5-way switch setup help

i’m trying to figure how to install a smart switch in my current 5-way switch setup but i couldn’t figure out where my line wire is. I’ve attached a diagram of how I believe everything is connected right now but not sure which is the line wire. The dilemma i have right now is if I disconnected all the switches and when i turn the circuit breaker back on all the wires are hot except for the load wire. Any help would be appreciated.

This isn’t a great answer but when I had a 4 way to do I literally took out all the switches, turned the power on, checked each one to see which were actually hot (only one was…the line) then went around with a piece of wire as a extension and check continuity to find out which wires were going where. I labeled each one then just rewired from “scratch”. I ended up using a couple wires as jumpers between boxes since I wanted the switch with the status light in a certain spot. It worked but it was very tedious.

With that said there has to be a missing wire somewhere on your diagram, the line coming in.

I pretty much did that same thing what you did. But i’m missing the line in somewhere. Going by my diagram if there is a line in it should be where the dimmer switch is.

Based on your diagram, I’m guessing the one labeled dimmer is a 3-way dimmer switch. If it is wired as noted above your line should be in that box.

This is confusing. Too many unknowns. Could you take pictures of your switch boxes? That would likely help.

Yes that is a dimmer switch that could also shut off the light as well. The 3 wires going into it are one traveler, 1 hot and one neutral. Thinking about it now the neutral wire going in should be the line in instead of neutral. I’ll try to get some pictures up later.

The 3 way switches are the ones to pay attention to. So ignore the ones with 4 wires going to them. On the 3 way switches you will find a screw that is a different color, usually black or bronze. On one of the switches you will have load from fixture and the other will be line from breaker.

So make sure you mark which these wires. Then pictures of other switch boxes will help get you step by step instructions.

Edit: the main smart switch will typically go into one of the 3way switch locations. Make sure there is a neutral in one of these boxes.

Or like I did you can use one of the “extra” wires you no longer need to get a neutral “over” to your smart switch if you do want the indicator light somewhere else.

1 Like

Agree with this however you are limited with number of wires because this also means you may need to relocate the load too. So in my experience with a few 4 ways, the main switch only works in the 3 way locations.

Very high chance the line and neutral is at the dimmer switch. One easy way to find out your wiring is pay attention to the 3 ways switches and ignore the 4 ways switches for now since they are just use for travelers.
Look at the dark terminal screws at the 3 ways switches and most likely the load is at one switch and the line will be at the other switch.
Use a meter and check for voltage at these terminals.
You will most likely find one switch will have constant 110V volt regardless of switch positions or light on/off. That will be your line.
Now use the same method above for the other switch and you will get voltage when the light is on and no voltage when the light is off. That’s your load.
If you are unsure of the neutral wire for measurement reference. You can use the ground terminal FOR MEASUREMENT ONLY.
It would be also helpful to count the number of conduit (romex) in each box and the number of conductor inside each conduit as well as the location it’s going to.
Maybe your dimmer switch doesn’t have terminals but you should be able to Google the wiring with the model number.

thanks for everyone’s input, much appreciated. here are the pictures of the switches going in the same order as the diagram from left to right.

there are 3 wires connected to the dimmer. The green is the ground. The red wire on left is connected to the black wire going back to the 2nd 4-way switch, the black cable is connect to the white cable going back to the 2nd 4-way switch and the red cable is connected to the red cable going back to the 2nd 4-way switch.

I see what they did there. You will find 2 bundles behind box 1. One is neutral and one is line.
You will find one bundle with one black wire connected to a white wire and this white wire is going to box 2 and 3 white wires. That’s your line.
The other bundle behind box one should be a 2 white wires. That’s your neutral.
I am assuming you don’t have other circuit connecting to this 5 ways otherwise my number of wire counts could be different.

so you think my line and load cables are in box one?

I believe they are if you said there are only 3 conductors from your dimmer switch and nothing else. Have a good look behind the switches and tell us what you are hiding behind there :blush:

You are right , there is a line wire in box one. Box 1 has 2 single pole switch and one 3-way switch. The 2 single pole switch share the same line and also the neutral wire from the wires going to the 3-way switch is tied in with the line wire as well. For this setup can I just put in a zooz switch in the first box and replace the other 3 with a regular 3-way switch or is there an better way to do this?

switch box

So you need to replace box 2 with a 3 ways switch and make box 2,3 and 4 as a 4 ways. Since the Zooz supports regular switches but unlike GE. The traveler terminal on the Zooz needs a neutral to operate. I am away right now but I can draw you a picture later if you want one.

That would be great if you if you could post a picture later. So you are say i could have the following switches in the order, zooz switch, 3-way switch, 4-way switch and the dimmer

About the dimmer switch. I am not sure if it’s a digital dimmer or just a dumb dimmer. My fault for not bringing it up earlier. Only a dumb dimmer will be about to work as a 3 ways in full bright position and just use the on/off function. I suspect it’s a digital dimmer since Line is going there first. It’s a strange wiring config. you have there since the dimmer is not really dimming with one of the 3/4 ways switch in off.
here’s a rough drawing of the new wiring configure with the zooz and 3 ways, 4 ways, 3 ways.
you can use the extra 4 ways switch as a 3 ways on box 4 ( dimmer switch). just don’t connect anything to the top right screw terminal and it will act as a 3 ways.
ground wires are not in the drawing but please do connect them up accordingly. don’t start if you have any doubt.

thanks for the rough sketch. Is all the neutral wires tied in together where the zooz smart switch is?

That’s correct. Neutral all tied together at box 1.