3-way switch wiring with GE smart switch

Thought I’d make my own post and stop hijacking others. What I’ve come to find is that my 3-way switch is setup like this –


I’ve seen others mention having this setup as well and I can’t decipher if folks are saying it’s just not possible to setup smart switches with this setup?

Currently tried to wire it and had Hue lights in, those bulbs strobed when the power was restored. Then I tried a tiny edison bulb lying around and it didn’t turn on, but the switches appeared to work, the add-on switch was turning the master on/off - and the ST hub was able to connect to the switch and remote turn it on and off. With no bulbs in the ceiling the switches aren’t functioning (no lights). I’m going to drop by Lowes and get some normal LED bulbs to see if they’ll turn on with this… if they do then I’ll just scrap my Hue lights.

As I was typing a response thinking it was possible, I realize you are missing a needed wire to your primary Zwave switch. With this setup you don’t have a wire that can act as the traveler to the aux switch:
White is neutral
Black is line power source
Red is load to the fixture
Ground is ground

Additionally you need a wire to connect the primary switch with the auxiliary switch which is missing with this setup.

Yeah I just plugged in a plain LED bulb and it stays on at a dim level - the light switch as the blue light on meaning it should be ‘off’. When I flip the switch ‘on’ I get a quick burst of light and back to dim. And the switch is back to ‘off’ (with the blue light on).

edit: removed the add-on switch completely and just tried to wire the main switch. It now turns on and off, but the LED bulb goes from dim to bright, never off. Hue light back in just flashes… good news is that the switch works fine when replacing a regular switch (not a 3-way), with Hue lights.

Are they both single gangbox? If you are lucky and have other light switch beside it then we can make it work. If there is power there. Otherwise you are out of luck with GE switches. Aeon micro module or Linear switches will work if you want to go with that. You need access to the light fixture for all of these 3 options.

One of the switches is ganged. I tried the GE smart switch (12722) with the neighboring single switch and it worked well with the Hue lights attached.

Currently trying to put the main switch at the end of the hall since it’s closer to the hub. Add-on was installed by the door. Thoughts?

The master “main” switch will be at the “end of the hall box”. We will tap into the line hot and neutral of the switch beside the main switch.
Drop the light fixture and cap off the line and neutral coming in from the circuit breaker. It’s no longer needed.
At the light fixture. Connect the black wire from the master “main” box to the black wire of the light bulb. This will be you "load."
Connect the two red wires together if it’s not already been done. This will be you “traveler”.
Connect all the white wires together. They are now your neutral.
Cap the black wire from the door at both ends. You no longer need this wire.
That should be it for reconfiguring.
At the door box. Connect your aux. Red traveler, white neutral and ground.
At the master. Connect red as traveler, black from the light as load.
Tap power from the other switch with a pigtail and connect it to your switch line.
Tap the white wire and connect it to the white wire from the light and to your switch.

Hope that will help.

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Thanks Ray for that detailed breakdown - afraid I’m not advanced enough to start opening up the light fixtures. It’s 4 recessed lights on those two switches, so I’m not sure where I’d start with re-wiring them to work this way… I’ve put back the original switches and found a few other single switches to replace for the time being. Thanks again

Good call. I didn’t know you have pot lights. Bad on my part for not asking from the start. They are a pain to get to for sure.

I have this configuration in my hallway and was searching community for thread like this. I do not have dual box with alternate source of power, so I’m stuck with no way to add traveler even if I rewire fixture.

My plan is to wire 3way switch to control light (no traveler), which requires rewiring light fixture.

Then add GoControl WT00Z-1 add-on switch which doesn’t require traveler, although it is more expensive (since has radio) and needs minimote to associate add-on switch with primary switch.

I already have some GE 3way switches in hand. Any reason WT00Z-1 can’t be associated with GE switches or do I need to get GoControl switches in order to use WT00Z-1.

I didn’t try associating WT00Z-1 with GE switch because it wasn’t necessary and I wanted ST to be aware of the status of the switches, which wouldn’t be the case if they talked directly to each other.

Instead, I used the Smart Lighting app to have the WT00Z-1 control the master wall switch. In my case, a Linear WS15Z-1 wall switch, but this would have worked just as well with a GE wall switch/dimmer. So no, GoControl/Linear wall switch is not required with WT00Z-1 accessory switch (unless you want to use association, which I am not sure about as I didn’t try this).