Definitely agree with you. That is weird. Was the previous switch a dummy switch? Nothing mechanical? That is the only time a neutral would be used on a switch.
Can you trace the white cable back to some group of wires, whether hot or neutral? Wondering if the electrician ran out of cable and just used a white one. Forgot to put the black tape or if it fell off throughout the years.
Yeah, I would get a tester and test. You want to get it right.
The bottom downstairs switch does not work at all, I am jumping them because I followed the video I posted before and that is also what I did with my hallway light, except the white was black(hot) and I had an actual neutral.
My upstairs one will NOT work at all if the white and red are not connected on the downstairs switch
On the downstairs one, there is nothing to trace at all only 3 wires and a ground, the black did not fall off of the wire that is for sure, the house isnt that old lol, 1999
I dont think the downstairs black is ‘dead’ I figured it was a traveler wire, my traveler #1 upstairs is black.
Like I said I followed the video for my hallway and it worked, and I wired up the upstairs exactly the same as the hallway, the downstairs one is giving me the issues since i believe there is a missing wire or I have to wire up my upstairs entirely differently.
Will my remote switch work without a neutral? I know the SMART switch needs it for the wifi connection, but the remove is supposed to just act as a switch, but needed for smart switches
According to code, and your house was built after this rule was made, every switchbox MUST have a neutral for that circuit. The standard now is that the neutral MUST be white or gray. But i don’t know what the standard was in 99. That being said, just because when you put two wires together the upstairs switch works, doesn’t say anything about the wires. You could be connecting the traveler and the hot downstairs. In that case , the upstairs would also work.
Why do you keep saying “traveler 2”. You don’t have two travelers. The upstairs has a line, load, neutral and traveler. The light you are trying to switch is upstairs, isn’t it? I think your original switches were wired this way:
So you can see, the second switch there are only 3 wires. How the line from the box, the white and the red…this is because 3 conductor wire comes that way. The colors are meaningless. If this is the case, then then one of the black wires coming into that box is the “real” hot. Does that help you?
So I called a friend who was an electrician for a long time
turns out my ‘white’ wire is actually my hot wire in my downstairs switch, he told me as long as I had a ground, I could actually use the ground as my neutral as well, he had me check my breaker box to make sure ground and neutrals were bridged together, and sure enough they were
I did as instructed and viola, my downstairs switch works with red/white connected together, and the black traveler wire going to the unit itself.
He told me as long as the ground was also connected to the ground terminal it would be fine and as well as the neutral and ground are bridged together in my breaker box, which they are. The neutral and ground are basically connected together in the breaker.
I can take a pic of it as well, he had me remove the cover, etc
Can you please post a picture of the boxes where I can see how wires are hooked up. The key to 3 ways is one will have line to breaker and the other switch will have load to fixture. In many cases load and line are in same box which I expect is happening in your case. To make a dumb 3way work you have to “send” line or load to the other switch and I expect to find a white wire hooked up to a black wire in your upstairs switch box. If correct we need to change that so we can get a true neutral downstairs and NOT use your ground wire.
Do you have any unused wires in the box downstairs and upstairs? You can bring in the neutrals.
But if you can’t. These smart switches can do the 3 way with the old mechanical switch. I have them and love them and can’t say enough of the customer support from them. Check out their instructions. You can install one upstairs and keep the dummy switch downstairs.
I’m in a newly constructed house. Wanted to have the whole house done with smart switches before move-in but it just wasn’t affordable. So I’m doing them myself in small groups. Doing 3-ways has been making me nervous!
So far I’ve bought a handful of Leviton switches. But the Levitons require special companion switch for 3-way. Looks like the Zooz switches could save me a bunch of money!
Zooz switch requires the Z-Wave gateway controller, which is like super expensive
3 way isnt that bad as long as you have all the wires you need
and @barrios35 it’s the downstairs switch box that is the issue it is what I believe they call a 14-3, which is 1 black, 1 red, 1 white, and of course a ground , I was told the white isnt a neutral on that, and it is not in my case either.
I was able to rig it using the ground as my neutral but it looks like that could cause issues so I undid it and im back to square one.
There is only ONE light bulb in the stairway, I am thinking about getting a google home compatible LED wifi smart bulb and calling it a day.
Ill use the leviton 3 way on another 3 way switch in the upstairs hallway, I confirmed this morning it does have neutral on both ends
The current, Zooz V2 switches work with SmartThings hub, a device handler is needed for some features. There are several reviews on Amazon that mention using Zooz switches and dimmers with SmartThings hubs.