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Author Topic: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?  (Read 16388 times)

Offline MICHAELMN

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2011, 03:03:18 pm »
I have two of these wired up in my house and they work "most" of the time.  For some reason one of them likes to stop working when I use the traveler or dummy switch.  To fix this I have to either pull the air gap switch or use MCV (strange) and all is fine.  This happens maybe once every month or so and oddly enough only seems to happen to my roommates so I haven't really dug into the problem. 

I'll put it this way...at the $20 price tag I bought 5 more.  I have mostly GE outlets and will now have mostly GE switches in my house.  They are not the Cadillac of switches but hey, I only drive a Chevrolet. 

Offline bikeman147

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 06:12:16 pm »
I have had bad experience with the 3-Way GE switches.  Will not allow 100% brightness, which seems to be a common issue among many users.  I would not buy the 3-way.  The dimmer switches work fine.

I suspect Chimpware isn't the only person who has experienced this. 

If you do not get 100% brightness, I recommend the following
1) Verify the master switch (the one with the blue led) is closest to the load/light.  If not, the switch must be relocated to the box closest the load.
2) Determine where the source power is located
3a) If the source power is closest to the master switch
      then follow the direction for the slave switch.  Specifically, connect the white wire with red tracer to hot (black)
3b) If the source power is closest to the slave switch
      then ignore the direction and connect the white wire with red tracer to the neutral (white)

You will have a correctly functioning 3 way dimmer setup.  Please check the back of the slave switch to see the note that says white / red tracer (hot or common).

These are great switches that work as designed.  I suspect what we have is a case where the product was designed and engineered outside the US; and the manual was translated with only partial success.  Subsequently, you get a lot of frustration and unhappy customers who have perfectly good switches.

If your GE 3-way gets only 50-80% of full brightness or you have the load in a different box than the master switch, try the white / red tracer "trick". 
 
     

Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2011, 11:33:16 am »
Ok, I apologize up front as I have searched these forums and am sure I am being redundant, but after hours of reading I am still at a loss.

Ge 3 ways.  Will they work in a 4 way situation?  I have a single light that was on a normal non 3 way switch and a set of 3 other hall way lights that were.  1) I want to combine the non 3 way light with the other lights so that when turning on the 3 way all the lights in the hallway light. Can I just tie the lead to both light sets (the single, plus the other lights together)? 2) Can I have 1 master plus 3 slave/aux switches with the GE dimmers? 3) do I use the neutral or the hot to connect to my aux switches?  I have 14-3 wiring to each location and the hot is where the master switch is.  in 2 of the aux boxes there are 2 14-3 that connect down stream...


Offline oTi@

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2011, 12:01:32 pm »
Ge 3 ways.  Will they work in a 4 way situation?  I have a single light that was on a normal non 3 way switch and a set of 3 other hall way lights that were.  1) I want to combine the non 3 way light with the other lights so that when turning on the 3 way all the lights in the hallway light. Can I just tie the lead to both light sets (the single, plus the other lights together)? 2) Can I have 1 master plus 3 slave/aux switches with the GE dimmers? 3) do I use the neutral or the hot to connect to my aux switches?
Are the single light and the group of lights on the same branch circuit? If they're not, you want to make sure you're not overloading your circuit.

Depends on the exact situation if you can wire your single light in with the rest and still have wires left to put an aux there.

One master plus three aux switches implies 5-way. But you can do 4-way (and possibly 5-way with the GE's, but the manual doesn't seem to say anything about it). At least theoretically. I would try it out on a bench first. Getting it wired right with your existing wiring may be a challenge. And even if that's all correct, it may still not work due to the length/interference issues people have reported.

You can use either neutral or hot for the aux switches. People have reported sometimes getting better results with neutral. Neutral is also compatible with GE's other switches.

Perhaps it's easier to keep stuff separated and use Vera to make a virtual 4-way? Again, I would try that out though, see if you're happy with it etc., before messing with the existing wiring.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 12:13:33 pm by oTi@ »
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2011, 12:44:51 pm »
Thanks @oTi

Not sure I understand branch circuit.  In my hallway there is a 4 gang box which had 1 light on a single switch and three other lights on a 5?way setup.  I just tied the black from the single light to the black of the multi light circuit and connected that to my blue wire off the ge master.  Connected red to yellow and white to neutral and black to the common power in the 4 gang box.  Then it appears that from there the 14-3 wire go to the 1st aux then another leg of 14-3 goes to another ( so you end up with 2 red 2 black and 2 white in each aux box except the last one in the chain.  I connected the 2 reds and 2 blacks together and connected the blacks to the white red stripe and the yellow to the 2 reds in each box. (except that last box which has one red and one black)  That doesn't work...

Offline mitch672

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2011, 01:47:42 pm »
Try using the neutral instead of the hot to the "red/white stripes" on the slave switches, I think you will have better results.

Offline oTi@

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2011, 01:55:51 pm »
OK; it sounds like stuff is all on the same breaker.

It also sounds like power and load are in that 4-gang box, and in that case you hooked up your primary correctly. If so, your primary should work and be able to control the lights without any of the 14-3 connected. Did you try that?
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2011, 03:22:42 pm »
First before I forget...  Thank you for helping! :)

With the aux switches disconnected (the 2 reds not connected nor the 2 blacks in each aux box) the only light that works is the one that was a single originally. Do I need to connect the blacks together in order to complete the circuit?

Offline oTi@

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2011, 04:25:39 pm »
I think we're going to need a diagram at this point of how you think stuff is wired.

You said you connected black of the multi light circuit to blue on the primary.Was that the black in the 14-3, or a black in a separate 14-2?
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2011, 05:00:24 pm »
Sorry doing this on my iPad....

Yellow------>red (14-3 main box)---->red (aux box 1)---->red (aux box 2)---->red ( aux box 3)
                                                            |.                            |.                               |
                                                             --->yel aux sw1.   ---> yel aux sw 2.     --->yel aux sw 3

Blue------->black(14-3 main box)---->black (Aux box1)---->black (aux box 2)---->black (aux box 3)
                                                            |.                               |.                                 |
                                                             --->white/red            ---> white/red.           ---> white/red

Black------>black (hot)
White------>white (neutral)------>?
Green------>ground----------------------(aux box 1)---------(aux box 2)----------(aux box 3)

There is a white wire (part of the 14-3) that daisy chains through each box, but when I used my cable proble ( puts a tone on the wire) it didn't seem to flow through.  The black and reds do for sure. 

Not sure I know where the lights are connected in.

Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2011, 05:13:31 pm »
I think the wiring follows switch --> light ---> light---> light ---> aux ---> aux ---> aux

Offline oTi@

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2011, 08:20:30 pm »
The candycane (white/red) should not be connected to blue on the primary. Blue is the load side and should be connected to just your lights.

It sounds like you haven't figured out how exactly your lights are connected / how all the wiring runs. There has to be 14-2 somewhere that connects to your lights (i.e. there's more than just the 14-3 involved).
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2011, 10:52:12 am »
Ok I found a diagram that is very likely what I have.  This explains what I was seeing...  The only difference is a second 4 way switch after the multiple light setup.  So mine is 3way-->lights-->lights-->lights-->4way-->4way-->3way.

Offline oTi@

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2011, 03:22:35 pm »
Well, you have an additional light, an additional 4-way switch, and only one switch 'before' the lights. That's quite different.

I would verify that in the 'last' box with the 3-way you have indeed only a single 14-3. If so, it should be easy to get the lights going with just the primary.

To make it work with aux switches, you would have to rewire things behind one of the lights.
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Offline aschwalb

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Re: GE 45613 - 3way dimmer worth buying for $20 bucks?
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2011, 05:15:42 pm »
ok, well I finally did a real drawing...  based on the previous one.