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Author Topic: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)  (Read 11028 times)

Offline zfwjs

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GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« on: October 19, 2015, 05:46:44 pm »
The setup is two switches controlling 3 can lights.

I first wired up my GE 12724 in a 4 gang box (successfully). With the original "dumb" switch still connected downstairs, and in the "on" position, the GE 12724 works great. Turn the "dumb" switch "off" and the GE 12724 doesn't respond at all. So I went to install the GE 12723 Add-on switch, only to find out there is no neutral run to this box, only a single 14/3.

So I have a working GE 12724 (with a neutral), but no way to wire the GE 12723.

Any thoughts? Any other products to try for this wiring?

Thanks!

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 06:12:04 pm »
The setup is two switches controlling 3 can lights.

I first wired up my GE 12724 in a 4 gang box (successfully). With the original "dumb" switch still connected downstairs, and in the "on" position, the GE 12724 works great. Turn the "dumb" switch "off" and the GE 12724 doesn't respond at all. So I went to install the GE 12723 Add-on switch, only to find out there is no neutral run to this box, only a single 14/3.

So I have a working GE 12724 (with a neutral), but no way to wire the GE 12723.

Any thoughts? Any other products to try for this wiring?

Thanks!

Any z-wave switch (besides old dimmers with loads conencted to them) are going to require a neutral.
It's the nature of the beast. In order to power up the z-wave antenna/unit you need to have both hot and neutral to each switch.

I'm gonna assume that it's a single gang box and no other switches are around to rob wires from?
You have no extra wires travelling between the main and AUX switch that can be re-purposed to carry the neutral to the AUX box? 

If all of the above fails my next option would be to use a AUX switch what doesn't need a traveler wire but yet uses z-wave and associations to speak back to the main switch. While I have a ton of GE switchs and outlets from LOWES, in the kitchen I needed black 3 way switches and went with EVOLVE LSM-15 (main switches) and LTM-5 (aux 3 way switch).

The LTM-5 only require a hot and neutral (and a bare ground wire is optional. LOL) You could re-purpose your red traveler wire in this case and use it to carry neutral down to the aux switch. These switches support "Scene - Command Class" and can talk to each other or vera directly unlike the GE AUX switch.

Offline zfwjs

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Re: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2015, 06:27:42 pm »
Thanks for the fast response.

My next step was to get into the attic and inspect the lights so I can layout an accurate wiring diagram and see if I have an extra wire I can re purpose as neutral. There is an existing wire in the 14/3 that doesn't appear to do anything (disconnecting it doesn't prevent the 3-way from working).

If that fails, I'll take a look at the LSM-15 and LTM-5.

I also thought about wiring a scene controller in there, but haven't looked into whether they require neutrals, and this would be the absolute last resort.

Offline zfwjs

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Re: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2015, 12:58:38 pm »
For anyone searching here's what I did to get it to work.

I had a single 14/3 romex running from my remote 3-way back to the master 3-way gang. The line was coming into the master 3-way, then 2 travelers, the the load was coming back to the master 3-way gang where it was connected to the load wire to the lights.

I connected the load wire to the lights to the load of the 12722, connected red wire (14/3) to the traveler on the 12722, then connected the white wire (14/3) with the neutrals.

See attached image which is probably more clear.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2015, 01:17:43 pm »
I also thought about wiring a scene controller in there, but haven't looked into whether they require neutrals, and this would be the absolute last resort.

A scene controller does require a neutral for the same reasons as stated before. In order to power up the controller/ z-wave antenna modual you need to have bot a hot and a neutral, can't have a positive without a ground and expect the switch to power up. the LTM-5 is a scene controller.

I usually tell everyone that any z-wave device is gonna need a neutral. Now this isn't 100% true as older non led dimmers under certain conditions will work without a neutral as they back-feed threw the filaments of the bulbs. But for all intensive purposes it failry safe to say that you'll always need a netural and hot to every z-wave device along with a load wire (unless it doesn't control a load directly like a scene controller).

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: GE 12724 w/neutral GE 12723 wo/neutral (3-way switch)
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 09:48:44 am »
integlikewhoa is correct about the requirement for a Neutral connection to the primary switch. I suspect and hope that you have that connection, but simply forgot to indicate it in your diagram.

See attached diagram for proper wiring of this switch pair.