3 Way Switch Fun - Line from Traveller/Light

I tend to always have fun with the 3-way switch wiring in my house. New scenario where I’m wanting to use either a nzw30 or zen26v2 in the line box. The challenge is the red traveller set is carrying the line from I believe is the light. I put it back to the original switch after my wife was complaining about it… Opening it back up will need a better plan. :slight_smile:

Box 1:
traveler set (B/R/W) (Connected to switch)
Pair 1 (B/W)
Pair 2 (B/W)

(B-B from Pair 1/2 Connected, W-W from Pair 1/2 Connected)

Box 2:
Pair 1 (B/W) (top of switch)
Pair 2 (B/W) (B attached common bottom right of switch)

Box1 is where I would put the smart switch. I don’t need a dimmer on this. suggestions for wiring? Note: Including @Eric_Inovelli or @TheSmartestHouse, but thought I’d try here first.

There are a few details missing from the documentation we would need to confirm:

  1. In Box 1, all of the wires connected to the switch are coming from a single 14-3 romex, correct?

  2. In Box 2, are we looking at the dimmer or at the on/off switch on the right? Assuming it’s the on/off - are you sure you only have 2 14-2 romex cables involved here or does pair 1 (with white and black attached to the switch) have a red wire in the romex they come into the box in? And if it does, what is that red wire connected to?

Thanks for replying.


single switch. The first pair attached to the switch does not have a red wire in the Romex.

And yes, that box #2 is a hot mess. The other dimmer in that box is tied to a separate 3 way.

That means there is no direct connection between these 2 switches and there are additional connections made at the light fixture - do you have access to it to take additional images to show where the red wire from Box 1 is connected to?

The red wire in box 1 I believe is the line coming from the light. It is the only hot wire when everything is disconnected when I turn on/off the circuit at the box.

I believe the other single pairs in that box either 1) go to box 2, or are somehow used to run to the 2 separate lights on this switch circuit.

Since this is a 120 V installation, it wouldn’t be safe for us to advise anything without 100% certainty about the source of each wire involved in the set-up, especially that this looks like a really creative installation. If you’re able to access the light fixture and show us the connections there, we’ll be happy to take a look!

It’s very normal to “send” line from one 3 way box to another. I have a feeling you have line and load in Box 2 but I cannot tell from the pictures. Can you please post clear pictures of the box so I can follow all the wires hooked up to your switch. What I am curious about is the red wire that should be in the same Romex as wires hooked up to your switch and what it is connected to.

Thanks @TheSmartestHouse and @ritchierich. I unfortunately am the epitome of thinking an easy/quick project per instructions is in my grasp, then cursing the former builder/contractor for their prior work performed when opening things up. Nothing as planned!

It’ll likely be later this week/next weekend before I can get to this again. I’ll take more pics of each box, and open up the fixtures.


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