GE 3 Way switch wiring question


(John Morrison) #1

I have been replacing the switches in my house with the GE Smart switches, i have done about 12 and some have been 3 way configurations. All have worked with no issue, until the one i am working on now.

To start it is in a 3 Gang box with 3 circuits, one for my office and front hall lights, one for the lights in the living room, and the third (and problem one) is for a light over some stairs leading up to the second floor, this also controls the lights in my bonus room upstairs. I assumed it was like the others 4 i had done and wired it like the others. but when all done when i flip the breakers on, and use the switch for the stairs it flips the breaker for my living rooms lights off. the Box upstairs has 3 switches in it, for lights and a fan in the bonus room, i replaced these with GE smart switch and Fan controller, these work with no issues

So i flipped off the upstairs and put the Living room back on and everything downstairs works fine. I pulled the 2 switches for this light out and test each wire for power, thinking i had the wrong black wire for the line. I find downstairs I have a Black and Red with power (using a voltage detector) and upstairs the red wire has power. I am assuming the light is in the middle of the circuit and this is wired differently, and i have been looking for anything explaining to me how i can wire this to work with the GE/Jasco switches.

In both boxes there is 2 backs, 1 red, ground and neutral i can connect to.

Anyone know how this would be wired?


(Eric Anderson) #2

The light can’t be in the middle of the circuit, period.

Identify the live wire, line, into the box that powers your load(s), you probably are using the switched load wire as a line wire. Also you probably have a line wire leaving the box to go to other switches or sockets. Neutral wires should be tied together in almost all cases.
With duplex switches, depending on where you want to put the switch, you will need to run power to it using the existing four wire Romx bundle. I’m not an electrician, but I used the black wire to run power to the Zwave switch, and the red wire to run power back to the load, connecting the red wire to the load.


(Ray) #3

Refer to these 3 ways wiring. I think you have option 1 or 2. They are the same really. Of course this is just a guess but I would say your line hot is at the 3 gang box(master) and your load is at the other box (aux). One easy way for checking line hot and load is to look at the black common screw on both switches. One will be line hot and the other switch common will be load. Use your meter to confirm.


(John Morrison) #4

So i have disconnected both switches, the upstairs is a add-on, with both switches disconnected and the breaker on, there is no power on the black wires, but i still get a beep with a voltage tester on the red line. if i used the Multimeter correctly there is 50volts on it (been a long time sine i had to use one of those). downstairs the voltage tester beeps on both red and black lines with the breaker on.

flipping the breaker off i get no readings with the voltage tester in either box on any wire connect to that circuit.

Time for an electrician. unless someone has a clue WTH is happening.


(Ray) #5

I assume you are using a meter with a negative lead on neutral and positive on one of the black or red? The 50v usually caused by an open neutral. As for the beep. Any wire will beep if you have it close enough to a live wire. I think it’s time for an electrician.


(Bill) #6

Is it possible to us the Ge 3-way switches where you have wiring like in figures 5 &6, where the wires coming from the breaker goes through the fixture then to the switch?

Bill


(John Morrison) #7

I believe it should work, but in my case i brought in an Electrician to decipher what was going on. he installed my problem 3 way switch, and I also had him install another 12 switches for me. I had already done 14 over the previous weekend. What he did in 2 hours would have taken me at least a day, maybe more.

If you are unsure call an electrician in, it might cost you a few dollars, but it may also be cheaper if you consider how much your time is worth. Oh and it is a lot safer if you are unsure of how to wire something. He was impressed how easy these were to install, he had done some Lutron Smart switches and he thought they were a PITA to install.

John


(Ray) #8

It’s not possible. Unless there is a spare wire in the bundle. You need 3 wires coming down to the switch. Load, line hot and neutral. With that 2 options. There are only 2 wires. An Aeon micro will work at the light fixture.


(Bill) #9

Ray,

Thanks.
So, with the Aeon micro, I’ll still have use of the wall switches and also be able to control via Aeon Micro?

Bill


(Ray) #10

That’s correct. Full functionality of both switches and ST app. There is a nice drawing by a member here somewhere. I will link it when I have a chance to use my laptop.


(Rfg81) #11

Hi,

I tried to install these switches yesterday and I found myself with the same kind of problem. Looking at this site http://www.easy-do-it-yourself-home-improvements.com/3-way-switch-wiring-diagram.html I saw that I have the option #3 situation. Is there anything that can be done to have both switches working normally? Could I change something at the light fixture that would fix the problem?


(Ray) #12

Sorry about the long delay. Here is a link to that drawing. It’s at the bottom of that thread


(Ray) #13

With option #3. Get to the light fixture box. Connect all the white wires together. There should be 3 of them. This will now be your neutral.
Connect the black wire from your master switch to the black wire on your light bulb. This will be your load.
Cap both end of the black wire from you aux switch to the light fixture. You no longer need it.
The red will still be your traveler.
Hope that will help.

Edit : this is for GE switches


(Rfg81) #14

Hi, I created a task using the smart lighting smartapp to turn the light off through a GE switch if no motion is detected. But everytime I pass through the motion detection, it turns the light on and off in one second even if the light was already off. Someone knows why?


(Ray) #15

What does the log say? Maybe try reinstall the app. I would get support on this. They can look at your log and be able to fix it quickly.


(Rfg81) #16

I just reinstalled as you said and everything is good now. Thanks!


(Kp523) #17

So if the light is in the middle of the 3 way circuit then it can’t be wired up to these switches? Just wanted to make sure before I waist my time.


(Eric Anderson) #18

i think you are confused if you think the light is in the middle… wiring diagram would help…


(Ray) #19

It’s depend on where the line hot is and accessibility to the light fixture. Example would be if the light is on the middle of your 3 ways and the line hot is also coming to your light fixture first then it won’t work with GE switches but there is hope for Aeon micro switch if you have access to it.


(Stephen) #20

I have the setup that is illustration 9. here http://www.easy-do-it-yourself-home-improvements.com/3-way-switch-wiring-diagram.html How do I go about wiring this?