GE 12722 doesn't fit-too deep

Just got this smart switch- the depth was too much too fit in the electric box. The walls are concrete and I can’t go any deeper. Are there any other z-wave switches that have less depth- the same as a standard switch?

The GE switches are typically among the deepest of the available of zwave switches. Usually 3 inches deep. You can see this in the Amazon reviews.

Zwave switches do need to have room for the radio, and they do run a little deeper than typical nonnetworked switches, but it does vary by brand and model.

I think the Coopers are among the thinnest, but there are other zwave models as well that are thinner than the GEs and less expensive than the Coopers. (The Coopers are my personal favorites, but they’re just really well engineered, and you are paying extra for that quality.)

The Home Depot site will list the complete dimensions for switches, so it’s a good place to check.

Note that the GE is the only brand that offers a traditional toggle, though, I think all of the others are rockers.

Another option is the micro relays like Aeotech, which sometimes fit better just because you have more choice of placement in the box.

Box sizes

I’m not an electrician, but my understanding is that in US, the code required depth of a device box varies depending on the number of wires that will be coming into it. So a new box may be required by code to be anywhere from 2 1/2 inches to 4 inches. And Ray notes below that older houses may have even shallower boxes. They’re all “standard.”

@Navat604 and the other electrician experts in the community Would know more.

Thank you! I will check them out! Are the thinner ones the same size as standard ones?

I believe they’re all the same width and height as decora switches. But the depth does vary. However, it’s always best to check the exact specifications for each model you’re interested in.

Ok. The issue I have is just the depth. It needs to be the same as a standard switch. Thx again.

As I mentioned, US code does not define a specific depth for a “standard” switch. Some variation is allowed, and new boxes may vary in-depth between 2 1/2" and 4".

So you need to measure the depth of the box that you have where you want to put the switch, and then check the exact dimensions of any switch you’re interested in buying.

The GE switches that are 3" deep will fit in a standard 4 inch box. But not in a standard 2 1/2 inch box. So the details matter.

@JDRobert pretty much answered your question. The older house goes as low as 1 1/2". I know leviton is pretty small. Most switches have the same standard mounting holes so it will fit in pretty much all light box. Just width and depth are different.

Leviton switch.

If that doesn’t fit then your other option is an Aeon micro with an Aeon touch panel.

Micro switch.

Touch panel

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Yep- very helpful- I appreciate it!

So which Cooper light switch is compatible with ST? I dont see them listed.

Coopers aren’t on the official list. The dimmers should work as dimmers. There’s a community-created device type for the battery operated one which is quite popular.

Thanks! Can you list model #'s or reference a website with ones we can use on ST?

There are people using the RF9501 as a standalone switch, no problem. As I mentioned, there’s a community device type for the RF9500. If you were going to use a three-way configuration, SmartThings has some issues with sync:

So it really comes down to your specific use case. I’m definitely not saying coopers are the best for everybody using SmartThings. Smartthings does not support some of the zwave advanced features that some other controllers do so that it can treat Zwave and Zigbee devices in a similar fashion. A least common denominator kind of thing. That’s good in the sense that it makes it easy to mix zwave and Zigbee devices into the same group commands. But you do give up some features to get there.

the code in the US IIRC is 2 cubic inches per #14 conductor. it’s a smidge more complex what’s a conductor. NOT A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN but i think basically a the white, black, and ground conductors each count as one. The switch counts as 2. So you have 5 conductors at 2 inches each- total of 10 inches is all that is needed. End game is in concrete walls there’s some screwy shallow boxes in play that are legal, and are NEVER going to eacily fit a zwave switch.

I’m not at all positive how these work as I dont have any myself- but looks like you can put this in the light fixture’s box in stead of the switches box and then use a standard skinny switch to remotely control the z wave device that is in the (HOPEFULLY) larger box where the outlet, light, etc is mounted.


Thanks for trying to help- the micro dimmer wouldn’t fit in the box- there’s only room to pull the standard one out and put the same size smart switch in. I’m enclosing a picture of a standard Lutron switch I have, as well as a smart one-which doesn’t fit. I measured the standard one and it’s 1.5 inches in depth from the front of the metal plate. I want a z-wave on/off the same depth as the standard- no dimmer needed.

the micro dimmer would NOT go in the switch’s box.

Rather, my understanding is, you put the micro dimmer in the box downstream of the switch that the light is mounted to/in (which hopefully has more room). NOT AN ELECTRICIAN and dont have a micro gizmo to try- so confirm on your own… but…

Based on my understanding of how the micro gadget works, and it all depends on how the wiring is but in a perfect world, currently (ignoring grounds as they should be everywhere and all connected together) your power, and neutral currently enter the box that the light is mounted to. The neutral is connected to the light but the power is connected to a two conductor which goes to the switch and then from the switch comes back and powers the light. With a shallow box that’s pretty typical as it allows the least amount of conductors in the shallow box. If it were to be wired differently you would have more conductors in the box, which would then require more cubic inches, and you would have more room and wouldn’t be jumping through these crazy hoops as it is.

Assuming that describes your current wiring- then, you could hypothetically go to the light fixtures box and put the micro dimmer in there. You would connect the hot and neutral from the incoming line to the microdimmer. from the micro dimmer you run a new hot and neutral to the light. Then on the side of the microdimmer you connect the two wires that run to the switch.

You would make no change to the existing switch. The skinny existing switch just sits there as it does today.

If i’m not clear- and i’m probably not- lol- look up the instructions for that gizmo and hopefully it has wiring diagrams to help you.

again not a licensed electrician- if you aren’t 100% sure and understanding would probably be best not to guess based on my post but rather hire someone.

PS- there’s different versions of the gizmo- i think there’s a dimmer, a on/off switch, and then versions of each that include energy monitoring too.

Just a FYI…they can be mounted in wall as long as a neutral is available

In wall installation manual

I had a similar issue and I ordered this product, it works very well.

Interesting- thx. I need 3 gang- will check!

Any pictures? How does this look? What kind of faceplate would you use? One that fits exactly, or an oversized faceplate?

Would this look okay in a family room or dining room?

Lastly, this is plastic, the boxes that are shallow in my house or the older metal boxes, since they are metal no need for ground wire, with these I would need to make sure to use a ground wire to the smart switch. I think?

i believe regardless if the box is metal or plastic that current code requires a ground to wire connected to every device (switch, outlet, whatever)…

Is there a ground wire in the box that goes to a screw in the back of the box? IF not can you see if the wire is non-metallic sheathed or some sort of metal clad? If there’s no-ground to the box you might have bigger issues…