GE Switch in 4-way setup help needed

I’ve been installing GE smart switches throughout my house the last few weeks. I’ve done several 3-way setups, but first time doing a 4-way and I can’t get it to work.

Here’s how I’ve got it setup:

  • Master switch has neutral, line, load (verified with multimeter), ground, and traveler all hooked up
  • Add-on switch with neutral, two traveler wires in traveler port (I’m guessing it has two traveler wires because it is the middle man between the 3rd switch and the master), and ground hooked up, two black wires in a wire nut separately
  • Add-on switch with neutral, one traveler wire, and ground hooked up, one black wire in a wire nut separately

The Master Switch does get power to it when the breaker is turned on and I hear the click that the GE on/off switch makes when turned on, but lights don’t turn on. Any thoughts on what I could look at or troubleshoot?


1 Like

It sounds like what you think is the load in the ‘master’ box is not really the load. I suspect the load is actually in another box and thus the circuit is not being made to your fixture.

Ok, thanks Nezmo. What can I do to verify that? And if the load is in another box, how could I setup my switches for that to work?

Watch this video…


The video posted will help you.

You can send your line to the box where the load is by nutting the line to the other black and do not connect to a switch. Place an add-on in that box.

Thanks, again. Here are some other things that I’ve tried with no success:

  • On the master box (box with the line wire), I used a wire nut to connect the line wire with the other black wire (thought to be load) - lights didn’t turn on
  • To test your suggestion, left the two black wires connected on the master box and then used a wire nut to connect the two black wires on the second box to see if the load wire was in the second - I used a multimeter to verify power was sent to the second box through one of the black wires, still no lights
  • Changed light bulb just to make sure nothing weird had happened with the lights

Any other thoughts?

Usually the load wire will be on the other 3 ways switch on the common terminal.
To be able to help you. You should take pictures of all 3 switches with wires still hooking up to the switches. Try showing the common terminals (black screw).
Count how many wires, color and romex at each switch.

I was out of town and just got back and able to work on this 4-way project again. Here are pics of my 3 switches

Switch A - has line wire, marked with red tape

Switch B - has two traveler lines, different brand switch with ground on the bottom

Switch C - one thing odd is the neutral wire is connected to the common screw on the switch

What do you guys think should be done for the wiring?

As a reminder, here are some things I’ve done:

  • Disconnected the switches and screwed two black wires on Switch A in a wire nut to test if the load line is there, light didn’t turn on
  • Kept the two black wires on Switch A in a wire cap, screwed two black wires together in a wire nut in Switch B, to test if load line is in Switch B, no lights

One other thing is the house is about 3 years old, Switch A was handled by the builder, Switches B and C were done by new electricians that finished the basement so wiring might be a little different.

Switch A black wire twisted with white wire is your load.

If you follow the wires. You will probably find. Switch A black and white wires twisted together. This twisted white wire then go to switch B and twisted with another white wire. This white wire is then go to switch C common black terminal.

Hey Navat, that’s impressive, I pulled all of the switches out today and the wiring is exactly as you described! The issue now is I thought I had a neutral wire in switch C because of the white wire, but that one is just the common, correct? I don’t have any other white wire or extra wire in switch C to be the neutral wire.

Would I need an electrician to pull in a neutral wire? Or is there another way to hook up the wires? The good news is that switch is a few away from the utility room so hopefully wouldn’t be too hard to get it setup (although the back of the switch is a finished closet, but it is close)

All you have to do at switch A is separate the twisted white from the black wire. The black wire is your load wire. Now connect that white wire to the white neutral bundle. The white is now your neutral. Use the red as traveler.
At switch B. Add a pigtail to the white bundle and connect it to your aux neutral. Connect the 2 red together and connect it to your aux traveler.
At switch C. The white wire is now your neutral. Connect it to your aux neutral and use the red as your traveler.
Hope that help.

That worked, thanks again man! I would have had no idea how to rewire that so really appreciate your help.

By the way, just one other quick question. The box that switch B is in is really packed with wires and connectors and I’m having a hard time getting everything pushed back in. Any tips on what to do there? Do I trim some of the wires? Smaller connectors? Bigger box?

No problem and glad you got it working. As for the room issue. The connector size is depending on the amount of wires and the gauge so you could change it to the correct size if it was incorrect. You could connect 2 wires up to the GE smart switch terminal to save some extra wire. I wouldn’t cut back the wire cause it could be a problem in the future when the stripped wire broke and you don’t have enough length. Changing out to a deeper box is not an easy task but if that’s possible then it would be ideal.