GE In Wall Smart Switch Howto for older houses

So I bought the GE In Wall Smart Toggle Switch and I ran into a old wiring design.

So you have a old switched line that has a black, white and ground.

Don’t worry I can help you.

First you need to find out if the white is your load or the black is and the best way to do that is use a voltage tester and test from the ground to each white and black. The line that tested with 120 is your line (E). The other will be your line will be your load (D).

Now your neutral… if you don’t have a white neutral but you have a ground you can use that short 1 wire jumper from your ground screw and jump it to (G).

This will complete your wiring and will now work correctly. All 4 requirements are fulfilled.

Now switch the breaker back on and include it in your SmartThings hub.

You’re done.

Disclaimer: my house is very old and the electrical was done much differently. They you will know is when you remove the switch cover and pull out the switch and all you see is 1 cable with 3 wires, white, black and ground. They don’t do it that way anymore.

If you have more then 1 line coming into the switch box do not follow this HOWTO.

@navat604 and the other electrical experts in the community can say more, but you should not use a ground in place of the neutral. First, it won’t be to code, and second it won’t be safe.

Remember that your goal is not to get the single switch to turn on and off. It is to safely integrate the switch into your house’s electrical wiring.

See the FAQ on this topic:

There’s not much else we can say other than read the link @JDRoberts posted. Don’t use ground as your neutral. A fire or shock will be waiting if your GE failed.

1 Like

This is a old house that doesn’t run any neutrals inside a electrical switch. The neutrals are tied together between 3 round boxes. And the ground and neutral bar are attached to the same electrical box.

My electrian said in my case there were no issues if tied into the ground.

That’s the only place the ground and neutral are allow to be bonded together in an old house.

So my howto is right. Also the line that ran from my attic fan was done the old way where the neutral connected directly to the fan and then ran a line to the switch that was really the hot lead (black) even though I had a black and white wire. They don’t do this anymore.

Get a new electrician! Have the switch inspected and see what they say.

Sorry, you can’t connect the ground and neutral anywhere else. Only at the CIRCUIT BREAKER Panel and that’s only old house. Newer house doesn’t do this type of bonding. They separate them. It’s your house and it’s also your choice to make it safe and up to code so this is only an advice from me. Get a second licensed electrician or just call your local city for their opinion.