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Author Topic: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723  (Read 9308 times)

Offline rbakley

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2016, 06:13:00 pm »
Hi Steve,

One last thing to consider is that there might be a junction box somewhere that you haven't found yet.   By code, this junction box cannot be hidden and must be accessible.   But just because it is "supposed" to be not hidden, doesn't mean that it won't be.   If there is one, it would probably be somewhere in the vicinity of the existing switch boxes.    Using the multimer with long wire test, if you get multiple hits in different boxes, then that is the most likely scenario.    To be sure that you have everything wired correctly, you should find this hidden box.

-bob

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2016, 10:16:03 am »
Ok.  I found Line and Load in the same box.  They're in the 3-way switch with load picture.  The white wire that was pigtailed to the black wire was line and the black wire fed the end-circuit 3-way switch.  So, I'm guessing I need to put the primary z-wave switch in the box with Line and Load.  What application do people use to draw this stuff out.

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2016, 10:29:14 am »
I should also note that the Line and Load are both on the same 2-wire bundle.  I'm guessing this is because the line originates at the light (vs switch).

Offline rbakley

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2016, 10:36:10 am »
Hi Steve,

Yes, having the power come into the light fixture and then the live and load wires coming down to the box was a common way to wire "back in the day".   The real question is whether you have a neutral wire in the box with the load and power wires?    And if not, do you have a real neutral wire in one of the other boxes?

One advantage you have is that using three and 4-way switches required two "traveler" wires to connect between the switches.   If you can pick up a neutral wire in one of the boxes you can connect this to one of the traveler wires and use the other traveler wire to actually control the main dimmer from the remote locations.

Let me know if this makes sense.   

-bob

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2016, 11:22:39 am »
Thanks for the reply Bob.  It doesn't look like i've got a neutral in any of the boxes.  I only have neutral in the light fixtures.  I took apart the other light fixture and found where the hot fed the white wire in the line/load box.  There's neutral in that box as well.  Doesn't look like i have a way to get neutral to the light fixtures without running new wire.

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2016, 11:25:32 am »
Oops...on that last sentence, meant to say no way to get neutral to the switch boxes without running new wire.

Offline rbakley

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2016, 11:35:23 am »
Hi Steve,

Okay, that is a bummer but not the end of the road.   One alternative is to use an Aeotec Micro Dimmer switch and put it in the junction box with the fixture.   Then using the existing wire that now carries line and load to the switch boxes, rewire it to have neutral and line.   Use this to daisy chain line and neutral to all of the boxes and then install Linear WT00Z Scene controllers in the switch boxes.   Use these to control the Aeotec Micro Dimmer in the fixture.

Another alternative is to see if there is another box near the existing switch boxes that has a neutral wire in it.   In a lot of homes a box may be very close to another box in another room and they are back to back or nearly back to back.   Remove one of the boxes from the wall and connect a new wire between the boxes.   Install an "old work" box to replace the removed box.   

-bob

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2016, 11:44:15 am »
Hmm...well, i'm on the top floor, so could conceivably fish a single 14awg wire up to the attic and connect it to a neutral...seems messy and not to code, though.  I like the idea of using the Micro Dimmer.  I'm going to have to think about it a little more to better understand what's going where.  Thanks again for the help.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2016, 01:37:48 pm »
Hmm...well, i'm on the top floor, so could conceivably fish a single 14awg wire up to the attic and connect it to a neutral...seems messy and not to code, though.  I like the idea of using the Micro Dimmer.  I'm going to have to think about it a little more to better understand what's going where.  Thanks again for the help.

If your in an old house and have no neutrals to switches, your going to end up with this problem over and over again. All Z-wave switches need to be powered up 24/7 (hot and neutral required for this) and old switches didn't need to. So prepare yourself for alot of this before you even start to tackle this one find the path for the rest also.

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2016, 03:12:50 pm »
Hmm...well, i'm on the top floor, so could conceivably fish a single 14awg wire up to the attic and connect it to a neutral...seems messy and not to code, though.  I like the idea of using the Micro Dimmer.  I'm going to have to think about it a little more to better understand what's going where.  Thanks again for the help.

If your in an old house and have no neutrals to switches, your going to end up with this problem over and over again. All Z-wave switches need to be powered up 24/7 (hot and neutral required for this) and old switches didn't need to. So prepare yourself for alot of this before you even start to tackle this one find the path for the rest also.

House was built in 1984.  Other switches I have replaced do have standard line/neutral.  So here's something interesting.  The switch box with the line/load is paired with another 3-way that controls the foyer light.  It is on a different circuit.  That 3-way (for the foyer) is paired with another 3-way that is located in the same junction box as my front porch light (standard switch with a neutral).  So, I'm wondering if I can somehow wire up the foyer light with z-wave master/accessory and steal one of the 3 wires to tie in to the neutral on the porch light (then bring it up to the switch next to my existing line/load 3-way).  I'm guessing the only problem would be if line and load for the foyer originated where I had the neutral (then I'd have to use all 3 wires?).  I know there are switches that don't use the traveler, so I could steal the traveler and use it for neutral.  I'm all over the place here.  I understand if no one follows my brain logic.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 03:14:48 pm by magnum003 »

Offline rbakley

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2016, 03:21:04 pm »
Hi Steve,

If I follow you correctly, yes you could do that.   Make a drawing on paper of all of the boxes and the interconnecting wires.  Sometimes it is easier to visualize it on paper.   If you can run a neutral from another box to the new boxes that would solve the problem.   To be kosher, you should probably steal both the hot and neutral from the foyer if possible, that way the neutral and hot would be on the same circuit. 

-bob

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2016, 03:31:19 pm »
To be kosher, you should probably steal both the hot and neutral from the foyer if possible, that way the neutral and hot would be on the same circuit. 
This is essential if you have switched neutrals (individual circuit earth leakage for example or just two pole mcb's)
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Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2016, 03:45:34 pm »
To be kosher, you should probably steal both the hot and neutral from the foyer if possible, that way the neutral and hot would be on the same circuit. 
This is essential if you have switched neutrals (individual circuit earth leakage for example or just two pole mcb's)

Hmm...just got more complicated.  I see what you're saying.  Since the two lights are on different circuits, I couldn't steal the neutral from one circuit and tie it in to the other without also bringing the hot along (to complete the circuit on a single breaker).  So how would I then tie the neutrals at the light fixtures in to the neutral of the new switches (wouldn't they be on different circuits)?  I need to visio this stuff.

Offline magnum003

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2016, 04:22:33 pm »
So, this is what it looks like (I stole the drawing off the internets, but my config is the same). 

The 4-way is what I'm trying to get the neutral to.  The 3-way with the source at SW1 is where my neutral wire lives (but I need to get it to SW2 of that same 3-way so I can provide neutral to SW1 on the 4-way drawing). 

Offline rbakley

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Re: 4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2016, 04:35:23 pm »
Hi Steve,

Yes the first figure is what I figured your situation to be.   Why did you include the second diagram?   If you had the circuit from the second drawing then you could make it work by putting the main dimmer in one box and a scene controller in the second box.  The first box would use the white for neutral, black for hot and red for load.   The second box would have hot and neutral and the red would not be used or needed.

-bob