GE Smart Dimmer 4-Way switch, 2 add on switches, Smart Fan switch, so confused by current wiring

Hello, I am trying to install new GE smart dimmer (4-Way I guess, there are 2 add-ons), and a GE smart fan control. My living room also has another switch for separate lights. So I have one box that has 4-Way switch, fan switch, and another light switch.

They are no standard light switches, they are Cooper dimmer switches ( ASPIRE 600W Incandescent, Halogen, MLV, Smart Dimmers - 9534), that I guess are just pre-smart, I bet they were very expensive when they were put in before I bought the house. Here’s a link:

I tried wiring the new GE switches, but how they are currently wired is really weird. See attached photos, it all looks like that all 3 switches (4-Way light, fan, and light) are all interconnected. How does that even work?

How do I figure this out?

Please see markings on your photo:

You have line from breaker, load to all three fixtures, and neutral in this box. Assume you are referring to the right switch that is the 4 way that you want to replace?

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Thank you so much for the reply!
This is a DIY project, and I haven’t been able to find something online that describes my situation. Your input is really appreciated. The instruction manual for example doesn’t cover my situation.

There are a total of 6 lines going into the box. What has me scratching my head is how it seems they’re all connected to each other. I am replacing the 4-Way dimmer and the fan switch with new GE smart. I’ve also posted what the other 2 switches look like.

Thank you!!

You’ve actually got a pretty standard setup honestly. Only difference I see is the electrician uses the red wire for common/line versus black on your 4 way. Code in the US doesn’t require specific colored wires for neutral, line, or travelers. Much of this is discussed in this thread:

But here is what you need to do, will teach you how to fish along the way. I will call the 3 gang box 1, the single gang with your 4way switch (one with two Romex wires) box 2, and your other single gang with a single Romex box 3.

Box 1:

  • Lets start with the fan because its easy:
    • The bottom wire on the current switch is your line from breaker. I know this because that wire is hooked into a bundle of wires that go to the other switches and connected to Romex 3.
    • Hook this black wire into the line terminal on your fan switch.
    • The top black wire, from Romex 1 is the load to fan, hook this up to the load terminal on the fan switch.
    • Add 2 short white pigtail wires to the bundle of white wires. Each will be the neutral on smart switches - 4 way and fan.
    • You are done.
  • 4 Way switch:
    • Line 3 is your line from the breaker.
      • I know this because you will see several wires connected via wire nut that all go to each switch, except the 4 way.
      • With 4 way, notice the red wire from Romex 4 is hooked into this same wire nut and if you look at Box 2 you will see the red wires bundled, and in Box 3 the red wire is hooked up to the “common” wire on that switch.
      • With 3+ way switches one 3 way switch (ones with 3 wires versus 4 - Boxes 1 and 3) will have the line from breaker and the other will have load. In cases where load and line are in same box, like Box 1, the line is often sent to the other switch like is done in your case via the red wire.
      • Remove the red wire from Romex 4 from the bundle, this will become your traveler on your GE master switch. Hook it up to the traveler terminal on the master switch.
      • Add a short black pigtail wire to this bundle and that will be the line on your master switch.
    • Use the other white pigtail wire you added to the white bundle of wires for the neutral on the master switch
    • The GE switches have 2 holes for each terminal, hook up the white wire of Romex 4 into the other hole of the neutral. This will “send” neutral to the aux switches.
    • The black wire of Romex 5 is your load, put this into the load terminal on your master switch.
    • Put a wire nut on black wire of Romex 4 as you no longer need it.

4 Way Box 2:

  • Put wire nuts on both black wires as you no longer need them
  • Connect both white wires to the neutral terminal on your Aux switch.
  • Connect both red wires to the traveler terminal on your Aux switch.

4 Way Box 3:

  • Put a wire nut on the black wire as you no longer need it
  • Connect the white wire to the neutral terminal on your Aux switch.
  • Connect the red wire to the traveler terminal on your Aux switch.

For future reference in case you ever want a switched light on your fan, the red wire of Romex 1 in Box 1 that you see in the picture in the upper left side should be going to the fan box as well. You would need to hook up that wire to the fan light and install a switch or relay in Box 1 to make it work.

Enjoy the smart switches!

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Wow this is a fantastic overview! Thank you so much. I’ll give this a try and let you know.

IT WORKS!! I couldn’t be happier, thank you, thank you, thank you. This was a great guide to get it done!

Quick follow up, how important is it to connect the ground wires to the switches in box 1? They weren’t connected previously…

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@ritchierich really has the 3 and 4 way switch wiring nailed. He’s helped a lot of people.

Your switches should absolutely be grounded. Since you are using a plastic box, you aren’t gaining a ground via the mounting screws. Pull the ground (bare) wires out of some spare Romex and pigtail them to that bundle of grounds at the back of the box. The pigtails connect to the green screws on the switches.

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I will admit many of mine don’t have ground hooked up and they work fine but don’t follow my lead here. Code does now require ground on switches and switches in recent addition of mine do have ground wire.