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Author Topic: Switch question  (Read 1798 times)

Offline ballroller

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Switch question
« on: July 05, 2011, 10:27:25 pm »
I have an existing wall plate that has a stacked set of 2 switches (top for the porch light, bottom for the hallway)  with a 3rd dimmer knob (for the dining area)  off to the side. I would like to use one of those (the top) stacked switches for a z wave function. Is there anything that fits this requirement? I could use both stacked switches as zwave if need be if it will fit in the existing space.

Thanks.

Offline guessed

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Re: Switch question
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 09:46:35 pm »

Offline ballroller

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Re: Switch question
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 11:06:40 pm »
Do you mean a "dual-load" Switch like this:

    http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?item=433267&section=28563&minisite=10024

Yes, and no! It is a double gang box and single faceplate with switches like you noted on the left side, and on the right side is a round dimmer switch protruding from the middle. I could work with any dimmer, but will it fit into a box with those Leviton switches you noted? Does anyone make a switch like that Leviton, but less expensive?

Offline steveg

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Re: Switch question
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:37:53 pm »
The Leviton is the only device I've seen that has two loads and does zwave. It only does on/off control (no dimming). If you want something cheaper, they make dual dimmers (non-zwave). If you replace the dining room dimmer with a dual dimmer for the dining room and hall, you could use any zwave dimmer/switch for the porch.

Whether the Leviton will work for you depends on whether the box has a neutral wire. It's possible (but unlikely) that the box you describe does not have a neutral. For the dual dimmer approach, if you don't have a neutral, you're OK as you get the right kind of dimmers and everything stays as incandescent loads with at least 40 watt bulbs.

It may also be possible that there is not enough room inside the box the two relatively big switches/dimmers plus the associated wires. The electrical code has rules about minimum box size (cubic inches) based on how much stuff you're putting in the box.

Both of these require opening up the box to verify (and the neutral question may require opening up some other boxes if it's not obvious).

Stacked switches are frequently a sign of retrofit work. For the neutral question, that's a sign in your favor since the new stuff would have needed a neutral. For the box size question, that could be a concern since the thing you're adding is bigger than what was there and the retrofit may have left the box undersized.