GE Zwave switch installation causes other switch in the room to not work

Just installed one of these switches. The switch lights up and I have it paired. I can control it. I noticed however that the switch on the other side of the kitchen that controls the lights does not work at all now. I also noticed that if I flip that switch, the GE switch does not work. Wiring in terms of the boxes is like the following setups. I dont know how they look in the attic however.

Are there any general rule of thumb things to go by with this? Obviously something is not right. Any help would be appreciated.


If this is a situation where both switches control the same lights, you can’t replace just one of them. This is what is called a “three way” set up in the US.

There are at least 8 different ways to wire a nonnetworked three way setup, but they don’t all work with networked switches. Networked switches are not wired the same way as nonnetworked switches.

So the first general rule of thumb is if that more than one switch controls the same light, you have to replace all of them if you are going to networked (zwave) versions.


You also need to replace the other switch in the kitchen with an add on switch (

As @JDRoberts mentioned, a rule of thumb is that for 3, 4, or even 5 way lighting configurations like you have, you’ll need just 1 zwave switch and an add on switch for all other locations where the lights can be switched on/off. Placement of the “main” switch and add ons depends on your wiring. The FAQ he linked to is a great start.


Now i know why its called an add-on switch. Will be dropping into Lowes / Home Depot today to grab one. It completely makes sense now that its been explained why you have to use the add-on switches.


With your setup, put the “master” switch in the box with your power source, then the add-on in the other box. You will also wire nut the two black wires together in the other box and tie the white pig tail to the others.

You have to tie the neutral (white wire) of the GE Zwave switchs to the neutrals that are in the master switch of the 3 way setup.

Also you need to figure out which is the always hot from coming from the power source. This is where you want your master to be located since power will travel from the traveler wire to the add-on switch.


You do not have to locate the master switch in the box were the line (power source) comes in. If you wish to locate the master at the other location(s) simple tie the line and load in the box with the power source then put your add on in that place with a neutral, traveler and ground. Then at the other locations(s) determine what is now the line (now fed permanently from the other box). You can now locate your master there.



All is well now.

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Just curious? What was the root issue?

I didn’t realize with smart switches, since they need a neutral and require an add on switch, the secondary switch didn’t work and it was causing some issues with the GE switch.

Got an add on switch and now all is well.