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Author Topic: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help  (Read 20801 times)

Offline agoodman82

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GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:00:44 pm »
I apologize in advance as I know this has been covered several times already in this forum, but I have looked here and countless other places on the web for something I may have missed with my attempt to install the GE 45609 on/off switch, but so far I haven't come up with anything that has helped me solve my problem getting this switch to install properly.

I have a porch light that I want to connect up to the z-wave switch. My original switch is a standard on/off switch that only requires a line and load connection. In the back of the three gang box however, are three white neutral wires pigtailed together with a plastic wire connector and I am aware that the z-wave on/off switch requires the white neutral to function.

I shut the breaker off and disconnected the original on/off switch's line and load wires. I wired the two black line & load wires into the screw terminals in the back of the z-wave switch. I then took a "scrap" piece of white insulated wire coming from an old light bulb housing (temporary place-holder for a ceiling fan I later installed) and using that for the neutral, I connected it from the neutral terminal on the switch and inserted the other end into the neutral pigtail connection of the other white neutrals and tightened the plastic wire nut back on.

The switch does not function nor does the blue indicator light come on anymore. I have read here on the forum that many people's issues were solved by running a neutral from the switch into a neutral wire bundle like I have done, only this has not solved my problem. I've also tried reversing the connection of the black line/load switches but no go there either. Am I missing something? Does a white neutral have to be a specific wire I need to buy to run between the switch and the neutral pigtail or was I correct in using a scrap piece of white insulated electrical wire that was the same thickness of the other neutrals (is all wire the same?). Anyone else have any ideas? - I'm fresh out :(

Offline Piwtorak

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2012, 04:28:44 pm »
for me runs only when I have connected the same wire neutral what is going to the lamp....
please check your neutral wire origin...
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Offline jmedemar

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2012, 05:09:00 pm »
Your wire connections sound correct. Thats exactly how I have done 15 of these GE switches in the last two weeks. Make sure your neutral wires are all making connection. I had problems getting the wires to all stay together when twisting 4 of them in the same nut.

Also, make sure the air gap pull tab on the bottom LH corner of the switch is pushed in all the way. Maybe even pull it out with your fingernails until you hear the click and then push it back in to make sure its getting connection.

guest13871

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 06:12:06 pm »
Your wire connections sound correct. Thats exactly how I have done 15 of these GE switches in the last two weeks. Make sure your neutral wires are all making connection. I had problems getting the wires to all stay together when twisting 4 of them in the same nut.

Also, make sure the air gap pull tab on the bottom LH corner of the switch is pushed in all the way. Maybe even pull it out with your fingernails until you hear the click and then push it back in to make sure its getting connection.

First, the suggestion about the air gap switch is a good one.  I suggest you even pull it out and push it all the way back in to be sure it is in.

A couple of comments on the first statement.  First of all, wire nuts are not supposed to hold wires together.  The wires should be firmly twisted together to make a mechanical connection.  The wire nut's function is to hold and insulate the connection.  So make sure you have tightly twisted all the wires together BEFORE you put on the wire nut.  Second, if this still doesn't work, the white bundle might not be a neutral bundle, or it might not be the neutral that goes to the light.  Electricians try to save wire wherever possible.  Often when wiring lights they use a loop connection, where a standard 2 wire (plus ground; ground is never considered a wire) cable is used for line and load and the neutral is not passed.  Sometimes they will use the white wire as a line to pass it to other boxes.  Without using an electrical tester on the circuit you cannot be sure the white wires are actually neutrals.

One last possibility.  Since you re-used an old piece of wire are you sure there isn't a break inside the insulation?  Do you have a continuity tester to make sure the wire is continuous?

Offline agoodman82

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 06:51:56 pm »
Thanks for the replies, guys.

First I pulled out the air gap tab on the bottom of the switch and then pushed it back in, which didn't do anything for the light unfortunately

I then twisted all four neutral wires together with a pair of pliers and then secured the plastic nut tightly over them, making sure there was a solid connection. I also checked the connections of all the wires going into the switch to make sure they were secure, which they all appear to be. I still wasn't able to get the blue LED indicator or the light to function after verifying the connections are good.

This switch I am trying to put in is the center spot in a 3-gang box. On the left is an electrical outlet which utilizes one neutral wire (rather than a tip of the neutral going behind the screw, the insulation was removed in the middle of the wire and is looped around the neutral screw in that fashion) and on the right I have a 3-way switch which also utilizes its own neutral. Is there any way to determine that connecting the z-wave switch up to the 3-wire bundle of neutrals is connecting to the correct neutral source? I wouldn't believe either of the other two neutrals from the left or right side of the gang box would be utilized for this z-wave switch as these were both originally wired up to the outlet and 3-way switch that were already installed in the gang box. I was hoping this would be as simple as running the neutral from the z-wave switch to the neutral bundle but it doesn't seem that way. Also, I think that neutral wire I ran is good, but I have no continuity tester to verify that. The only electrical tool I have is a non-contact voltage tester. Should I go to home depot and pick up a short length of new wire I could use as a neutral just to be sure?


guest13871

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 07:36:34 pm »
This switch I am trying to put in is the center spot in a 3-gang box. On the left is an electrical outlet which utilizes one neutral wire (rather than a tip of the neutral going behind the screw, the insulation was removed in the middle of the wire and is looped around the neutral screw in that fashion)

This is a common shortcut used by electricians.  I'm not a fan of it but I believe it meets electrical code.

Quote
and on the right I have a 3-way switch which also utilizes its own neutral. Is there any way to determine that connecting the z-wave switch up to the 3-wire bundle of neutrals is connecting to the correct neutral source?

Without a continuity tester I don't know of any way to check if that neutral bundle is the same neutral that is going to the light, but if both the line and load wires on the original switch were black then it doesn't sound like a "loop" connection, meaning both cables likely had neutrals in them, and the bundle in the box is likely the correct neutral circuit.  Of course this is speculation.

Quote
I wouldn't believe either of the other two neutrals from the left or right side of the gang box would be utilized for this z-wave switch as these were both originally wired up to the outlet and 3-way switch that were already installed in the gang box.

Easy way to tell.  Turn off the circuit breaker for the porch light and check if the outlet and/or 3-way switch still have power.  If either of them are on the same circuit as the porch light then the neutral is also on the same circuit.

Quote
I was hoping this would be as simple as running the neutral from the z-wave switch to the neutral bundle but it doesn't seem that way. Also, I think that neutral wire I ran is good, but I have no continuity tester to verify that. The only electrical tool I have is a non-contact voltage tester. Should I go to home depot and pick up a short length of new wire I could use as a neutral just to be sure?

Offline Trotsky40

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 09:55:05 pm »
I would try reversing the black wires. On a standard switch it doesn't matter how they are connected, but on these switches the power coming in (the line) needs to be on the bottom and the load needs to be on the top.

I find that I get the line and the load wires reversed about half the time and need to switch them around (they aren't marked so I have to guess).
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Offline plongson

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 11:34:12 am »
How about a bad switch? Perhaps take a test cable (a 3 prong plug with a length of SU stripped on the ends) and test the unit?? Verify it's good before you beat yourself up anymore.

Offline agoodman82

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 10:13:33 pm »
Thanks for the additional replies (this forum is definitely full of helpful people).

I tried reversing the black wires yesterday, but I didn't have any luck there. I will definitely test the switch before I pull my hair out over this. I actually have three of these z-wave switches on-hand right now as I have three locations I want to install them in. I'll try another switch with the same wire configuration I had tried with the original switch. If it works with the new switch, obviously something isn't right with the original one I'm trying. I didn't have any time today to mess with anything because of work, but hopefully in the next few days I can at least test another switch in its place.

I actually need to have a licensed electrician do some work at my house because I discovered one of the gangboxes I intended on putting one of the three z-wave switches in does not have a neutral wire (it has a black, a white and a ground wire, but it appears the white is being used as a line or load wire, because it is wired up on the opposite side of the black in a illuminated on/off rocker switch I have now). Since I have to have my electrician fix this issue in order for me to use the z-wave switch (likely by running a new cable into the gangbox that has the neutral) I know they'll install the other two z-wave on/off switches free of charge and I can find out what I was doing wrong with the wiring job.

Offline smilepak

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 08:18:01 pm »
I bought the kit that comes with the 45609 and 45610. After an hour fiddle I finally got it to power up and connect to Z. During Off, the blue LED on the panel is on. When I press On, the blue panel on the LED turns off...but my light does nothing. I hear it click on and off, but I see no lights.

The box said it is compatible with FLorescent light, I have those 4 pins CFL in the kitchen. Not compatible?

If not, anyone know of a z-wave one that is and support 3-way. I don't need dimming

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 10:09:04 am »
@smilepak - Please start a new thread for your different problem.

The GE/Jasco 45609 is a simple On/Off switch. It will operate ANY 120VAC light, regardless of incandescent, CFL, LED, etc.

Offline emooney

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 12:35:49 am »
Here's a youtube video showing the install:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCFzyaw4R_U

Offline adwaitjoshi

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 08:56:44 am »
I am having the exact same issue as agoodman82. Did you ever figure out a solution? I have wired everything but my switch still doesnt work.

Offline Cadotonic

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2015, 01:42:16 pm »
I have a ge smart switch I want to connect. When I remove the existing switch, I have a black a white and a copper ground.  When I connect the switch with the white to the neutral, the black to the line, and the ground to the ground.  When I turn light on it is very dim, and only part of the light works.  It is a model 12722

Offline aa6vh

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Re: GE 45609 Z-Wave On/Off Switch Installation Help
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2015, 10:06:08 am »
I have a ge smart switch I want to connect. When I remove the existing switch, I have a black a white and a copper ground.  When I connect the switch with the white to the neutral, the black to the line, and the ground to the ground.  When I turn light on it is very dim, and only part of the light works.  It is a model 12722

You may have to consult a professional electrician I am afraid.

It appears that they were using that white wire as a load wire (or perhaps as a line wire), instead of as a neutral. Since it is not really a neutral, it wont work as such.

You need to positively determine how the wires were actually used before you can proceed.