Duplex Switch Help (Leviton VRCS2-MRZ)

Give me the exact model number of your non-contact detector. I’ll look at the manual. [quote=“jt114881, post:14, topic:50935”]
Would the gang box for the recessed lighting be under the light itself? I can’t think of any other place it could be unless it is hidden behind a wall.
It is up in the light itself. If you do a search on recessed can you’ll see what I mean or take a look at one at your local HomeDepot or Lowes.

If it were me, I would take down the hanging lights to see how they wired up my lights there first because those are standard boxes you can easily get to and photograph. Then you could take off wire nuts to isolate and confirm everything from where is the hot coming from, etc. and what did they pass down to the switch. By doing this we could see how you are getting this weird voltage. on both lines from.

Not sure what you were trying to find out by joining the whites together? The romex (black, white, ground) is your switch leg to one light circuit. You inadvertently connected to separate lighting circuits together. Since they both are fed by the same circuit and that both are switch legs only it wasn’t a safety issue but if you were trying to manually trigger your LED lights you need to join the black and white of the same romex.

It shouldn’t hurt a thing but I am assuming that your electrician used a typical installation. Disconnect the wires off the switch. When you get your volt-ohm-meter you can measure the AC volts from the black to the neutral(from adjoining box) and you should see the 110V. Measure again from the same romex but the white wire back to the neutral and you should see 0V.

This is it here:

Model # NCVT-3R
Non-Contact Voltage Tester with Flashlight

There is also a possibility that they go to a junction box in the ceiling - then to the individual pot lights. Though I thought I heard there is no other box.

If more than one light, and no j-box,they probably use the attached box on 1 light, then daisy chain to the others.

Again - get a VOM - even the Harbor Freight free one :slight_smile: will work for this. Or a simple test light (just not a neon bulb one) .

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According to this video review this model isn’t suited well for what we want. See at 4:15 time mark In a different review where he compares several models he prefers the Klein Tools NCVT-1 for what we are doing. That being said we need a volt-ohm-meter with readout so a cheap model will do from your local Harbor Freight as @Paul_Haskins suggested.

When testing for voltage, you measure each wire with respect to? Ground?

Neutral is (usually) not run through breakers, you should be fine using neutral from the adjacent receptacle, plus you’ll be using it solely to power a z-wave switch, not the lights themselves.

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Sounds good I will pick up a voltage tester today. Like ady said, do I just touch one side of the tester to the black or white wire and the other side to ground? What voltage am I looking for on each line that will allow me to differentiate?

I will also be pulling the first light of the ceiling to see what is behind it when I get home.

Yep -plenty of U-tube explanations as well. Good way to check yourself, set it on AC voltage and put the probes into any receptacle. Should be 110 - 122 ( + - ) .

Using the receptacle, set the voltmeter to AC, plug one of the probes in the ground hole and the other one in one of the two pin holes. One should show 100+V, the other should show around 0V. The one that shows around 0V is your neutral. Neutral should be on the left, the one made for the wider prong. Once you found your neutral, plug one probe into that hole and then using the other probe, touch the 4 wires one by one and write down your findings. Voltage is a difference between two potentials, so you need a “reference” potential and that’s your neutral. In many (old?) houses, ground is physically connected to neutral, but should not be used as a neutral, it is for “safety” purposes only.

If you live near a Home Depot, many have classes on how to install a light switch where you can learn a lot about wiring and how to use the various tools.

They don’t usually cover networked switches, but if the switch model you are buying is also carried by Home Depot, the instructor will often help you research that a little further as well.

I’m glad your experiment with the two white wires didn’t cause any problems but, seriously, don’t do that. :scream: Never connect two wires when you don’t know exactly what the expected outcome will be.

Your wife standing by with a fire extinguisher isn’t going to help if you either a) electrocute yourself or B) start a fire inside the wall. Fire (or heat causing fire) can travel along interior wall wiring and be in another room before you even realize it.

Here is a picture of the first hanging lamp that appears to be the primary. Note the white wire tied into the black wires.

Confirmed, the two black wires are about 5v each and the two white wires are about 110v each.

I took out the nice camera and took some pics of the boxes as well as the test I did (that did not work)

I wired the black wire from the VRC to the two white wires that were 120v on the meter, and put a wire nut on all 3.
I ran a wire to the nearby neutral of the junction box and connected it to the white wire of the VRC
I connected the the blue and red wires to one of each of the black wires.

I didn’t get anything on the switch, no lights nothing. Could it have something to do with that white wire that is capped with the other two black wires in the first hanging light?

Great, OK just like I did in the past, to keep communications clear we need to label each light fixture and match it with the pics. Same with the wires. I don’t know which light box I am looking at. The first light box picture we will call LB1. That is the one that looks to have your line power (blk)/neutral (wht) as well as a red and blue? We need to find where those go/comes from. So I see you have a VOM. Did you verify the black/white romex to be the incoming breaker power up at LB1?

I will test now by disconnecting all the lights and seeing which wires are hot, but the first picture (LB1) looks like the box with the hot wire.

First light box is the hot box. The black wire that is twisted to the white wire is the hot wire.

Nope. That white wire is the switch leg going down to your counter switches and is always hot. One of the blacks is the incoming power from the breaker panel, the other black is line power going out to the next device in your circuit most likely your recessed sink light. As we found out nothing is on the switch because the neutral isn’t working for us from the adjacent outlet because there is a GFCI in that circuit.

So here is what we know:

  • The whites at the counter switch boxes are the line voltage in to the wall switch that comes from the power located in ceiling gang box B1 above the amazon box in the picture
  • You must have a neutral for your VRCS2. The closest is in the adjacent outlet. After lots of testing the reason for all your trouble tonight was the neutral from the nearby outlet box is not going to be acceptable due to that circuit being on a GFCI protected circuit and is being tripped.
  • The next nearest neutral is right below the sink that runs the disposal and dishwasher. So if you choose you could run a neutral wire from that outlet under the sink and hide the wire from view by following the same route to the dishwasher. Once there go up below the countertop and punch a small hole. You will need to try to fish that neutral up several inches to the switch box above the countertop. Or try fishing the wire down from the switch box down to the hole you made behind the dishwasher.

We would like to know:

  • I still don’t know why you are getting 5v on your black return switch leg from the LED. The next time you get a chance, take out the LED bulbs from the hanging lights and see if this 5v signal goes away on black wire at the counter switch.
  • Where is red wire at the ceiling light box wired to and going to? Is it from the middle hanging light box B2? I see a red wire in only that picture and I need to know where the other end is if that is connected or a spare.
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One more interesting thing, and this may be due to the 5v on the line, when the switch is “off” the hanging lights still glow faintly. This does not happen with the recessed ceiling light.

There aren’t any red wires it’s a combination of bad lighting and horrible cell phone pictures.

Edit: Oh, it looks like a picture of my fan light was accidentally included in the group I posted, I apologize!

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Doing some research I have found that because each of my hanging lights only uses a 5w LED light: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0191G6TR6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

There may not be enough load on the switch for it to completely turn the lights off. Because of this I will need to install a “dummy load”.

It may be cheaper for me to just get higher wattage bulbs.

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I have one more complicated switch. If you guys aren’t sick of me yet haha: 3 Way Switch Help (GE 12722)