GE in wall smart switch won't turn on lights!

I installed a GE InWall Smart Switch Z wave Model 12722, and it appears on my app, Im able to turn the deice on and off remotely from my iPhone ( I can hear it click) BUT, it does not turn on or off the lights! It is a 2 way switch and they are ceiling mounted Halogen lights that were previously controlled by a 120V Dimmer switch with only 2 wires attached to it. I can only get the GE switch to work ‘turn on” ( the light turns blue) when I connect the Line and the Neutral. ( the Line and Load connections won’t turn the switch on , nor will the switch turn on the lights) There are only 2 wires coming out of the wall, and as i mentioned, it works fine when I reattach the old 120V Dinner Light Switch!

The other problem is that I have a 3 way Switch in another room. I can setup the switch so that the light turns blue,s but it, again, does not turn the light on! Do BOTH switches have to be a smart switch in a 3 way light?

And if I want a dimmer, do both of the switches have to be Smart Dimmer Switches, or only one?

Networked switches just work differently than nonnetworked switches. The switch has to always have a small amount of power or it can’t hear the next “on” command the comes over the network. But you still need to cut the load to the fixture. So you can’t just swap out what you have with the new network switch. You may actually have to change the wiring around a bit.

And your instincts are absolutely right, when you have a three-way switch, you have to replace the old auxiliary as well, otherwise it cuts off power to the new master.

It sounds like the best thing may be just to bring in an electrician. But in the meantime, read the FAQ, and it may help clear up a bit of the confusion (this is a clickable link)

Automated Switches: What should my wiring look like? (US Version)

No, just 1 is a smart switch and 1 is an accessory switch that is paired with it. GE sells them in"kits", or you can get them from Lowes in separate boxes. The Accessory switch is in the black box with grey packaging (I think), while the smart switch is in green packaging with a black box (I think). You can’t use those old switches you have.

Same answer as above.

You need three wires. 1 wire is the Neutral (very important), the other Line, and the other is Load.

Did you install the switch as described here (documentation tab)?

… and @JDRoberts post has got some very valuable info for you too (his replies tonight have been lightning fast and I can’t keep up!)

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In a Z wave three way, the auxiliary switch isn’t as smart, but it’s not the conventional auxiliary either. It’s easiest to use the matching one made to work with the smart master, or it may cut the current to it.

You definitely need the LINE, LOAD and NEUTRAL (along with GROUND) connected otherwise it either won’t power up the switch or the switch won’t power up what you are connecting to it.

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Do you have “Line” and “Load” reversed by chance? You said you could get the blue led to “cut on”.

To be clear the blue led is on when the switch is in the off state.

Also, G.E. switches will work without ground if need be. I recommend grounding however.

I took a look at some other switches in the house and they do not have the neutral. How complicated is it to add a neutral? I suspect pretty difficult. What does the neutral do anyway? Is there a smart lightbulb I can use and keep the switch always on?

Thanks. You have all been very very helpful.

I’ve done more reading and I’m a little confused. Is neutral the same as “ground”. While I only have a red and black wire coming out of the wall, there is a white wire included in the GE box. Is that intended for me to connect to the Neutral screw of the switch and the metal housing within the wall?? What is that white wire for??

Neutral is not the same as ground. Time to bring in an electrician. :sunglasses:

If you do want to go forward as a DIY project, and you live near a Home Depot, many offer classes on how to install light switches. This is a really good place to start even though they are not working with networked switches. You will learn a lot about how to safely work around wiring.

It’s also absolutely critical to understand that in the US wire colors are not mandated by code in most jurisdictions. Anybody can use any color, and many times people will just grab the last piece of wire in the box. You cannot go by wire colors alone. You have to know how to test each segment of each line and figure out why it’s in the circuit. So don’t just go by some Internet page that says “white means this” and “red means that”. At your house those might be reversed! Or you might have two white lines that do completely different things.

The following FAQ is a good place to get started on the concepts. But seriously, I would bring in an electrician or take a class before proceeding with any actual wiring.

The following FAQ about switch versus bulb should also be of interest. Bulbs are definitely easier to set up. :sunglasses:

I had to ditch an entire project of 12 zwave switches and additional Aux as I didn’t have the neutral and couldn’t justify the price of running additional wire in old sixties house. I mostly use hues and its friends, so I am more than happy with new dimmer remote/switch… What I was quoted to run neutrals to the switches I wanted was equivalent to gettting tons of more hues…

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Unless you are familiar with wiring, I’d highly recommend contacting an electrician. Neutral and Ground are very different. The instruction manual I provided above, and the one that comes with the switch is very good, and also explicitly calls out the need for a Neutral.

You guys are all terrific. Thank you. I took a closer look and the wires deep inside were white and I could only assume they were neutral. And (fortunately) they were. I hooked it up as you outlined and it worked. Thank you so very much.

For those of you who read this thread, know that it is important to connect the NEUTRAL AND THAT THE NEUTRAL IS NOT GROUND . I read that if you connect the neutral to the load, or to the electrical box it will work but IT IS VERY DANGEROUS. So, I did not do that.

The switches work as they are supposed to. Thank you!


They put a short white wire in the box with each GE switch for the purpose of connecting the neutral wire. It’s under the cardboard insert the switch is packed.

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