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Author Topic: 3 Way recomendations  (Read 4688 times)

Offline S-F

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3 Way recomendations
« on: June 26, 2011, 10:44:48 pm »
I have one of the GE 3 way kits and am going to be able to use it simply because I'm placing it in new construction. That said I have an existing 3 way that I want to replace and am uncertain about how it's all wired up. Are there any regular 3 way switches? How are the Leviton ones? They better be good for the money they are asking. I need something I can just drop right in. And I'm willing to fork out the $100 or so for it if need be.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 08:32:47 am by S-F »
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Offline S-F

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 07:31:58 pm »
Anyone? Does everyone here use the GE set? Geez. Those things bite.
Trying to get answers out of Leviton tech support is like pulling teeth. First of all, they don't know what z-wave is. 0.o
I have been redirected to different branches of their department 6 (yes 6!) times now and have yet to get an answer about a model #, although I have been assured that they do make such a product, or on how it would be wired.

WTF is the story here? I'm sure that there must be a decent 3-way switch that wires up normally. People get these things installed in new construction all the time and the electricians installing certainly aren't relearning the nature of the 3-way switch just for this.
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Offline mitch672

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 08:33:13 pm »
look at the other topic:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=6787.msg44241#msg44241

Intermatic CA3000 can be wired with traditional 3 and 4 way switches.
I happen to not be a fan of the construction/feel of the unit.

I have zero issues with my GE on/off and dimming modules, using them all over 2 different houses, over 40 of them installed between the houses, at least 6 or 7 sets in 3 way (and some in a 6 way) setup.  Just use the GE remote slaves, which come in each 3 way kit.

It would have helped had you been around for the Radio SHack clearance sale, thats where I got mine.  Used alll 3 ways, even in 2way setups, thats why I have so many spare slave switches.

Mitch

Offline guessed

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 09:38:01 pm »
I have the 4 of my Leviton Dimmers in 3-way config (VRI-06 + Matching Dimmers/LED VP00R).  You can dim from either end (etc), and this matched-pair model has LED's on them which I find handy.

They work really well, but I had a sparky wire them.  It took him some time to figure out how to wire them per the diagram that comes in the box.

Offline S-F

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 10:28:08 pm »
I have the 4 of my Leviton Dimmers in 3-way config (VRI-06 + Matching Dimmers/LED VP00R).  You can dim from either end (etc), and this matched-pair model has LED's on them which I find handy.

They work really well, but I had a sparky wire them.  It took him some time to figure out how to wire them per the diagram that comes in the box.

So the Levitons require particular wiring also? This is what I'm looking for. If I have to screw around in my attic any way I'll just get the GE set since it's 1/2 the price.
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Offline guessed

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 10:54:50 pm »
I have the 4 of my Leviton Dimmers in 3-way config (VRI-06 + Matching Dimmers/LED VP00R).  You can dim from either end (etc), and this matched-pair model has LED's on them which I find handy.

They work really well, but I had a sparky wire them.  It took him some time to figure out how to wire them per the diagram that comes in the box.

So the Levitons require particular wiring also? This is what I'm looking for. If I have to screw around in my attic any way I'll just get the GE set since it's 1/2 the price.
I had "standard" 3-Way switches before, and these were removed and the VRI-06 (and the Matching VP00R) were installed in their place, using the existing wiring in the walls.  No new wiring was added... it was more a matter of how to use the wires in the walls, given the specifics of how the Leviton setup works.

Offline mitch672

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 11:14:16 pm »
Same situation with me and wiring up the GE's...  Standard 14/3 NM cables between boxes, 120V feed was on 1 end, and the load wire was in the box at the end of the chain.  I managed to make it work, by just re-wiring what was already in place.

Sent the 120V "Hot" lead, through all switch boxes, to the last box, where the "load wire" was located (which is where the actual Zwave switch must be installed).  Just used the Black for that.  Then use the GE slaves control lead (which is yellow) to the red, and wired the neutral to the white (of course).  

Works perfectly, and, no issues.  Its really not as complicated as you think it is.
Plus since you area only changing how the wiring is used, you can always switch it back to a convention 3 or 4 way setup.

Mitch

Offline oTi@

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 11:36:20 pm »
So the Levitons require particular wiring also?
Yes; the Leviton's require a particular way of wiring them, but as pointed out by @guessed and @mitch672, you typically can reuse your traditional wiring. So it comes down to figuring out the connections (i.e. what wire should be connected to what terminal). The Leviton instruction sheets try to help you with that, based on your existing wiring/connections.

The different wiring is because of how traditional/mechanical 3-way dimmer/switches work vs. electronic ones. In a traditional 3-way all the switches are 'important', it's a chain that makes or breaks a path to the load. With the electronic switches there's typically a primary device that does the switching/dimming and the secondary devices are more or less 'dummies' that send a signal to the primary to tell the primary what to do. So you'd reuse one of the wires, say red, in your typical 14/3, to be that signal wire between primary and secondary. The other 2 wires, black and white, you'd repurpose for whatever is needed in your situation. The neat thing about it, is that you can now dim from multiple locations, see the status from multiple locations, etc.

See for example the Leviton Vizia+ stuff. Vizia RF+ adds the Z-Wave. Same wiring I believe. In fact, the secondary devices for the Z-Wave stuff are from the Vizia+ line.
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Offline fronobulax

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 06:32:00 am »
So the Levitons require particular wiring also?
With the electronic switches there's typically a primary device that does the switching/dimming and the secondary devices are more or less 'dummies' that send a signal to the primary to tell the primary what to do.
Great Information! Thanks! I've been looking for this info on the forums. It appeared from my CA3000 instructions that the CA3000 in a multi-switch application was being used as the "Primary Switch" and that I could use cheap non-zwave switches for all the secondary, tertiary, etc... but I was not sure if triggering the "dummy" switches would cause trigger events on the main switch.

From your post it sounds as if the zwave switch would treat the "dummy" switch inputs as it's own inputs and the state of the load would be correct on my dashboard regardless of which switch toggled the light. Is this generally correct for switches you are describing?

Offline kaldoon

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 07:03:28 am »
The HomeSettings and Intouch Switches do not require a special companion switch where as GE, ACT or Leviton switches do - wiring diagrams are pretty straight forward what isn't straight forward is  the house wiring( have not seen wiring in residential or commercial properties with any kind of standardization from switch to switch or building to building) If the auxialary/companion  switch has a locating LED then you will need a neutral in the box if not then neutral is not necessary  8)   

Offline oTi@

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Re: 3 Way recomendations
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2011, 11:53:07 pm »
[...] it sounds as if the zwave switch would treat the "dummy" switch inputs as it's own inputs and the state of the load would be correct on my dashboard regardless of which switch toggled the light. Is this generally correct for switches you are describing?
Looked at the CA3000 instruction sheet. It does indeed seem to always control the load and looks at the feedback through the additional, traditional switches to decide whether the load should be on or off.

So in that case you should see the correct state through Vera, regardless of how the load was switched (through the primary or a secondary).

However, depending on the capabilities of the CA3000, the state may not update immediately and you'd have to wait for Vera to poll the device, to get the correct state when switched through a secondary. Depending on the size of your network, that may take quite a while.

As an example: same for the GE's. Not for the Leviton's; they will always report status.

BTW, even though other brands (such as GE or Leviton) require matching secondary switches, those switches do not have a Z-Wave chip and are therefore generally a lot cheaper than the primary. But certainly not as cheap as a traditional, mechanical switch.
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