GE Z-Wave 3-Way Switch Question- Neutral wire causes circuit breaker to trip


I am trying to install a GE Zwave Dimmer Switch (14294) in a 3-way setting.

I think I have all of the wires in the right spot. The problem is, when I connect the black (hot) line into the “line” hole of the GE switch, and then I connect the white neutral wire to the neutral connection of the GE switch, and then turn on the power, this setup instantly trips my circuit breaker and power stops flowing.

Thus, I can’t seem to get any power into my zwave dimmer switch, since every time i connect the neutral, it seems to “short” or trip my circuit.

Here are some pictures of the previous dimmer light setup before disconnection :


Any thoughts as to why connecting the neutral would cause my circuit breaker to flip? Any help would be appreciated


Do you have the GE zwave addon switches in the other locations? It won’t work in conjunction with standard 3 way switches in the other spots.


Yes. I have the add on switch in the other location.

(Mark) #4

2 possibilities if it is an existing setup, it is possible that the white is not a neutral wire. Use a tester or volt tick to see if voltage is present. A Standard 3 way set up consists of 1 common wire and 2 “traveler” wires. Those wires can be different colors. If that white wire came off the existing switch I can tell you for sure that it is not a neutral wire.

The second possibility as that you are on a GFI breaker. A GFI breaker monitors both the hot and the neutral and if there is a difference the breaker trips. “Assuming that the extra voltage is going somewhere else (AKA you).


Thanks. Is it possible that I have confused the master and the non-master switch? That is another possibility that I am exploring.


Keep it simple. When using the GE switch in a 3-way scenario, get it working as a standalone switch first … even pairing, etc. After all that is work, proceed to add the add-on switch.


I had something similar, it was a gfci that was causing me issues.

I’m not an electrician, wouldn’t it trip to if you were pulling a neutral from a different circuit than what your hot wire was on? An example of this would be a multi gang box that is controlling different lights for each switch. They might be on different circuits,


I figured out the problem - I had the master and the slave switches reversed. I changed them, and now everything is working. Thanks for your help!