Enbrighten Zigbee 43076 no air gap?

So we had a power surge a couple days ago and I got the Jasco/GE fast blinking blue light of death on my old Jasco . Checked around on the web for a fix and realized probably time to just replace my 12722. I know people talked about the warranty being extended to 5 years, but I think I am about 6 months past that, so it had a good run. While I was reading for a solution I saw all the horror stories about the connected light blinking on and off at the same pace as the LED and considered myself lucky. Neighbor down the street lost their fridge so even more lucky.

Fast forward to me having just installed the replacement Enbrighten 43076 (swapped from z-wave to zigbee by the way) and checking out my handy work. . . .and then I realized there is no air gap. Is that really true or am I losing my mind? Seemingly having dodged a bullet with this issue it makes me feel kind of nervous that I would have to kill the whole circuit at the box to power off this one switch.

Is that something you have to do often?

I’ve got about 40 smart switches from Zooz, Leviton, and GE/Jasco including 10 of the new GE Zigbee 3.0 devices. The only one I’ve needed to air gap in the last year was one of the Leviton Z-wave dimmers.

Of all my devices, most (possibly all) the dimmers have an air gap switch. The only switch I have that has one is a GE Enbrighten 2.0 Z-wave model.

So it seems the air gap is uncommon in switches. I’m sure @JDRoberts can explain any electrical code requirements behind this.


I don’t know of any any NEC requirements for regular residential light controls to have an air gap. But I’m not an electrician, I just mostly remember what I read. :sunglasses:

There is a safety requirement under UL 1472 that some dimmers have to have a visible air gap so that the person working on the fixture knows that the switch is off, which isn’t always obvious with a Dimmer.

In this particular case, GE 43076 is a binary on/off switch, not a dimmer, so the airgap is not required.

I know in some ways that doesn’t really make any sense because it’s a momentary switch, and you can’t tell by looking at it if the switch is actually off, but the short answer there is that the code has not kept up with the technology. Their current argument is that if you press it off, it does turn off. Whereas with a dimmer you can turn it down low enough that the bulb does not illuminate without actually turning it off.

Eh. :thinking:

When working with smart lighting controls it’s best to turn it off at the circuit breaker because there are so many different ways to turn it back on.


I think air gaps are only on dimmers since they tend to leak some current.

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I just looked at an older Jasco on/off switch and it doesn’t have an air gap either. The rest of the switches in my house are dimmers. So seems that’s the answer. I would never work on a switch without killing the breaker, but I do find very convenient to power cycle with the air gap vs the breaker so you don’t interfere with everything else on the circuit. Even more so when I read about what can happen when these switches go bad, it sounds ideal to be able to kill the one switch until you can replace it vs having to kill the whole circuit until you can replace it.