Issue with GE Smart Switch in a 4-way Wiring Configuration

I have a GE Smart Switch that I am installing in a 4way switch setup. The switch is stated to work in 3way and 4way wiring, I’m just trying to figure out the way to wire it properly based on my existing setup.

The GE Smart Switch has two terminals for Line/Load, one terminal for Traveler and one terminal for Neutral.

My 4way switch configuration is below. I am uncertain which wires go to which, but I correctly identified which wire BUNDLES are going to what, hopefully to help identify what to wire. I can wire the GE switch in place of Light Switch 1, 2 or 3, I have no preference. All three switches control a ceiling fan light, while the ceiling fan motor is next to Light Switch 1. If it makes a difference, Light Switch 1 is closest to the fuse panel and Light Switch 3 is furthest. The square blocks are wires capped and the gray wire in the image signifies white. The black blocks on each switch signify the black screw/common terminals.

Please pardon my rudimentary drawing in Visio, I just wanted to accurately portray my configuration in hopes to get the best possible help. Thanks so much for help in advance! I would be happy to answer any additional questions about the configuration that are needed. :slight_smile:

Just to make sure, did you buy 2 other “add on” switches. The way the smart switch works in 3way and 4 way is you have the 1 smart switch and the others are “dumb” and simply tell the smart switch to turn on but they cannot be normal switches. The add on switches only need a neutral and a traveler so you may need to do a little rewiring (just connecting the existing wires in a different fashion, not pulling new wires or anything. I can draw it out if you need me too.

I did not buy any other add on switches, but if you point me towards the correct ones, I can go ahead and do that. Additionally, if you COULD draw out the way the wiring is needed, then I would save that for when I purchase the two add ons. Assuming they are available locally, I’d have them within an hour or two.

Here is an example. This is like a standard toggle switch but they have paddle versions too. Most important is that its the grey box and says add on switch. I’ll work on drawing something up for you. The instructions provided in the box also give a good wiring diagram but I’ll draw it up based on what you already have.

GE Enbrighten Add-On Switch 2-pack with QuickFit and SimpleWire, GE Z-Wave/GE Zigbee Smart Lighting Controls, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, NOT A STANDALONE SWITCH, Toggle, 47895, White 2-pack - - Amazon.com

Ge manual here for how multi switch wiring should be connected.
https://byjasco.com/mwdownloads/download/link/id/1951/

That is actually the switch that I purchased, two of them specifically.

and I do have the same manual, but I don’t know based on the initial image that I provided which wires and which and how to connect them. I’m hoping your diagram will help, thank you in advance.

Based on your photo you purchased the smart switch which is in green packaging. Are the other 2 switches you bought in grey boxes labeled as “add on”. Here is the diagram. If anything is confusing let me know. The only thing you really need to find out is which wire bundle F or E connects to A. You can use a non contact voltage tester or a multimeter. If you do not feel comfortable doing any of this then definitely get an electrician to do it.

I meant that the one you sent is the switch I purchased TODAY on Amazon for Arrival tomorrow. I bought two addons, and already have a single standalone.

Also, here is an updated image WITH switch configurations and which wires have voltage at which times… does this help you identify which of my wires is which?

So essentially how it will be configured based on your writeup…

  • The Main Switch will go at Switch position 1 wired with the live in same position, and include the red to the light, with two travelers.
  • The two addon switches will be connected via a traveler wire in each respective location, both to Switch 1.
  • The neutral(white) from each addons gets capped with the other neutrals(whites) in each respective receptacle.

Is this correct?

Yes that is correct. Also ground wires connect to each switch as well. Its a much simpler wiring configuration for these smart switches but it is connected differently that standard wiring for a 3way or 4way switch which makes it confusing.

So to figure this out easier. Turn off the power. Disconnect all wires from switch 2 BUT pull them off /apart in a way where you can remember how they were connected. Then energize the circuit and turn on switch 1. Then in switch 2 find which black wire is “hot” and shows voltage. Then you will know it goes to switch 1.

This makes sense to me, thank you. Two questions:

  • I assume the same process in pulling off and testing from Switch 1 to Switch 3?
  • What do I do with the second black wire currently connected to Switch 2?

no need to test 1 to 3 because we know switch 3 goes into where switch 2 is and continues to switch 1. The traveler that connects between switch 1 and 3 is going to be red because it is already connected going straight there. And like I showed in my drawing you will have a spare black wire between switch 2 and 3. Cap both ends and maybe use some tape to show it is not used.

Okay, I understand. Since the two reds behind switch 2 are capped, that is the traveler to switch 3 from switch 1, which are currently capped behind switch 1. So the steps are:

  • Switch 1: Connect Main Switch to line, light, all neutrals together and uncap Wire A Red and put with Wire A black on Main Switch Traveler
  • Switch 2: Connect Add On Switch traveler to Black wire that is live when Switch 1 is on and all Switch 2 wires are disconnected, and connect/cap all neutrals, also cap remaining black
  • Switch 3: Connect Add On Switch traveler to Red wire, neutral to White wire, and cap black wire.

Correct?

Yes I believe what you said there is correct.

Here is how I would it.

  1. Power off.
  2. Unplug white wire, black(line), and black(wire A) from switch1.
  3. Uncap Reds at switch 1 box leaving red wire A and red Wire B.
  4. Get smart switch, connect Red (wire B) to the load connector (your switch can do either but do the top one). Connect the black(line) wire into the line connector of the switch (bottom one). Connect the Red (Wire A to traveler). Connect the black(wire A) to traveler as well. Connect ground of switch to the grounds in the box.
  5. Connect white(wire A) to bundle of white wires in the box. Also connect a wire from the switch neutral to this bundle as well. That may be a lot of wires for a wire nut so what you can do is connect the white(wireA) into the neutral of switch1 and then a wire from neutral of switch 1 to the bundle of white wires)
  6. For switch 2, disconnect wires (remembering whether F or E came from switch 1. For the instructions I will assume F goes to A. Connect black(wire F) to add on switch traveler. Connect white(wire F) to neutral of switch 2. Connect white(wire E) also to neutral of switch 2. Connect ground to switch 2. Cap black(wire E). Leave red wires connected.
  7. For switch 3 disconnect wires. Cap black wire. Connect red to traveler, white to neutral. connect ground.
  8. Done, turn on light switch and verify functionality.

I will follow up tomorrow when I get the addon switches and let you know - thank you for your assistance.

@felixowns I connected the smart switch to where Switch 1 is, and everything is connected how discussed for the time being. The smart switch turns the light on, but any switch toggled will turn the light off. Is this behavior anticipated thus far?

Did you get the addon switches already or are you toggling normal switches right now? you should wait till you connect the add on switches

You probably bought everything already, but this 4 way setup is where the Inovelli switch really can outshine the GE switch. With the Inovelli, you can use your existing 3way “dumb” switches and save money by not needing to buy 2 more add on switches, plus wiring might be easier- more details on their wiring here https://support.inovelli.com/portal/en/kb/articles/inovelli-wiring-diagrams-on-off-switches-gen-2

Ge switch method would be the way to go if anyone is using a dimmer switch though. In this case he is using just a normal switch. But yea there’s many way. You can even use aeotec nano and such.

My switches are all flips toggle versus paddle toggle, so Inovelli wouldn’t work for me. Some of these switches are in panels with 1 or 2 others, and I’d have to either get a panel with uneven cutouts(my OCD won’t let me) or replace them all(my frugality won’t let me). Thank you though for pointing out another option down the line.