Installing GE Z-wave fan controlling inside fan canopy


(Phar) #1

Hi all. I’m trying to put the GE Z-wave Fan switch inside my fan canopy to control the fan but not sure how to wire it. I’ve seen a few people on here do it, but no one talks about how to wire. Currently, I have a double switch, single pole at the wall to control the fan and light separately. Would like to convert that double switch to a single Z-wave dimmer to control the lights and have the GE Fan Switch in the fan canopy to control the fan. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much!


(MarkTr) #2

How I would do it (I have no electrical qualifications, etc., and have not done this myself); note that I switched the black and red going out of the switch, you don’t need to do this but it seems “clearer” to me to leave the black wire hot and the red one switched. You may be able to clean things up a little (fewer wire nuts) by joining wires at the switch if your switch has two holes like mine does.

Switch side, existing: Switch side, revised:
In: In:
Line -> light switch Line -> z-wave light switch
Neutral -> wire nut Neutral -> z-wave light switch
pigtail Line light switch -> fan switch
Out: Out:
Load (B) -> light Load (R ) -> light
Load (R ) -> fan Line (B) -> fan switch
Neutral -> fixture Neutral -> fan

Fixture side, existing: Fixture side, revised:
In: In:
Load (B) -> light Load (R ) -> light
Load (R ) -> fan Line (B) -> Z-wave fan switch
Neutral -> light/fan Neutral -> Z-wave fan switch
pigtail Neutral -> light/fan
pigtail Load -> fan


(Phar) #3

Thanks Mark for your help. I’m a total noob so please bare with me.

Current Wiring at switch on wall:
Black wire - Line to current switch
Black wire - Load to light on switch
Red wire - Load to fan on switch
Neutral - wire nut

Revised wiring at switch on wall:
Black wire - Line to Z-wave Dimmer
Black wire - Load to Z-wave Dimmer
Red wire - wire nut to Line to use as Line for fan switch (?)
Neutral - to Z-wave Dimmer.

Revised wiring at fan canopy:
Red Wire - Line to GE Fan Switch
New Black wire - Load from GE Fan switch to Load of fan
New Neutral - GE Fan switch wire nut to fan

So basically, I convert the current Red Load wire to Line, and run a short Romex 12-2 for Load, Neutral, and Ground to connect GE Fan switch to the fan.

Is that right?


(Ron Talley) #4

You will be better off just cutting the wall for a retro double gang box and putting both switches in the box.

Can even do it without having to fix any drywall if you are careful enough. Even still, it’s easy to fix drywall.


(Phar) #5

Hi rontalley,

I was very tempted to do that at first. However, the switch is currently inside a 3-gang box with a whole lot of wires. I would have to remove all the wires and convert into a 4-gang and make sure to not mess up any wiring after the conversion. Possible project in the near future. Not sure if I trust my own ability to do that right now.


(MarkTr) #6

Pretty much. You would probably want to remove the jacket to have more flexibility in the canopy, but otherwise yes.

But Ron’s suggestion is a good one. If you just label the wires before disconnecting switches I think you’d be OK. You’re probably going to want the option of manual control of the fan when it’s all done too.


(Nathan Curtis) #7

Three and 4 gang boxes are nothing to be scared of. I found they’re easier to deal with than the 2 gang counterparts because there’s waaaay more room. Label everything well as it comes out, cut in the new box, and just replace all the switches with smart controllers as you put them back in. Way cleaner than trying to jam one of these in a fan housing / canopy.


(Ron Talley) #8

Yeah, I went from a 2 Gang to a 4 Gang. I chose to just remove the drywall.

If you have a neutral in there, although its more work, it will be worth it.

Here’s some inspiration!


(Phar) #9

Great job rontalley. Inspiration indeed. You guys talked me into it! Off to HD I go to buy a 4 gang. Wish me luck. Will report back!


#10

Well another thing you could do is put in a new “old work” single gang box for the fan switch 6-8" above the 3-gang box. This assumes you locate it on the same side of the stud as the 3-gang and thus this will give you access to the romex in the wall heading to the light and fan. It isn’t uncommon for the fan switch to be above and separate from the light switches.