Jasco/GE Dimmer require a 3 wire?

I’ve got a few Jasco z wave 45712 dimmers I’m trying to install. Some of the wiring in the house is 3 wire line, load, neutral, and ground. Some is two wire load, neutral, and ground. For the z wave dimmers I have to have 3 wire correct. Line, load, neutral, ground? Thanks in advance.

You need a line and neutral to power the switch. The switch physically interrupts the connection between line and load to turn the lights on and off. I know that’s not exactly what you asked but I think you have your descriptions incorrect in your post.

Yes, check the user manual. That model requires a neutral. The neutral is used to power the switch so that it can hear the next “on” command from the network even if the switch appears to be off.

There are some options for your switchboxes that don’t have a neutral. You can have an electrician “fish up” a neutral from elsewhere on the circuit and that will give you the most options.

Alternatively, see the following:

This is one of the gangs I’m talking about. Has/had a standard dimmer that I want to replace with a z wave dimmer.

I’m not sure what to make of that one, it doesn’t look like there’s enough wires in there to do anything. At a minimum for a standard switch there should be two black wires, one for the Line and one for the Load. Unless someone wired the house with non-standard wire colors?

Same gang, with “dumb” dimmer in place.

What color is the wire from the wall that the red wire from the switch is hooked to? It looks kinda whitish but the pic is also kinda blurry.

White/grey. I think it’s just two wire Romex that the grey/white is being used as the load wire and the black as the hot. I can’t find my multi meter to test this hypothesis out at the moment but probably shouldn’t be playing with 110 AC past my bedtime anyway :sweat:

Yeah I think you’re gonna need to break out the multimeter, like you said, white is being used as either line or load in your case, which is not standard. Either way, it definitely appears that you don’t have a neutral in the boxes, which you will need for the GE dimmers.

Found this on another home automation forum and I think it explains what’s going on:
“often used in residential wiring is the White wire of a 2-wire cable which is connected between a switch-controlled fixture and the switch. For this type of connection, the White connects to the Black wire of a “Feed-In” cable in the fixture outlet-box, and then extends power to the terminal of the switch that controls the fixture, the power extended back to the fixture via the Black wire when the switch is “On”.The point is that not all White wires in residential wiring are Grounded/Neutral conductors if there are connections to switches in an outlet-box.”

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yup, looks like you have line into your fixture, not into your switch box. You’ll need to use a relay at the fixture.

Here is a picture of your wiring. You have the second one and like @Automated_House said. A relay module installed at the light fixture is the only option unless you can install another wire from light fixture to switch for your neutral.

I may not be remembering this correctly, please correct if I’m wrong.

I believe the GE dimmer master switch has the requirement of line,load,common, traveler. The slave switch only requires 2 wires, traveler and neutral. (sad I can’t remember this I just worked on it 2 days ago). Possibly if you had it hooked into a 2 way dimmer configuration, you could put the slave switch in this location? Or if you don’t care about following codes. Possibly put 3 way in overhead in light fixture. Then use 2 wires to slave on wall. This is all depending on whats in your overhead box and if the 2 wires do indeed go to the overhead.

I am not condoning not following codes, or telling you that you should. Just an idea that I am tossing out there that smarter people than me could decide if it would even work.

there is no wring color code in the US. Crazy. The black is the hot most likely and the white is the load. the copper is ground. There is no nutreuel in there which is in a regular switch not required. But there is one at the light as the circuit needs to be complete.

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US code does not mandate colors in most cases. So people can and do use any color, including striping the end of one wire with a bit of color tape. Sometimes it’s the end of the day and they just grab the last spool in the toolbox. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve even seen one switch which had four black wires, none of which were hot. :scream:

So you just need to test every segment to be sure of what it is.