch of hot wires and connect it to the line terminal of the switch. jumper or tap from the bunch of neutral white wires and connect it to the neutral terminal of the switch. the existing load wire to the load terminal; the red to the traveler terminal of the switch and the white traveler i will connect it to the neutral terminal of the switch (to one of the holes in the back of the switch).
in SWITCH 2, i will connect the white (originally traveler but now a neutral), to the neutral terminal of the switch, and the red to the traveler terminal. as you can see, my problem now is the existing black (hot) wire was not used at all. what do i do with this wire. can i just cap it with a wire nut. PLEASE HELP. thanks and will sincerely appreciate your input (anyone).

Offline SpaGuru

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2012, 01:42:04 pm »
You should be able to just cap the "line" (hot) wire in the second box but this may put the circuit on a different breaker than you expect it to be on, since you are using a different Load bundle...

Offline GroundLoop

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2012, 12:59:22 am »
I spoke too soon.  I had one early mortality on a GE switch.  Worked fine for about a week, and now doesn't respond to Z-Wave.  Also, the front-face LED never worked.

EDIT: Disconnecting/reconnecting it, then exclude/include seems to have fixed it ---- INCLUDING the front-face LED.  So it went from never-on to on-when-light off, as per default.  This is surprising, and may indicate there's a parameter value that does "no LED".  Just weird.

All I can think of is that I had this switch previously associated with a Sylvania controller, and didn't correctly exclude it before Vera?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 01:07:57 pm by GroundLoop »

Offline ctvrod

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2012, 02:37:49 pm »
Use the "Wiring Digram" in the book showing the process for a 4 Way at the top part of the digram.
Vera 1-oos, Vera 2-oos, Vera 3 UI5, Testing Vera +, Schlage Lock & Deadbolt, 4 Trane T'stats, 4 GE 3 way dimmer switch kit (45613), 3 GE Outdoor Modules (45604), 3 GE dimmer (45606), 1 GE switch (45609), 1 GE (45605 Outlet), 3 GE (45603 Modules), 1 HSM-100, 1 EtherRain

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 06:56:14 pm »
You should be able to just cap the "line" (hot) wire in the second box but this may put the circuit on a different breaker than you expect it to be on, since you are using a different Load bundle...

hi, the primary is now working but the aux 45610 is not.
in the primary 45609, i tapped from the white bundle, and connected it to the neutral terminal. i did the same thing with the black bundle and connected it to the line terminal. i connected the black load and the red traveler to the respective terminals of the 45609. and lastly, i connected the original white traveler to the neutral hole at the back of the 45609. i went to the other switch and connected the red traveler and the white (now neutral but originally white traveler) to the respective terminal screws of aux 45610. i used a tester and the red traveler in the aux has power. i capped the hot black wire with a wire nut and unused as i mentioned in my earlier post. the aux is not doing anything. can you please give me some clue as to what i did wrong in the aux hook up. the aux as you know has only 2 terminals (neutral and traveler). thanks.

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2012, 03:49:50 pm »
Those GE45609/45610 kits are very unreliable at best, at least in my experience. I just finished installing several of them- 3 out of 5 of them that I got from Amazon were defective in some way.  With 2 of my bad ones, the primary switch would not accept a signal from the secondary switch for some reason. What I did is replace them with individual 45609s.  Then they worked perfectly. I then used the 45609s from the kits as single pole switches.
hi, do you mean that you used 2 GE45609s for your 3-way, instead of the 45610/45609 3-way kit? my aux 45610 does not work; it does not communicate with the primary 45609. the primary works fine-turns the light on/off. can you clarify. if it works, i will do the same.

Offline waltzer11

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 10:06:28 pm »
Those GE45609/45610 kits are very unreliable at best, at least in my experience. I just finished installing several of them- 3 out of 5 of them that I got from Amazon were defective in some way.  With 2 of my bad ones, the primary switch would not accept a signal from the secondary switch for some reason. What I did is replace them with individual 45609s.  Then they worked perfectly. I then used the 45609s from the kits as single pole switches.
hi, do you mean that you used 2 GE45609s for your 3-way, instead of the 45610/45609 3-way kit? my aux 45610 does not work; it does not communicate with the primary 45609. the primary works fine-turns the light on/off. can you clarify. if it works, i will do the same.
i got a new 3-way zwave kit from amazon replacing the first one that i bought (thinking that the first aux GE45610 was defective) but to no avail. so i re-installed the non zwave 3-way switches for now. this is so frustrating. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. any inputs/thoughts will be sincerely appreciated.

Offline SpaGuru

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2013, 11:14:02 am »
I just had the same problem last night on the install of a brand new 3-way kit.  I bought two of them so I had some I could play with.  THe problem I was having was the "10" switch would not communicate with the "09" switch at all.  I tried a different "10" switch form another package and same result.  Then I switched out the master "09" switch and everything worked fine.  Sounds like the "09" switch was defective as a 3-way switch but worked fine as a single switch...

Offline dagwag77

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Re: GE 3-way switch installation troubles
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2013, 09:35:55 pm »
A big newbie thanks for the info in this thread. Finally got my 3 way working with  thee info here but wanted to say that I had to exchange my switch for a new one as I had fried the first set after all the "testing" trying to get it to work. So, if you're struggling and think you have the wiring right, consider that maybe the switch was already fried from prior (possibly improper  ;)) wiring.