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Author Topic: Help with 3 way wiring.  (Read 4467 times)

Offline KennyCoolHeat

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2016, 03:27:15 pm »

It doesn't matter what that white actually does now.  So long as it runs back to the second box which then can be pigtailed to the neutral bundle you have in the second box now, you're good.  You don't have to worry about the pigtailed black wires on the GE install diagram.  That picture is for typical installations (yours is not).  Those pigtailed wires carry the load from the primary through the accessory to the fixture (so load is only controlled from primary).  So you're load will still be controlled from primary (to light fixture like a normal switch).  You'll then run hot/line on the black to your first picture, neutral on the white to your first picture and traveler on the red to your first picture.  Done and done.  Pretty straight forward so long as Line and Load both live in that second picture (with neutral).

I agree, my original drawing is of how the circuit was configured with the old switches. Below are the changes you will need to make.

Offline mvader

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2016, 03:58:47 pm »

It doesn't matter what that white actually does now.  So long as it runs back to the second box which then can be pigtailed to the neutral bundle you have in the second box now, you're good.  You don't have to worry about the pigtailed black wires on the GE install diagram.  That picture is for typical installations (yours is not).  Those pigtailed wires carry the load from the primary through the accessory to the fixture (so load is only controlled from primary).  So you're load will still be controlled from primary (to light fixture like a normal switch).  You'll then run hot/line on the black to your first picture, neutral on the white to your first picture and traveler on the red to your first picture.  Done and done.  Pretty straight forward so long as Line and Load both live in that second picture (with neutral).

I agree, my original drawing is of how the circuit was configured with the old switches. Below are the changes you will need to make.

thanks for the taking the time to draw that out for me.. if it works i'll owe you a beer!

Offline magnum003

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2016, 04:07:05 pm »

It doesn't matter what that white actually does now.  So long as it runs back to the second box which then can be pigtailed to the neutral bundle you have in the second box now, you're good.  You don't have to worry about the pigtailed black wires on the GE install diagram.  That picture is for typical installations (yours is not).  Those pigtailed wires carry the load from the primary through the accessory to the fixture (so load is only controlled from primary).  So you're load will still be controlled from primary (to light fixture like a normal switch).  You'll then run hot/line on the black to your first picture, neutral on the white to your first picture and traveler on the red to your first picture.  Done and done.  Pretty straight forward so long as Line and Load both live in that second picture (with neutral).

I agree, my original drawing is of how the circuit was configured with the old switches. Below are the changes you will need to make.

Kenny,

How are you getting hot over to switch 742a?  You'll need it to power the switch (along with neutral and traveler). 

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2016, 04:13:47 pm »

Kenny,

How are you getting hot over to switch 742a?  You'll need it to power the switch (along with neutral and traveler).

GE uses the traveler as the hot and doesn't require a hot, neutral and traveler on the AUX. It only requires a Travler, Neutral and a bare Ground.

Offline magnum003

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2016, 04:14:45 pm »

Kenny,

How are you getting hot over to switch 742a?  You'll need it to power the switch (along with neutral and traveler).

GE uses the traveler as the hot and doesn't require a hot, neutral and traveler on the AUX. It only requires a Travler, Neutral and a bare Ground.

You're right.

Offline KennyCoolHeat

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2016, 05:37:22 pm »
I don't know a lot about GE switches, my background is in HVAC but it looks like the GE add-ons use what would normally be the "traveler" wire as a "power and communications" wire between the primary switch and the add-on. Then the neutral is needed to complete the circuit. All the switching actually takes place at the primary switch. Seems like a backward way to accomplish the goals but if it works and is reliable who am I to complain.

I hope it all works for you, don't forget to ground everything.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2016, 05:53:14 pm »
I don't know a lot about GE switches, my background is in HVAC but it looks like the GE add-ons use what would normally be the "traveler" wire as a "power and communications" wire between the primary switch and the add-on. Then the neutral is needed to complete the circuit. All the switching actually takes place at the primary switch.
That is correct

Seems like a backward way to accomplish the goals but if it works and is reliable who am I to complain.
I'm not sure what you think is backwards? Would you like the aux switch to control the light?
As it stand now like you said the main switch does all the control and will work by its self without any aux switches connected. Then you have the option to use several AUX switches all connected to the main switch for 3,4,5 way setup.

The only difference I have seen with any other is some don't use any communication from the main switch to the aux using the existing wiring it uses z-wave. So the Main is connected the same minus the traveler. and the AUX just has Hot, Neutral and Ground. The aux is a scene controller and just associates via z-wave to control the main switch...... Which in the end is still the same as the GE setup.

The GE is setup to wire in with exiting 3 way traveler wires and the other scene control approach works great if you have hot a neutral at a box but it was never wired with a traveler or for a 3way light before. Now you can drop in a AUX switch and you can setup a 3-way system.

So I'm not sure what part of the GE setup seems backwards to you?

Offline KennyCoolHeat

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2016, 06:49:26 pm »
Well, like I said, I don?t know a lot about GE switches or any other brand to be honest. But with GE switches you spend $40 on a primary and probably $20 for each add-on. If I was designing a Z wave switch, I would have it function electrically like a standard switch, that way you can have 3, 4, 5, n ? way switched circuits with only 1 smart switch; the others in the circuit would be standard $3 switches. Much cheaper to install.

I would also design an add-on smart switch; this one could either be powered by a hot and neutral or battery. With this add-on you could add switches anywhere in an existing home regardless of the existing internal wiring. This switch would simply report the toggle to the controller and in turn the controller could toggle the primary switch in the circuit.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2016, 07:38:02 pm »
Well, like I said, I don?t know a lot about GE switches or any other brand to be honest. But with GE switches you spend $40 on a primary and probably $20 for each add-on. If I was designing a Z wave switch, I would have it function electrically like a standard switch, that way you can have 3, 4, 5, n ? way switched circuits with only 1 smart switch; the others in the circuit would be standard $3 switches. Much cheaper to install.

You can already do this with in wall smart switched and use as many stock 3 dollar switches as you want. You can install this up at the light fixture or behind the main switch in the same wall box.
Here is one but there is many brands. 
http://www.amazon.com/Aeon-Labs-DSC26103-ZWUS--Wall-Controller/dp/B008VWBNAU/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1459985238&sr=1-3&keywords=in+wall+z-wave

What I don't like about this idea is that there is no LED on the switch there is no nice dimming feel and turning lights on from many different switch or the z-wave modual leaves the physical switches in all sorts of weird positions. You can no longer expect up to be on down to be off on the switch. And when on a wall with 2 or 3 other switches it drives me nuts to have all lights off but some switches are facing up and some are facing down.

I would also design an add-on smart switch; this one could either be powered by a hot and neutral or battery. With this add-on you could add switches anywhere in an existing home regardless of the existing internal wiring. This switch would simply report the toggle to the controller and in turn the controller could toggle the primary switch in the circuit.

This already exists in a few forms, but battery powered anything sucks really. They sleep which causes setup and reporting issues and they need battery replacements with use.
http://www.amazon.com/GE-45631-Z-Wave-Wireless-Controller/dp/B003OUWABU
http://aeotec.com/z-wave-wall-switch/1019-wireless-z-wave-wall-switch.html

Offline mvader

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Re: Help with 3 way wiring.
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2016, 07:45:05 pm »
well IT WORKED!! thanks so much for talking me through this. thanks to Kenny for the drawing.
I got 2 rooms wired up and working now.

Next i have the

living room (3 way)
kitchen 3 switches all in 3 way
stair well (3 way)
3 bedrooms (thankfully not 3 ways)

I'll be doing one room at a time and hope i can make it all work the way it did in the dining room.

Thanks again!