Installing GE ZWave Dimmer


(Mark Smith) #1

Hello, I’m trying to install GE ZWave+ Dimmer model 14294. I feel like I have hooked it up correctly but it is not working. It does not manually turn on the light. I have installed 3 other non dimmer models in my house and they are all working correctly. One thing I noticed is that the plug-in is not on the same circuit as the switch (found that out the painful way).

It is not a 3-way switch. This is the only switch that controls the light. From what i can tell the red wire is the live wire. The other item in the box is an outlet. I would post more pictures but can only post one as a new user.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/red-wire-installing-light-fixture-66927.html

New photo by Smith Family

Thank you!
Mark


(MarkTr) #2

Do you have a 3-way configuration? What is the red wire for?


(Ron Talley) #3

Hard to see what going on there but that remodel box needs the proper connectors. Is that romex? What going on with the other switch in the box.

Looks very 3-way-ish…Are you sure the light is not controlled by another switch?


#4

If the red wire is the power supply (line) it should be in the bottom terminal where the black one currently is. Swap the red and the black wire…


(Mark Smith) #6

Thank you for the suggestion!

I tried that but unfortunately that didn’t work :frowning:

This is a dimmer could there be something special with that? The bulbs are incandescent bulbs.


#7

Hey Mark! It might be the bulb. I’ve installed close to a hundred of these and have run into weird situations. Basically for it to work you just need the power source wire coming into the box connected to the bottom terminal, and the wire going to the fixture to the top terminal, and then the neutral. I believe the neutral has to be on the same circuit as the power…you won’t mess up the switch if you don’t get it the first time (trust me, I know lol). This isn’t a 3-way switch is it?


(Bryan) #8

I’m thinking what @MarkTr and @rontalley are thinking. Are you sure this isn’t a three way? It’s very unusual to have a red wire in the mix . . . although it’s hard to tell because you can’t see the romex coming into the box. One possibility, I suppose, is that the power to the switch is coming from the light fixture via a 3 conductor and the red is the switched leg. Most wouldn’t do it that way, but it’s possible, I suppose.

If you think it’s wired correctly and the issue is the bulbs, go to the fixture with a meter and see what you have there for voltage.


(Mark Smith) #9

Attaching another picture.

I don’t have another switch to turn the lights on\off but maybe it was still wired as a three way?

Good idea about the meter. I’ll try that and report back.


(MarkTr) #10

Did you take any pictures of the original setup?

Since you only have one bundle coming in I think @Bry’s got the right answer that power is coming through the light, but it would be unusual to bother bringing a neutral to the switch in that case.

If you have a meter, can you confirm that you have line and neutral correctly identified as black and white, respectively?


(Mark Smith) #11

Here’s a picture of the original setup.

I used a meter on the unhooked up wires.
Black was around 120
White and Red are 0

I hooked up black in the line. Put the red in load and white in nuetral.
Black was around 120
White is 120 and Red is 0

Then I swapped Red and white
Black was around 120
White is 75 and Red is 0

Also I hooked it up to another light and it worked fine.

Thanks for your help!


(Bryan) #12

I think I see what is happening. The power is coming into the box on the black of the three-wire and going back out switched to the light on the red wire . . . I think. This is based on the voltage measurements not connected to the switch.

“Also, I hooked it up to another light and it worked fine.” I have no idea what you mean here. What is the “it” you hooked up to another light? And how did you hook it up to another light? Is this switch connected to a light fixture or to a receptacle?

Before you replaced the switch, weren’t the two neutrals in the box wire nutted together? It looks to me as if you took them apart and connected the white from the three-wire to the switch. I don’t know for sure what you have going on at the light, but I’m thinking you may not have a good neutral at the box. IF the two whites were wire nutted together in their original configuration, then put them back together and add a white wire as a pigtail and connect that pigtail to the neutral terminal on the smart switch.

Based on your voltage measurements not connected to the switch, the line is the black of the three-wire and the red of the three-wire is the load.


(Mark Smith) #13

Apologies, I wasn’t clear on this.

“Also, I hooked it up to another light and it worked fine.”

What I meant was that I hooked the zwave dimmer switch up to another light and it worked fine. Just wanted to rule out the switch being bad.

There was only one white wire nutted in the original configuration. The other white wire is connected to the outlet in the box. And that outlet is on a separate breaker from the switch.


(Bryan) #14

Ok, so the three-wire that is coming from the light has a white wire. Before you installed the smart switch, what was that wire connected to?


(Mark Smith) #15

The white wire had the wire nut on it and it was all by itself. There was another white wire that is hooked up to the other outlet.


(MarkTr) #16

Is the white wire connected to anything at the fixture? Maybe since it wasn’t used with the original switch, it’s disconnected at that end too and you just need to tie it in to the neutral there…


(Mark Smith) #17

Thank you all for the help but i’m throwing in the towel. I couldn’t get to the wires at the fixture. At some point i’m sure i’ll need an electrician to come in for some other work and i’ll ask them to take a look then.

Thanks!


(Daniel Ionescu) #18

Black IS power in and red is switched power to light (load)

No. It would not work.

That white is from another circuit. Does it have any black marking or tape on it?
Also, could you find out what cable has what wires? To my knowledge, if you have a red and black wires in a cable you have to have a white one also. Could you also see what wires do you have at the light?