Installation issue with GE 12729 Dimmer Light Switch


(Thomas Ohm) #1

So, a couple of months back Navat604 (Ray) and Chris_Crowder helped me get some GE 3-ways switches done and they work great. Since then I have installed a bunch more without any issues. Today, I was hoping to install this new GE dimmer switch to replace a single-pole light switch that happens to be in a 3-switch gang-box. But much to my surprise, when I opened the gangbox, i found no neutral lines like i had for all the other switches I have replaced to date. But this is the first 3-switch gang box I’m attempting.

In the picture above, for now I was only looking to replace the center switch. That center switch is the only switch used to turn on my living room lights. The switches on the left and right have romex cables with 3 wires and a ground. The center switch romex is just 2 wires and the ground. Is there a way around this problem or am I in serious trouble here? Ultimately in time I was hoping to replace all the switch but the switches on the left and right are 3-ways switches and I thought I would hold off on them a little while longer.

thanks


#2

It definitely appears that the line and neutral enter in your light box. I would look to see if a neutral is in any of the other 3-way boxes. If it is you could replace that 3-way with a smart switch and add-on paddle. When you do that you will now have access to neutral in the pictured 3 gang box.

If they are on different circuits it is a little more complicated but can still be done without needing to add additional wiring.

@Navat604


(Ray) #3

Here’s a link for other 3 ways wiring Config. For reference. I would do what @jhamstead suggested and find out the wiring configuration for the 3 ways in that box and circuit breaker. It won’t be SOL since you still have other option if no neutral at the switches such as in wall micro relay module installing at the light fixture.


(Thomas Ohm) #4

Thanks guys… I’ll check another gangbox that links with these switches but i think I’ll have to read that advice a couple of more times because I’m not 100% how I could use a neutral (if it appears in the other gangbox) on this switch.


(Joel W) #5

I think the only way other than running a new cable is to use a Aeotec Nano Dimmer it doesn’t need a neutral.


(Dale C) #6

Here is an option by Eatonr RF9534 or RF9536 with the slave switch RF9542 or RF9542-Z.

FYI: Make sure to check ALL of the 3-way switch boxes and each of the lights boxes for the location of the neutral wire. The neutral location is basically where the electrician pulled the incoming power to. This is where the primary switch must be located because it needs to remain powered up at all times for it’s zwave/zigbee radio.

That being said it seems like in your case the incoming power will be at one of your lights? So instead of replacing the wall switches you could install the Aeon Labs DSC27103-ZWUS Light Dimmer (or the energy monitoring version) up inside the light box where the neutral/hot line is located and possibly re-use the existing wall switches for local on-off override but you could still dim from ST.

I had to do this for something similar for a ceiling fan light where the power was up at the ceiling box only.