Author Topic: Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?  (Read 597 times)

Offline tameanaka

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Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?
« on: March 09, 2018, 09:20:18 am »
Anyone have one of these installed for a water heater?  Is a neutral required? I have been reading conflicting things, some say yes, some say no.

If a neutral is required this means I will have to pull a new 10-3 wire which is just stupid.  The older GE heavy duty doesn't require neutral unless device is 120v.  Water heaters do not have a neutral connection either, just l1, l2, gnd.

If anyone could clarify this with 100% certainty it would be appreciated as I intend to order and install at the end of the month.

Offline JRH In Texas

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Re: Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 04:36:29 pm »
 tameanaka,
You should not need a 10-3 wire as the neutral is only to control the Aeotec device -- a much smaller load -- and a smaller wire.

Having said that, a work-around THAT DOES NOT MEET CODE, would be to check the ground wire and see if is has continuity back to the buss bar in your panel.  If so, i.e., the ground wire is tied to the same buss bar as neutral wires in the panel, then you have a neutral running to your hot water heater.

The above is not advice, but an observation.


Offline tameanaka

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Re: Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 08:33:34 am »
A neutral is required for control of the aeotec device? To turn on/off?

If it can?t be controlled without neutral what?s the point of adding one?

Offline rigpapa

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Re: Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 01:19:17 pm »
In looking at how they set up the Heavy Duty switch, they derive control power for the switch itself from the line(s) and neutral provided that are also being switched. So, without a neutral, your choices are pull a neutral, or use a different product.

An alternative would be to use a standard Z-wave switch (pretty much any will do) placed near the heater to control a two-pole definite purpose contactor with a 120V coil (assuming you are US/Canada) and contacts sufficiently rated. The switch operates the contactor, the contactor operates the heater: wire the contactor between your feed circuit and the heater (in at the terminals on the top of the contactor, out at the bottom).  Wire the Z-wave switch to the contactor coil (terminals on the sides) as you would any light (switch load wire to one leg, neutral to the other). This should all go in a enclosure rated for the use and location, bonded (if metal), with appropriate finishing of wire entries and exits. Since there's a handful of fire in that box for unwitting fingers, I'd make sure it either has a screw-on cover or is locked, and has appropriate labeling for hazardous voltage inside and the identification of the breakers for both the heater circuit and the Z-wave switch prominently displayed.

A perhaps simpler version of the above would be to use a Z-wave receptacle, and just wire the contactor coil on a cord that leaves the contactor box and plugs into the switched outlet of that receptacle.

Contactor of the type I'm talking about: https://www.grainger.com/product/SQUARE-D-120VAC-Definite-Purpose-Contactor-4DD05
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Offline rstrouse

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Re: Aeotec Heavy Duty Switch - Neutral Required?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 02:07:23 pm »
I have one of these and neutral is not required for 220v.  Hook up L1, L2, and ground.  Although the instructions simply say "if you have a neutral & ground hook them up", the implication is that you won't have these for 220v so you do not hook them up.  Conversely for 120v you won't have an L2.
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