No Neutral Wire


(Jason Good) #1

I know there are lots of other discussions on here but I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Here is my set-up:

First Switch - I just have one set of wires coming into this box. It is a 3 wire line. The black is hot. The red and white appear to be travelers to the second switch. There is no neutral. In the same box I have a GFCI outlet.

Second Switch - A two wire line runs to the light itself. The black is not hot so I’m guessing it goes to the light. The white is bundled up with a bunch of other whites. I added a neutral by connecting it to the bunch of whites. There is a 3 wire line that runs to the first switch. I have the red wire connected to the YL/R connection. I have the white wire connected to the R connection.

When I turn the power back on the lights turn on. But when I flip the first the switch they turn off and cannot be turned back on again. I try turning it on from the second switch but that doesn’t work. I try turning it back on from the first switch and it doesn’t turn on either. The breakers didn’t trip either.

I’ve wired this a thousand different ways and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’m guessing I need that neutral for the first switch?

Anyone have any ideas?


#2

Don’t guess.

If you don’t know how to map every segment of every circuit, bring in an electrician.

There are many different ways to wire even seemingly simple circuits, both for nonnetworked devices and for networked devices. But the very first thing is to know which wires do what.

If you live near a Home Depot, many of them have free classes in how to install a light switch which will teach you a great deal about household wiring and the tools that you use with it. They don’t normally cover smart switches, but since the GE and Lutron switches are sold by Home Depot, The instructor may also be able to get some of those questions answered for you as well.

Once you understand a little more about what you’re looking at and you have more hard information about what the circuits do, people here will be glad to help you with a specific switch.

They will need to know the exact brand and model of the switches that you’re working with, as that does make a difference as well.


#3

Have you looked at the FAQ? It sounds like you have line-switch-load-switch-1.

You’ll need a smart switch and an add-on switch. If you are using a relay, it sounds like you can wire it in the primary switch box or light box.

I’d recommend taking pictures if you need more help.


(Hendre) #4

I get the idea that you have the same wiring setup as what I had when I installed my Fibaro relays/switches. Basically, you have a number of special switches which are used to switch the same lights from numerous locations. (I have a few lights which can be turned on from 4 switches.
I eventually figured it out (what would probably have been easy for an electrition to figure out). It seems to me as if a different wiring setup is used in South Africa for multi-switched lights in the UK (as described on the Vesternet Website), in that special switches is used. The only purpose of the wires between the 1st and the last switches is to interrupt the live. I suppose my description is vague, but I don’t know how to describe it better.
In any event, this is how I wired my setup in the end. The yellow arrow represents any number of the special multi switches:


(Jason Good) #5

Okay… an update. Both switches now have power to them and I have discovered them on my Z-Wave network, which is awesome. What I did is run a wire from the bundle of black wires in Switch 2 as another ‘hot’ wire to the switch. That went into the black terminal. I then took the white wire and ran it into the bundle of white wires (neutrals). I then had a white wire come out of there as the neutral and terminated it into the WH terminal. The red wire is a traveler between the two switches and connects to the YL/R terminal on both switches. I have the black wire from the light itself terminated into the R terminal.

But only one switch will turn the lights on an off. The other switch doesn’t do anything. It clicks and the LED light on it turns on and off as appropriate. But the lights actually don’t turn on and off.

In my first switch I don’t have anything connected to the R terminal, however. I’m wondering if that is the issue. There isn’t another wire to connect to it though. I only have a single 4 line (WH, R, BK, Ground) wire coming into this box. I cannot connect to the lights from here. I can only connect to those in the other switch.

Should I connect the red wire to the R terminal instead? But then there is nothing that connects the two switches together. Maybe I don’t need it?


#6

Brand and model of both The master and the auxiliary switch that you were using? Different ones are wired very differently. For example, the GE smart switches require a physical traveler wire between master and auxiliary, but the linear/gocontrol switches do not use a physical connection.


(Jason Good) #7

Both of my switches are Leviton. One is a Vizia rf+ (15A). The other is a Leviton decora smart switch. I’m wondering if I need a different switch. The instructions talk about the “switch”, “coordinating remote” and “matching remote”. Both of mine appear to be “switches”. I’m not sure what the other two items are.


#8

We would need the full model number of the “smart switch” to be sure, but it sounds like you have two master switches, not a master and auxiliary.

Leviton calls their auxiliaries “remotes.” The old model was the VP 00R. The new model is the DD00R. These two look a little different. The older model could only be pressed at the bottom of the lever, while the newer model uses a press at the top for on and a press at the bottom for off. In either case, these are connected to their master through a physical traveler wire.

They are called “remotes” because they do not communicate directly with a hub and they do not directly control the load to the light. Instead, they just act as a remote control of the master switch, which will do both.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AFU1KOY

The model number matters because Leviton makes a bunch of different devices using the same case.

The 001-DW15S is a Wi-Fi switch that does not work with SmartThings.

http://www.leviton.com/en/products/dw15s-1bz

The 051-DW15S Is a zwave master switch that does work with SmartThings.

The DDMX1- is a Bluetooth switch that does not work with smartThings

http://www.leviton.com/en/products/ddmx1-blz?pg=1459383037866

The DH15S Decora Smart Switch is a master switch that works with HomeKit, but does not work with SmartThings.

https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-DH15S-1BZ-Decora-HomeKit-Required/dp/B06XKKRLNP/

It’s especially frustrating because the Z wave switch, which does work with SmartThings, is now considered a “variant” of the Wi-Fi switch which does not. So you either have to read the product description very carefully or get the full model number with the three digit variant in front of the main model number. But many online listings don’t give you the variant prefix.

Anyway, long story short: it sounds like you don’t have a master switch and its designated auxiliary, which is why the wiring isn’t working. It sounds like you have two masters. So you are likely right that you need a different switch for the auxiliary.

With networked switches it’s very important to get the auxiliary that is made to work with the master.