GE YA4DQ (Yet another 4way dimmer question)


(Brad) #1

Hey folks, I have a couple of questions - I realize the wiring questions have been asked and answered a million times but my config seems just a it different than any I’ve seen so thought I would ask again.

First, simple usage stuff - I’ve got a new Zwave plus GE (master) dimmer switch that I want to combine with two aux switches (haven’t bought yet) and I wonder how they work?

I.e. obviously these switches don’t have on or off but have momentary action - When I push the top portion I assume the light would turn on, when I push the bottom off. Now, what about dimming? Do I push and hold to dim either up or down?

I’m thinking that if I leave the old (aux) switches in place, I can leave them in the “on” position and test fly the master switch until I decide if the setup can be made to work…

And, regarding the GE aux switches, they have the same momentary up and down action I think, will they, in combination with a dimmer master, also dim the jointly controlled switch?

Then, with regard to wiring - Two of my receptacles have available neutrals - these are neutrals from other lights which all go back to the same breaker, so I think it’s fair game to just add a pigtail to the bundle in the box.

But what about that other box without a neutral? Do I need to somehow run another neutral to that box or is there a workaround somehow?

I have a few smart bulbs but these are my first smart switches so thanks for the help!


#2

Pretty much all your questions could be answered in the user manual for the device. You have model GE 14294, correct?

Adjust Dim Levels
To increase brightness: press and hold the top of the rocker
To decrease brightness: press and hold the bottom of the rocker.

You have to replace any auxiliaries that you will use with the master, so if you’re not ready to do that, disconnect them from the master all together until you’re ready to replace them with the appropriate designated switches.

Once you have the correct auxiliary switches, the GE add-on acts a remote to its master, sending pulses over the physical traveler wires. So you can also Dim from the add-on switch in exactly the same hold pattern. This is explained further on the manufacturer site:

http://www.ezzwave.com/add-on-switch/

You will have to have a neutral at each position. In the case of the GE switches, this neutral will have to be on the same circuit as the GE master switch.


(Brad) #3

Thanks!

Not quite clear on the Aux switch issue though. When you say disconnect them from the master do you mean don’t hook up the travelers? I’m thinking some connection might be required in order for the current to pass through the GE switch and the others to ultimately arrive at the load. It’s likely that the GE switch will only work when the non-smart switches in the circuit are in a certain position.

One thing I’m worried about is if some position of those aux switches might damage the master.

Maybe the smart switch can only work in a location where all three line, load and neutral are directly available to the switch rather than through the traveler circuit. I’m not certain I have that situation, the load may be closest to the box of the three which doesn’t have an available neutral. This is brand new wiring from a recent addition, but the 4 way switch in question has no “owned” neutrals. The two boxes which have neutrals are from other switches in the gang box that happen to go back to the same breaker. So at least those two should work. Sadly the one location I’d be fine with just capping off isn’t the one without the neutral.

Wish the Lutron neutral-less switches weren’t so fiddly with 4 tiny buttons. They’re more expensive and imo have a poor UX.


#4

Yes, running current through the old traveler wires could damage the new GE master switch. You need to hook up the master so that it has load, line, and neutral. @Navat604 or one of the other wiring experts in the community could say more.

As far as UX, different things will work for different people. Choice is good. :sunglasses:


(Ray) #5

Since you did not say what kind of wiring configuration is your current one. I assume power is at your light fixture box and line going to one of the 3 ways switch without neutral? There are around 4 or 5 wiring configs for 4 ways so it’s important to know which one you have. You mentioned about having neutral on another light circuit but on the same breaker. You could definitely be able to use that neutral and really as long as you have enough wire for load, line, traveler and neutral. You can place the master anywhere.
You can do a quick good for 4 ways wiring and find out your wiring. We could then help you after.