3 way wiring issue

So I have been adding smart switches to my house and imit has gone really smooth up until now. I have come across a switch without a common wire. This is a 3 way switch where one switch has a common wire and the other side does not. I know I can install the GE smart dimmer on the common wire side, but is there anything I can do with the other side? I have the GE add on switch but that won’t work without the common wire. Are there other addon or even a dumb switche that would work?

FYI there is no attic access to this room.


There has to be a common wire for a 3-way to work. Post a pic.

There is the traveler wire but I thought that was different.

The wire with the black screw head is the common.

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Given this switch only has 1 Romex coming in, the other switch likely has line and load, unless power is going to the light first.

Yup. Trace your wires and see how many romex they are going to.

sorry. don’t know what this means. Check the wiring at the fixtures?

This is the other switch…

So black is line (comes from line side of adjacent switch). White is load and red is traveler. The black on that same romex is pigtailed to the other hot(line) in this box. Is that what you mean?

Please confirm this wire is hot with a multimeter. If so this is your line in master smart switch.

The key to 3 way switches is the bronze/black screw. One switch will have line from breaker and the other will have load to fixture. The fact that this switch has line from breaker means the other had load to switch. Remove the wirenut and unbundle the two black wires. The black one in a 14-2 Romex, only white and black wires, is your load in your master smart switch. The other black wire in the 14-3 Romex, Black/white/red, is not needed but put a wire nut in it and tuck it away in box.

Add a pigtail to your neutral bundle in the box and connect to one of the neutral terminals, there are 2 holes for each terminal. White in this 14-3 Romex will go into the other hole in the neutral terminal so you can send neutral to the aux switch.

Red in this 14-3 Romex will be traveler.

In other switch with one wire, cap black wire as you don’t need it. White to neutral and red to traveler on the Aux switch.

Thanks I will try this tonight

This worked perfectly thank you so much!

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