Help installing switch GE on/off

(Mike Lehmann) #1

OK so here is the deal. I am replacing a double single pole switch. One of them controls the fan/light and the other controls an outlet. I am looking to control the fan/light with a GE on/off rocker.

The switch I am replacing looks like this.

The one side had a hot wire for the fan/light and a hot wire for the outlet. So I took the outlet one out of the picture. The other side simply has one “common” wire going into it.

How do I convert this into the GE on/off switch? I only have two wires here. I was able to find a ground wire in the box. The hot goes to the “line” and the common goes to neutral? What about the load input??? I tried with just the line and neutral connected and the blue indicator turns on but the light/fan does not.

(David Creed) #2

Hi Mike,

I don’t think you will be able to use that GE switch with only a wire setup. There are several other posts here about this issue, but basically most z-wave switches require a three wire setup in the box to be able to provide power to the z-wave switch.

Check out this post:


(Mike Lehmann) #3

Thanks, David!!! So, the common wire connected to my old switch… I thought that would be neutral?

Should the common wire be connected to LOAD? I also do have a group of white wires which looked to be unused (see picture below). Should I be using one of them as neutral?

(Scott G) #4

The common wire connected to your old switch was the Line coming from your power source (breaker). What you called “hot” is the Load wire that runs to the fan/light (that’s why there was one for each switch). Those bundled whites are the neutral. Most mechanical switches don’t require them, so they just connect through. Ideally, you’ll want to run a wire from the GE Neutral terminal into that bundle of whites, so the chain is maintained.

(Mike Lehmann) #5

Scott, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much for the help!!!

(Mike Lehmann) #6

Scott, would one of the GE on/off switches be able to handle BOTH my fan/light and outlet? I am assuming no?

(Scott G) #7

I’m not an electrician, but my gut says no. I’d be worried about the load on the switch, but again I’m only a wiring novice (mostly from installing SmartThings switches). If it is possible, I believe you would bundle both Load wires that go out to the outlet and fan/light together, then connect that to the Load on the switch. Turning the switch “on” should pass power into both the outlet and fan/light.

(David Creed) #8

Hi Mike,

Ok, word of caution here, I’m by no means a competent electrician, so take everything said here by myself (or anyone else for that matter) with a grain of salt. Anything that gets over your head, you should consult a licensed electrician.

If your house is wired like mine, those white wires ‘should’ be your neutral. I would always say test everything!


(Mike Lehmann) #9

Yeah, makes sense. Thanks for the help, everyone! Once I give it all a shot, I will reply with my findings in case someone else hits something similar.

(Mike Lehmann) #10

OK so I didn’t hookup the outlet as well. The line coming from the dual switch was the load wire on the GE switch. The common wire from the dual switch was the line wire on the GE switch. Then, I ran a new wire from the neutral bundle to keep all of the connected wires intact. After doing all of this, the switch works great and paired with my smartthings seamlessly.

Thanks for the help, Scott and David!!!