SmartThings Community

[FAQ] GE 3-Way Wiring


(Bryan) #223

Based on your picture, if both of your switches look like that then that suggests you have a power to the light situation. But your note about the black on one of the switches into another conduit suggests otherwise.

Please post pictures of both boxes with the switches pulled out. Make sure the entire box and whatever is in it is visible. That will help get things started.

(Pete L) #224

I wish i would have seen this page night. I’m pretty sure that while I didn’t stroke, it probably wasn’t very “healthy”. What I find amazing is the fact that I know more know after reading your paragraph may now than I ever did reading that garbage GE tries to pass off as instructions. Thanks for this, one I fully calm down, I’ll go after it again thanks to this.

(Warren) #225

Thanks Bryan, I appreciate the feedback. Will do on the information but probably not until the weekend. These switches are on a critical breaker for other things (of course).

(Warren) #226

More pictures attached. For reference, the first picture (sorry dark) is of the switch near the door, it’s the only switch in this box. Red and White wires go into one conduit on the left, Black into the conduit on the right. There is a neutral pigtail in this box, as well as the black pigtail from the left conduit. I’m guessing that is relevant since there is nothing else in this area of the house unless there is future wiring I’m unaware of.

Pic 1:

Pictures 2-4 are from the other switch which is part of a 3 gang box. The 3way I’m concerned with is on the right. The others are a single smart switch, and one side of another 3 way switch. Those share one circuit, not the same one as the 3-way setup I’m trying to replace.

In this box, the 3 way switch I want to replace has red/white/black wires all into the far right conduit. The other black wire coming from this conduit strings to the left and is in a pigtail with the orange wire (looks a bit brown in the pic) that goes back into the far left conduit. Any idea what this might be?

There is a neutral pigtail and a black wire pigtail (line for the other 2 switches).

PIcs 2-4:

Thanks again!

(Bryan) #227


For the single gang box you have a 2 wire on the right. Is the black on that 2-wire always hot? (pull it from the switch). Also, is it connected to the black terminal on the switch? Pictures of that switch with the electrical tape removed might help.

I would ordinarily think you have power coming into the box on that two-wire, but I’d expect to see the red and black from the three-wire connected to the switch, with the white bundled. There are scenarios where a white would be connected to a switch, but it would be a white from a 3-wire.

Curious to see what @ritchierich thinks.

(Warren) #228

Thanks Brian. This is the switch from the single gang. The electrical tape is on the one in the 3 gang box.

When you say always hot, do you mean if it’s connected to the panel? (Line)

FWIW with respect to code, I’m in Vancouver, Canada. Built in 2016.

(Michael) #229

The extra wires could be load or line, we need to figure that out. Notice on your dumb switches there is a black screw. That is common and one switch will have line and the other will have load. But this doesn’t mean that line or load is in this box, more on this later. With lights off, use a multimeter and put one probe on the black common screw on one of the switches and the other on ground. Repeat for the other switch. One switch black screw will have 120v, let me know which.