Do I need the GE Add-On Switch?

I see GE has smart switches like the GE12722 (on/off) and GE12724 (dimmer). I want to replace my old 3-way switch with one of these smart switch. Seems like a GE12723 (add-on) switch is required. Does anyone know why? I am wondering why I can’t use one of the existing 3-way switch as it has a travel wire to link with the travel wire on the smart switch.

Not the same technology.

The non networked three-way works by changing when the master receives power.

The networked master, in contrast, always has power. Otherwise It can’t hear the next “on” command. The travelers are used to communicate between the add on and the master, but not to actually complete the circuit.

So the traveler between the networked master and its auxiliary is used in a different way. And you need an add on switch that knows how to communicate to that kind of master.

You can write to GE to confirm but basically you must use the models that they specify or the communications won’t work, and you may even burn out the master.

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The add-on switch is a momentary switch which sends a pulse to the master switch when pressed changing its state while a normal 3 way switch is a maintained toggle switch.


The add on switches are about half of the cost of a master switch. I am installing my third set of three way GE switches today.

I do have some locations in my house with 3 wave switches that I did leave in the old on/off 3 wave switches, and only changed the main to a zwave on/off.

Couple of things to remember tho:

If someone turns off the old 3 way that it still there, the zwave will no longer work. This was acceptable to me, because the locations of the switches in question render them absolutely useless, and as such do not get used. If you were to do this, you would not want to hookup the traveler to the zwave switch. If the traveler was to get 120 volts on the zwave switch, it will break it. Which would happen if the second 3 way switch was turned off.

Other locations where I have not purchased an add-on switch, because budget hasn’t allowed, and the old switch might get used, I have basically just bypassed the old switch. Nothing is hooked up to it, so turning that switch on/off does nothing.

I also have one area that has a 4 way switch that I have a main zwave, and add on zwave, and the last switch just bypassed.

If you are going to do anything like this, I would recommend that you have a sound understanding of regular 3 way switch wiring as well and zwave 3 way, otherwise spend the extra money and do it right.

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Just to clarify, I just picked up an add-on switch and was going to put it in a 3-way configuration with a standard non-smart switch, will this work or do I still need a smart switch as well? My thought was it would still work, but the entire configuration would not be smart. As long as no one ever turns off the other switch, I should be able to control the smart switch that is connected to the lights?

I don’t recommend mixing the 2 smart and not smart. I know others have done it, just makes no sense to me.
That’s part of the beauty of it all. There are many ways to accomplish same results.

To answer your question a little better. You have to have a master smart switch. In most brands the master controls the load and the add on just signals the master that it was toggled.

I don’t think you can just use a add on switch to control your load then leave it wired to a dumb switch.

The GE add on Switch doesn’t have a radio in it and is invisible to SmartThings. It communicates to a GE master switch through Pulses over physical traveler wires. It won’t work with any other kind of switch, networked or non networked.

You should only use add-on switches with the master switches for which they are designed.

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Can anyone confirm that the newer GE zwave plus dimmers, the “add-on/remote switch” does not require a hot lead?

I have been using the Leviton DZ6HD-BZ1 dimmers but the remote switch (DD00R-DLZ) for some reason requires a hot lead and I have a switch box that I do not have enough wires to get a hot lead to it without running a new line. I had to use the second traveler line to carry the neutral to the second box.

I have setup the regular Leviton Zwave switches (DZ15S-1BZ) with their respective add-on/remote (DD0SR-DLZ) and these don’t require a hot lead, for some reason only the dimmer add-on does.

I even tried using a Leviton Z wave add-on switch with a Leviton Master dimmer but this did not work without the hot lead either.

GE Add-on Switch (will this work with only a neutral, ground and travler?

Have you had a chance to look at the GE three-way FAQ yet? It’s All going to depend on how the wiring is at your own house. There are several different possible configurations.

According to those diagrams the GE add-on switch does not require a hot or “line” feed. I can already get line, load, neutral, ground and traveler in one box for the master dimmer. The second box would only have traveler neutral, and ground.

I need to assemble a 3-way wiring, and I got my smart switch count wrong by 1 extra. Is it possible connect two smart switches (masters) in a 3 way, instead of using an add on? Unfortunately i can’t switch it at the store and I’m aware it is more expensive…

Unfortunately no

Got it. So, I better keep it as a single pole now and get an add on later…