Installing Smart Switch for Switched Receptacle with No Neutral

Hi all. Been using SmartThings for about a year, but this is my first post!

I have a room without overhead light, but one switched outlet for a lamp. I’d like the switch to turn on a different outlet in the room (which is now a Z-wave-enabled outlet). The main problem I’m encountering is that the wall switch is a 2-wire setup (interrupts the hot side of the outlet). I purchased a Aeotec G2 micro switch, and ultimately learned that it requires a neutral wire, which I don’t have in the gang box.

In theory, I could bridge the existing hot/cold wires inside the gang box, splice a piggytail to the hot side of the G2, and wire the neutral to the ground of the light switch [that’s a an electrical code violation, and I probably shouldn’t do it; mine is a home run circuit where the ground and neutral are connected on the same bus bar]. That way, the currently switched outlet would have constant power, and the Aeotec G2 would also have constant power. The G2 would just effectively become a remote control (not actually using its relay to control anything) using the existing in-wall switch.

Here are the questions:
Is this setup even possible, or does the G2 need a load of some kind? Given that the G2 operates at less than 6.66 mA (according to their documentation), would it be dangerous to wire it to the ground? Is there some better way to accomplish this, that doesn’t involve putting a second switch on the wall?

Are you in the US or the UK? The device selection does vary somewhat.

  1. best practice is to pull a neutral to each location that can use it. Leave ground as ground everywhere, do not cheat neutrals or you negate the ground safety function.

  2. or put the Aeotec G2 (assume it’s a switch module) in the receptacle box, and leave the wallswitch on all the time. My typical workaround (can put a physical switchguard to prevent casual turnoff). The module is design to have line power at all times but does not need a load. My ceiling fan is wired so, I thought I might have to take it apart to service or push the button sometime, but it has not been necessary in the past 3 years.

Rewire the outlet so it doesn’t loop back through the switch for power and is always on.

Connect the switch wires at the outlet to a hot and neutral on the outlet, and the line and neutral on the switch. No wire to load.

The switch will no longer physically control anything, but that doesn’t matter in your case. It will work properly as a scene controller for your smart outlet.


I’m in the US.

@bradlee_s - brilliant! I think that will do the trick. I’ll report back.

1 Like

@bradlee_s - your solution worked a treat.

I subsequently had a little bit of trouble getting the Aeotec micro switch to report its stats (on/off) correctly when using the physical switch. This device handler from Mike Maxwell did the trick.

1 Like