Differently Wired 3-Way switches, how to GE Z-Wave them?

Hi all, I have what I think is Option #5 on the following website, and I cannot figure out how to add the GE 3-Way smart switch (12722) and the Add-On Switch (12723). Can I get a hand?

This was discussed in this topic just yesterday.

Basicly, I don’t think you can.

Do you happen to have a spare red wire in the cable going between the switch and light?

I don’t think so. This may turn into a larger project of replacing all of the cans in the kitchen anyway. (they are old and falling apart, but I needed a catalyst to begin the project).

You could put a relay at the light and still use the switches, The problem with that is if your hub goes down you would not be able to turn on/off the light. The easiest solution would probably be, keep the original switches and use a relay at the light.

Was looking to keep this as standard as possible. So likely I’ll modify the light wiring to bring it back to a standard that the Z-wave switches can use.

Am I missing something? Why would he not be able to control the light if the hub is down?

In the one micro relay circuit I have installed (so no expert in any form) the micro receives a signal from the switches in the wall through a second input. That’s how it knows to turn on or off when a switch is toggled.

In mine you can flip either of the wall switches to toggle the light, or toggle it using smartthings. I assumed it became a 4 way circuit with 1 smart switch in it vice the original all 3 way circuit. I thought with hub loss I would only lose the smart portion. I’ll have to test this on my next day off.

If your going to rewire the whole circuit you could indeed make it where you could use your 2 GE switches. Or you could get a Mico switch and install it in the circuit in the light box. If you use the Aeon type they have wiring diagrams on how to wire up the original 3 way to include the new micro.

I had to wire it much different than the original. I just printed the drawing, labeled my wires on it and on the wires. Then followed my new diagram. It was easier to visualize with the drawing I had labeled.

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Your right, when I wrote that I was not very clear, I had not had my coffee yet.

Not a problem, I was just confused. It happens alot :slight_smile: so thought I missed something.

I just wanted to be sure cause I still have like 6 circuits in my house (like this one) where I’ll have to use a micro or do total rewire. My 1st one was on a light that’s hardly ever used. So I could have time to get it done with minimal inconvenience on the rest of the family.


All…thanks for the help. The problem is that these are can lights in the kitchen and I have no access to the actual wiring box at the lights. My Dad is an electrical engineer and he said that since the neutral and ground are connected at the breaker box, you can in essence, use the ground a a neutral as long as you mark it as such in the wall switch box. That is what I did and it works perfectly! Thanks all.


I am thinking about putting the Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Dimmer, 2nd edition on a set of can lights in the kitchen so that I don’t have to deal w/stuffing the GE smart switch or the Aeotec unit into what is already a ridiculously crowded switch box.


So I understand that I’d wire the Aeotec on the first can light in the series (there are four cans w/LED bulbs in them), but I don’t quite understand how the Aeotec needs to be connected to the wiring at the can.

Do you have a diagram you used? I have found things like this that show how to connect it in the switch box (http://aeotec.com/z-wave-in-wall-switches/877-micro-sei-2e-manual-instructions.html) but I need something that lays out how the connections would go at the light. (Pretend I’m stupid. Which I know several family members believe I might actually be.)

Appreciate any help/direction/pointers.

Here is where I got my drawing from:

I had a 3 way so I specifically used this drawing:

My line and neutral were in the light box in the overhead. So I put the line on the inside screw labeled “L” and neutral on the other inside screw connections on the micro. I then put the black lead from my light on the other screw labeled "L load) then my light neutral on the other outside screw labeled (load).

I only had 1 light so was easy. If your doing 4 lights they would need to be in series or parallel but would get hooked to the same (Load) screws.

Now you would need to hook your wall switches to the screws on the other side. I had 2 so I used the drawing I showed above. You will need to hook smaller wire (say 16ga) to the micro switch connections labeled (switch). You will then wire nut your 2 switch wires to the wires hooked to the switch connections. You have to use smaller gauge wire because the Mico has smaller screws on that side. If you try to hook it to the larger Romex wire you will probably strip the screws.

My only concern with doing this is you will have to verify how your cans are wired together. All together they represent the “load” in the diagrams.
Also make sure you don’t exceed the ratings on the micro for the load.

Also be aware I am not an electrician, I do my own wiring but I have the ready reference of 2 qualified electrician sons for questions.

Also I am typing this on my phone so pardon and typos and such.

Hope that makes it clear as mud!

You are obviously not stupid if your willing to ask for help. :slight_smile:

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You’ll probably find some electricians who agree they are bonded in the breaker panel and are theoretically the same. However they will probably not agree with you using a ground wire as a neutral. They are separate for a reason, otherwise why would they be 2 separate wires and landed on 2 separate connections?

I’m sure someone will chime in with the theory of it all.

All the cans have LED bulbs in them so they aren’t pulling that much current/wattage. They are 90W equivalent LED bulbs, so I think they pull like 15-17 watts each and there are 5 of them. Worst case, 85W of load.

Correct, sooooo now you have 85 watts or return current being carried by a ground wire that’s not designed to carry current all the time.

In basic terms I understand the ground wire to carry only shorts to ground in order to save your life.

But if your comfortable with it I can’t tell you what to do. You house your wiring. If your interested I’m sure @Navat604 can explain it in greater detail.

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I think we did talk about this many times before. Here is a post about it in great detail. What you did was bypassing your safety protection by using the ground. If your ground end at the circuit breaket is not bonded well and your circuit is leaking. Expect to get shock when you touch any bare metal in that circuit or worst case… Sparking.