GE/Jasco 3-way smart switch kit bought from Lowes

Yesterday I bought one of these at Lowes and had a lot of trouble getting it working. The master worked just fine but the aux would not talk to the master. I went and bought another kit today and installed it. No problems. Here is what I found -

1 - Pull both old switches from the wall
2 - Find your Line in wire and mark it
3 - Turn off the breaker and REMOVE BOTH OLD SWITCHES
4 - Install the Master switch
5 - Install the Aux switch
6 - Turn on breaker and test the system.

NOTE Your setup may differ from mine. I only know this works for a setup like mine.

This is how my wiring is setup. I did not take pictures of my boxes while they were open.

It is important to install the kit like this

I troubleshot the old switch kit and this is what I found:

Old Master Resistance New Master Resistance
Ground - All = Open Open
Tr - N = 3.90 M ohms 1.03 M ohms
Tr - Ln = 2.59 M ohms 1.29 M ohms
Tr - Lo = Open Open
N - Ln = 1.07 M ohms 1.07 M ohm
N - Lo = Open Open
Ln - Lo = Open Open

Old Aux Resistance New Aux Resistance
Ground - All = Open Open
Tr - N = 14.35 M ohms 14.85 M ohms

Voltage of New switches while On - Voltages were identical on both the good and bad switches. The Old (bad) switch just didn’t work.
Master Lo - 120 vac
Master Ln - 120 vac
Master Tr - 120 vac
Master N - 8 vac

Aux N - 8 vac
Aux Tr - 120 vac

Voltages of New Switches while Off
Master Lo - 0 vac
Master Ln - 120 vac
Master Tr - 120 vac
Master N - 8 vac

Aux N - 8 vac
Aux Tr - 120 vac

The aux switch communicates with the master switch by reducing the Traveler Line resistance, thus changing the voltage on the line.

Here are some pictures. Yes @JDRoberts, I know there are not exactly the proper pictures… but they can give folks an idea… I’ll do better next time.

good info, thank you for posting this info

step zero: Take before pictures of the existing wiring first, including of the screw connections. :wink:

This is so that you can put things back the way they were, or at least start figuring out why they were the way they were, if you run into any bumps.

Sorry if there was any confusion I wasn’t saying that we needed to see pictures of what you have done. Just That the method should always start with taking pictures of what’s currently there and working.

And, yes, the next step is to test the current on every segment of every line to make sure you know what’s going on in the existing setup. You may need to change some things around to make the new switches work.

Most US jurisdictions do not mandate wire colors which is the colors can be anything. While white is usually a neutral and red is usually the traveler, I’ve seen a lot of white wire used for travelers. I’ve even seen a “master” switch that had four black wires on it and not one of them was the load line.

A lot of times people just grab the last piece of wire in the box. And some DIY people think they’re supposed to use just one color wire per switch. So you’ll find a switch with all white wires in the kitchen, and the upstairs bedroom will have a switch with all red wires. Or they’ll use the same mix of colors, but for different purposes.

So take before pictures, and test every segment, before actually starting the uninstall.

I’ll upload those in a bit… geesh… :scream:

Naw, he’s just letting you know you missed the most important step… Step 0

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Right: take pictures before you pull the old switches.

Also: no method, no matter how solid, will work for everyone. There are at least eight different ways to wire a three way, and the wires going into the old master switch box may not be the wires that you need going into the new master’s switch box.

The method described will probably work if the wiring of each of the three boxes is exactly what you need for the new set up. (although I’m surprised there’s 120 on the traveler connection, but what do I know?)

But if it happens that the load was coming out of the old second auxiliary, the method won’t work at all.

So it’s a good method, but not universally applicable. Because no method is.

Just sayin’…:sunglasses:

The traveler terminal on every 3-way GE switch I’ve bought has come with a big “NO 120V” sticker over it.

Further, the one time I accidentally ran 120 into the traveler terminal on one of them, I found myself back at Lowe’s for another switch a short time later.

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I agree that it’s not universal… but, the part that is universal… Remove both old switches and then install the new switches and then turn on the power.

I think this is where I screwed up.

Plus… the part about figure out all of the wiring first…

while it’s not universal… it’s still got the universal steps. That is what I was going for.

but… thanks for the constructive criticism… I’ll do better next time. :flushed:

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Not sure… This one is definitely GE but it also says Jasco on it.

I didn’t figure the voltage would be that high either… but it is.

Jasco is the manufacturer for all of the GE-branded zwave devices.

I didn’t know that. I had read about people comparing the two… Not much of a comparison… since they are the same.

Yeah, that was my bad. At first I thought it was a new Jasco competitor, not just a new Brand label on the same product.

( I use text to speech, so it’s hard for me to follow numeric tables, but unless I missed it you didn’t have a measurement for the old traveler voltage on and off? Just the new one? And even so, they’re different in a lot of setups.)

@Navat604 would know a lot better than me, I might be talking through my hat here. :smile:

Yeah, I thought that was an odd voltage as well. So, I disconnected the traveler from both switches and checked both ends to ground. Zero vac.
I then connected the traveler line to the Master switch. It was then 120 vac. The Master switch traveler line read 120 vac with or without a wire connected.

Yes, it is true that there are a ton of different configurations… I’m about to edit the original post to reflect that this will work for a setup like mine only, but may
work for others.

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No, the power on the aux line is coming from the master switch. After everything was connected and working right, I checked the aux voltage. That is when I disconnected the aux
line in both boxes. While disconnected there was 0 vac on the traveler line. At the same time there was 120 vac on the traveler screw connection on the master switch.

I figured it would be less voltage, but its not. This could be a cost and size saver. Stepping down the voltage takes a up room and generates heat. Running the system on the power
that is already available works really well.

When the remote switch is pressed, the voltage drop is not that large. I forgot to right write that down, but it’s not a whole lot.

Nothing to panic with measuring 120vac at the traveler of the master GE switch actually. You should get 120v volt there. I would be more worry about seeing any change in voltage when pressing the paddle on the master or the Aux switches. Maybe a couple of volts but not more.

"The aux switch communicates with the master switch by reducing the Traveler Line resistance, thus changing the voltage on the line."
Maybe internally of the master switch. You won’t see it at the traveler line. It should always be 120vac.

Edit : I better make this a little more clear on what I said just in case… measuring 120v at GE master terminal but DO NOT hook 120v to it. You will damage the switch. :grin:

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Yeah, I agree. I didn’t actually measure the voltage drop. What I measure was a change in resistance, which would of course create a voltage change that would be felt by the electronics in the master.

Hooking 120 to the traveler line is basically the same as hooking your car battery up backwards. Electricity does and will flow backwards destroying everything in its path. Especially diodes… They really hate that.


In a way. I would say the Aux is pretty much wired parallel to the paddle of the master. The master only cares if it’s a single press or long press(for dimmer switch). Very clear of GE for doing this cause you can have a 10 ways switch circuit with this if you want.