GE Jasco 12723/12724 4 way switch install only working on 2 switches


(Chris) #1

I’m trying to install a 12724 dimmer switch along with two 12723 add-on switches in a circuit that’s connected to 3 different ceiling lights. I believe I have everything wired correctly, and the two end switches (12724 at one end and 12723 at another) both are working correctly. The switch that’s at the 4-way location doesn’t do anything, however. In that box there are 2 twisted whites in the back of the box, two black, two red, and ground. I did the same that I had done with the other add-on switch and twisted the blacks together, put a jumper on the neutrals in the back of the box to the switch, and connected the two red travelers to the switch, along with ground.

In troubleshooting, I disconnected all wires at the 4-way location and only the main dimmer switch then had the blue light on it, but no lights or switches worked (as expected). Once I connected the two blacks together in the 4-way box, the main switch worked to control the light, but the other aux switch did not work (as expected with travelers not connected at the 4-way). Once the reds were connected, both the main and other aux switch worked, but the one at the 4 way still doesn’t. Any ideas on what could be the issue? It’s a brand new house if that helps with wiring possibilites.


(Josh McPhee) #2

I just did this, same switches and new house. I had an aux switch go bad. Did you swap aux switches to confirm not a bad switch? I’m assuming it was a 4-way prior to you adding switches.


(Chris) #3

I did swap the two aux switches and still had the same issue at the 4 way box location. I could try again just to make sure I didn’t confuse them when I had them both disconnected, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wiring at the moment. Is there anything I could look for while I have the wires disconnected? I have a multimeter if voltage readings would tell me something more.

Care to share your wiring steps, assuming they’re the same that I might need?


(Josh McPhee) #4

If you connect all the wires in the 4-way box (no switch) does the aux switch work?


(Josh McPhee) #5

How was it originally wired?

Power at Light

Power at switch

Or split


(Josh McPhee) #6

I would start with getting the main switch to work without any aux switches attached. From there confirm the neutral in each of the boxes where the aux switches will be going. Attach switches to the neautral and traveler and it should work.


(Michael) #7

Maybe this post of mine from December will help you:


(Josh McPhee) #8

Great post, was your wiring power source at fixture or power source at switch. Unfortunately wire colors are irrelevant unless that is known, granted most are at switch but not always.


(Michael) #9

Power source (line) was at the switch, box 1 in that example.


(Chris) #10

I thought that it was power at the switch, but I suppose it could be the split option above also. It’s a switch with a light at the bottom of the steps, then two switches at either end of the hallway at the top of the stairs and two more lights up there. Line in appears to be coming to the box at the bottom of the steps where I have the (working) dimmer installed. If it’s the power at the switch option, would my wiring choice be correct, and if it’s the split option, I’d have to wire differently at the 4-way location?


(Chris) #11

Actually, I pulled the box with the dimmer installed in it and it’s not quite how I thought it was when I wired it. If you look at the picture:

  1. The line in to the dimmer switch is white and 120v whether the switch is on or not, which I think means that switch isn’t the first in the circuit.
  2. The red traveler wire is also 120v whether the switch is on or not.
  3. The neutral wire shows minimal voltage whether the switch is on or not.
  4. The load wire shows a few volts (LED lights dimmed low) when switch is on and minimal when switch is off.

Can I keep this dimmer switch here, or does it need to be where the original line from the breaker comes into this circuit? I can’t mess with the other two switches right now since people are sleeping in the rooms next to each, but does this change anything on the wiring suggestions?


(Stephen) #12

It needs to be in the box where the power comes in to. Also, in theory, this should be the box that has a load line running to the light(s). If it is wired correctly and in the correct box, then the lights will work with the other two switches disconnected and none of the wires joined together. This diagram might help (its not mine).


(Chris) #13

Alright, thanks. I’ll have to pull them all and test which one still has a hot line to the box. The fact that I can get the two on the ends to work fine is what confuses me, since the 4 way one has to be in between the two, meaning the wiring should be the same unless it heads up to one of the lights before coming back down to the 4 way.


(Josh McPhee) #14

1st, full disclaimer. I’m not a electrician, licensed or non licensed.

If it were me I would probably remove all the switches and untwist all the lines. From there, I would test for the hot line and tone out (non hot) lines to confirm current wiring and where and how they were run. If HOT(LINE) is WHITE logic would lead me to believe power is at fixture, if HOT (LINE) is black I would assume power is at box. Using that knowledge along with NEC wiring standards and what was learned from toning out the wirings I would draw up all my wire runs, boxes, fixtures etc. After that it should just be a matter of installing new switches following manufacturer instructions.

I personally would install the main in the gang box with the HOT(LINE) but depending on the wire runs could install in one of the other boxes.


(Josh McPhee) #15

Also due to the size of the GE Z-Wave switch a loose connection in the gang box is entirely plausible if a switch isn’t working, not to mention I’m in total agreement with JD Roberts previous post regarding GE Z-Wave switches. I still use them…but have experienced a couple failures.


(Chris) #16

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to have some time Wednesday or Thursday to mess around with them, so I’ll try pulling all three and finding which one is actually hot from the breaker and starting there with the master dimmer. I could also test continuity to see if the wires really are coming from where I think.

When I first installed these three and flipped on the breaker, I went to switch 1, worked, switch 2, worked, thought it couldn’t be this easy, switch 3 at the far end of the hall… Nothing. Turns out I was right.


(Chris) #17

Alright, I had a chance to pull all the switches and try to test for the line in and continuity between the switches, and I’m left even more confused now. It appears that line from the breaker comes in at the 4-way on the white, and I’m not sure the 4-way box has a neutral wire in it. There are two 14/3 wires going into the 4-way box. One runs to the switch at the bottom of the steps and the other I’m guessing goes through the light(s) to the other switch at the top of the steps? I can get continuity between the two upstairs on each wire except for the white (line) at the 4 way. Any ideas on how the line from the breaker could be coming in to the 4-way box with only two 14/3 wires coming in there? I have it all wired back up without the switch at the 4-way being wired up and it’s working fine at the other two switches.


(Michael) #18

Does this match your wiring? If so you have no neutral and smart switches won’t work since power is coming through the light.


(Bruce Robertson) #19


This is how mine is wired. I was scratching my head at first, because I thought I knew where the power would be entering the circuit from the breaker box. After diagramming what I had, I realized I was going to have trouble.

My plan is to disconnect the “line” from the light (black and white), wire nut it to a new wire from the light (which is on the ceiling of the upstairs, which has an unfinished basement above) to JB1 (junction box on the left above), essentially redirecting it so the “line” enters at JB1. There, line “white” will wire nut to white from JB2, white jumper to the 12724 smart dimmer neutral terminal, and white back to the existing 14/2 that was already running to the light. Red for the traveler to JB2, which then continues along with neutral to JB3.

I am pretty sure this works. This should be a fairly short cable run, but getting it into the junction box will be fun. At least it’s not an exterior wall, so I should not need to fight with insulation (except for the 10 or 12 inches of blown insulation in the basement.

Sounds fun, right?


(RT) #20

I’m about to install the GE 12722 and two GE 12723 add-ons in my 4 way set up. From the looks of things my wiring at the 4-way matches the “power at the light” diagram (two white, two red attached to switch, with two black wires wire-nutted). However I DO have a neutral in the box from another switch (that controls a different light) that’s in the same junction box. My plan is to tap that as the neutral. I’m not sure tho about the rest of the wires and how to use them. Can this work for me, or does your statement “if so you have no neutral and smart switches won’t work” still apply?