Help with 3-way

So, I got a bunch of Zooz switches, and they work well. However, I am now trying to install those and the GE add-ones in 3-way circuits. What I am finding is my electrician did not put neutrals to the add-on boxes. The configuration looks like this, I believe.

2 questions:

  1. Is there any way to make this work? Really hoping there is some way.
  2. Can I replace the main switch with the Zooz and leave a mechanical add-on?


I don’t have the Zooz switches. I’m not sure you can use the Zooz with the GE remote switch. I think the GE is made to pair together.

You’ll need to verify your wiring to be sure. If it is wired like the image you posted you should be able to get the GE master switch to work with the remote switch with what you have available.

Sorry can’t answer the other question about Zooz with another mechanical switch. I know you can not pair a GE master switch with a mechanical switch.

Typically smart switches and older dumb switches do not work the same. The older switches work together to open the power circuit. The smart switch has a master that controls the switching of the load and the remote switches just communicate to it that the remote switch was toggled. GE via a traveler wire others via radio signals.

So with this in mind a smart switch circuit will not be wired exactly like the original dumb switch circuit.
Typically in the GE circuit the remote switch connects to the master via the traveller wire and then a second wire goes to neutral. I believe on some others that communicatevia radio they just require a hot and a neutral (so the radio can get power)

I’m sure someone with much more experience will jump in here with very helpful information.

I’ve only wired the GE so take my information with a grain of salt.

Use your traveler as neutral. Don’t hook the load ( light ) up to the slave switch(es). Just create a SmartLighting routine that if a slave switch is turned on/off it turns the master switch on/off.

Disadvantage would be if ST is down only the master switch will work

Just my nickels worth of free advice

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Can only use GE add-on with GE switches. Once you have that your scenario is pretty easy. Master goes in the left box and add-on goes in the right. All whites in left box get bundles together with one stub going to your master switch. Black going between the two boxes gets capped on both ends. Black from light goes to load on master and black with power goes to line on master.

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Thanks, guys. You are awesome and giving me hope. I have spoken with the company and the Zooz switches are certified to work with the GE add-on. They are essentially the same switch. @Automated_House, in this scenario will switches work without the hub or will I need create a routine as @RLDreams mentioned above?

both will work manually without the hub.

Great. So, essentially just extend the neutral on the white wire to the second box, since it is no longer needed and use the red as the traveler. Great. Will give it a try.

  1. If that wiring is accurate, then yes it can be configured to work.

  2. Smart switches like the GE and Zooz smart switch are not designed to work with standard mechanical switches. I’m not sure if the GE and Zooz switches use the same standard for their add-on switches. The GE remote contains no wireless radio, so the communication between the add-on(s) and master smart switch all has to occur over the physical connection. Even if the wiring is the same, they may use different digital codes for over the physical connection.

Wire colors don’t limit what they can be connected to, so you should trace your wires to ensure it is like the wiring diagram you’ve shown. To trace the wires you will need a multimeter and some patience.

  1. With the circuit turned off at the breaker box, connect the wire you are trying to trace (i.e. the white wire) to the bare ground wire in the box.
  2. In the other switch box measure the resistance between wires and ground. If it is the wire you connected to ground in the other box, then the resistance should be nearly zero. If it is not the grounded wire, then the resistance will be very large.

If this wiring diagram is accurate, then:

  1. The master smart switch needs to be in the switch box that receives line voltage from your breaker box. Connect the line voltage (“hot”, black) and neutral (white) from the breaker box to the master switch. Connect the load (black) going to the light. Connect the red wire of the 14-3 to the traveler output.

  2. The GE add-on switch only requires the ground (bare wire), neutral (white), and the traveler wire (red). Therefore connect all of the white wires together in the 1st box to tie all neutrals together. Now connect the white wire to the add-on neutral input, and red wire to its traveler connection. Since the light (the load) isn’t powered from the 2nd switch box, the black wire does not need to be connected and should be capped with a wire nut.


For a little bit of extra clarification. You said that your electrician did not pun a neutral to the new switch box. What wires do you have in the new box? If you have a red then you should have a black, white and bare ground as they would all be inside a 4 wire romex bundle. I’d suspect you have all the wires there even if they aren’t all hooked up but it’s no worry. Lets assume you have only 3 wires going to the slave switch here is what you’d do. You only technically NEED 2 wires going to the slave, the GE switches will work without the ground hook up. The slave switch only needs 2 other wires to work, a neutral and a traveler. In order to get this working in this scenario you would need to re-purpose one of the wires as a neutral. From the main switch on the back of the Zooz switch (I’ll assume it looks the same as the GE) insert of the 2 wires that go to the slave (preferably the white one) in the 2nd hole for the neutral and the other one from the slave (lets say it’s black) in to the traveler hole on the master switch. You would make the same connection on the slave switch as well. In an ideal world you would take some red electrical tape and wrap it wound the end of the black wire acting as the traveler. This way years from now someone opening that up would know what you did here by re-purposing the black wire.

No matter what color wires you have going between the 2 boxes as long as they are hooked up like that and only like that you will be good to go. The key is to direct connect the 2 switches and not to tie the wires into other bundles. The key to the add-on switch is the line and load wires NEVER interface with the slave if you ever have one hooked up to the slave you messed something up. This seems to be where people mess up and get confused when swapping them out. A traditional 3-way switch can accommodate having the line or the load on the flip flop depending on the wiring. The GE ones can not.

Thanks, @etbrown and @Automated_House! I got this working with a 3-way and a 4-way last night. I especially like the trick for testing resistance using ground to verify the correct wire, since obviously my multimeter won’t reach both circuits and this saves me from finding a spare length of wire long enough. BTW, the Zooz and the GE add-ons work great together, and this scenario was easy once you guys gave me the tips and I thought through it. Appreciate the help!


Great! Glad I could help.

Just in case anyone else is having issues with wiring the switches in a 3-way, we put some diagrams together for 2 types of wiring you’ll most likely encounter when trying to switch from your existing 3-way to a Z-Wave 3-way.


Rewired using the Zooz master and GE add-on switch:


Rewired using the Zooz master and GE add-on switch:

It’s also possible that you wiring looks like that which means it does not include a neutral wire in which case you will NOT be able to use these switches:


Thanks @TheSmartestHouse. The Less Common Wiring was exactly what I had and was able to make it work with the wiring these guys suggested and you pictured. An interesting note with the Zooz and GE switches. The Zooz go in right side up (ground on top) while the GEs go upside down. So far, I have been impressed with the Zooz switches. Just wish they included the neutral splice cable and the shorter face plate screws.

Thanks for the feedback Craig. We will work to improve the next version of the switches, including the neutral and short screws in the box. They should be available in the second quarter of 2017.