SmartThings Community

[FAQ] GE 3-Way Wiring



If your power line and neutral are by the light fixture you won’t be able to use the Zooz switches or any Z-Wave switches we know of (except for the dimmer modules from Fibaro or Aeotec).

(Sy Raz) #143

Alright, I am at lost and need help. I am trying to install Leviton DW15 with remote ( three-way ). At the hot box I have Black, White, Red and one black and white tied together and on the second location, I have Black, Red, and White.

(Michael) #144

@Syfy14 as mentioned in your other post your options are very limited since you don’t have a neutral in either of your switch boxes. See the “Other wiring configurations that are not supported with GE 3-way switches” section in the first post for your options.

(Sy Raz) #145

Thank you. I believe Lutron Caseta will work for me.
Thank you

(Ilir Lako) #146

First, thanks for putting together this FAQ page. I’ve learned a lot just by reading the posts. After all this reading I felt confident enough that I can figure out which set up I have. After opening up the boxes, I am not quite sure which set up I have. I believe it is “Light between switches #1” but the electrician who wired my house must have done something funky because the colors don’t quite match.

In the secondary, it is strange that the white wire is connected to the black screw. I tested it and that wire does not have power. The black and red get power one at a time depending on the switch positions when off. My guess is that the white neutral wire goes to the light and somehow completes the circuit.

In the primary I have two sets of 3 wire cables. One black goes to the black terminal and is wrapped in tape. It is the line and I also tested it. A black and red go out as switch wires and I am assuming are the same ones that end up in the secondary. The weird thing is that there is a red coming into the box which is capped together with the white going out of the box.

My secondary box looks the same as @Chris_Rollison post from Feb 11

Any help with my set up is greatly appreciated.

(Michael) #147

Please post a picture of the wires in the box. The picture doesn’t include the other white wire and what it is hooked up to. Unfortunately there are no standards of wire color in the US.

(Ilir Lako) #148

The other white wire is capped with a white wire from another unused switch. This box used to have 2 switches, but that light has been removed.

Three sets of wires on the top. Middle set is from the removed switch.
The left set has the black line (wrapped in tape) go into the black terminal of the switch, white line capped with another neutral and red line capped with white line going out.

Right set of wires has black and red connected to the brass terminals and the white line capped with the red from the left set.

(Michael) #149

Does this happen to power or used to power a ceiling fan? I suspect you don’t have light between fixture and that you have line and load in the first box. Typically in ceiling fan installations you run 14-3 so you can switch fan and light separately, hence the red being hooked up to the white wire which is sending the load to your other switch black screw where first switch black wire on black screw is your line from breaker.

You can follow the “line-switch-load-switch-1” instructions above where the red wire hooked up to the white wire if your load. Black wire with tape is your line.

(Ilir Lako) #150

There is no fan in this setup at all. The lights are in the basement. The switch with just one set of wires is on top of the stairs, and the other switch with lots of wires is at the bottom of the stairs.

(Michael) #151

Disconnect the taped black wire from the switch and verify that the white bundle and that wire have power as I suspect that is your line. The red wire currently hooked up to the white wire should be your load. You can verify this with a single on off switch by hooking up the taped black wire and this red wire to see if the light turns on. If so then you have all wires in this box to make the “line-switch-load-switch-1” instructions work.

(Ilir Lako) #152

Thanks @ritchierich. I am going to give that a try.
To help clarify for myself I drew out what my wires look like.

Wire 1 should be Line
Wire 3 should be Load
Wires 6, 7 and 8 I am assuming end up respectively as 10, 9 and 11 in the other switch

Wires 4 and 5 are from the previous one pole switch that has been removed.

(Ilir Lako) #153

And wire the smart switches like this. I have left Ground out of the picture because that one is very clear.
The black wire does not get used.

(Michael) #154

This looks correct to me. You could just put both white wires into the switch vs a pigtail since there are two slots. Make sure you cap the unused wires.

(Ilir Lako) #155

I was able to complete wiring of the smart dimmer and the add-on switch based on the suggestions above. Thank you again @ritchierich for all your help.

(Jon) #156

My electrician has told me that I have some dead end 3 way circuits. Does the GE smart dimmer switch work for these? I’ve not had any luck getting the add-on switch to function properly.

(Bryan) #157

I’m still trying to get my head around this, but I think that one of the Leviton switch (DZS15) and remote may work. It only needs one of the travelers, allowing you to route a neutral over the other.


So I have an issue. I currently am trying to wire GE Smart Dimmer Switch and 3 add-ons. I currently have 2 3-way switches and 2 4-way switches.

  1. Switch 1 (single gang) looks like has a white wire that is now wired into my common and no neutral.


  1. How do I determine if the wires at my switches are neutrals, lines, and loads.
  2. How do I determine if my circuit line goes to the light box first?

Pictures of light switches

I THINK my wiring diagram is like this but I am not sure. I am willing to buy a multimeter to measure current if I have to.


Unfortunately, the short of it is you don’t have a neutral available. In the diagram above, you have power from the breaker entering at the light. The issue is the 2-wire run from the switch to the light. You’d need three wires there to add a neutral to the switches.


So in theory, if I was able to drop a 14/3 from the light to the switch that has a 2 wire, I could possibly make this work?


That is correct, or pull another wire from the same circuit into one of the switch boxes.

As a note, there are other options than GE switches.