Okay i thought my house was wired correctly- guess not? now what?

(Andrew) #1


I put in a 3way ge switch a while back, and it took me a while but i figured it out and it has worked flawlessly

Now i have installed some locks on the other side of the house, I have 2 ge switch sitting around and for today I was just going to install on a singal wall switch half way down the hall to boost the signals. /

I open the box and its only a 2 post with ground, black and white.

ugh I installed the GE switch and it powers on but of course it does not switch the light becuase there is no load line. This a “one way” type light switch

do they even sell a Z-wave switch that will work like this?

(might be my fake name?) #2

It didn’t burn down. That is good.


There are a couple of model Z wave switches that don’t require a neutral, but those were only work with incandescent bulbs, which most people don’t want to use anymore. If you do want to do that, Cooper makes one.

A better alternative for most people is the Lutron caseta switch. They use their own proprietary communication protocol which is very fast, and have a switch that does not require a neutral but can work with LEDs or CFL’s. There is an official SmartThings integration, although you will have to buy their “smart bridge” to make it work. A number of community members have it and say it is at least as fast as their zwave switches even though it is cloud to cloud. One SmartBridge can support about 40 of the light switches.

Of course the Lutron switches cannot act as a repeater for your zwave locks, so you might need to also get a zwave pocket socket for that part of the house.

(Burton Strauss) #4

You SHOULD, if the house is properly wired in the last 20-30 years, have the neutral. It may not have been connected to the switch - code doesn’t require that.

I’ve found a couple boxes where 2 or 3 of them are tied off with a wire nut and the original paint sprayed over the wires and the box.

(Andrew) #5

THanks, what about zigbee? same deal?

my house is 30 years old, the only wires in the 2 I checked are the black, white and ground

one MAY be a 3way but if it is I dont know where the other switch is… plus if it is shouldn’t i have a travaler ?


Yes, zwave, zigbee, WiFi switches all require a neutral wire to operate the radio if you want to use LED bulbs and not just incandescents. Lutron Caseta is the exception, because they hold patents on their own technology.

(Scott Ainsworth) #7

A good fix would be to put a z-wave or zigbee relay in the box up by the light fixture. You will have all the same functionality and the required wires will be be there.


Is it possible that the outlets your looking at could have been added later? I had an electrician add an outlet on the other side of my kitchen. It worked fine for a couple of years and I installed the JE/Jasco light switches all over my house. This outlet turned out to only have 2 wires and a ground too. I needed to change the wiring around since it wouldn’t work as is. Turned out he just wired it the easiest way for him but didn’t offer me a lot of options for change.

Just a thought for your instance might be worth looking into.



If it’s a 120 V outlet in the US, it has to have a neutral. It won’t work otherwise. (It doesn’t have to have a ground if it’s old enough, but that’s a different issue.)

The outlet only has two wires because there’s no “load” wire running off to a fixture – – the cord that plugs into the outlet becomes the load wire. So the outlet just has the hot and the neutral.

(Andrew) #10

this seems how mine is, no load, but seems still no z-wave switches to automate this ? other then the lutron above

(Andrew) #11

possible but they are behind the drywall, if it was added later the dude knew what hes was doing !!

(Scott Ainsworth) #12


The best solution is to leave the switch there, then put a z-wave relay up by the light fixture. This will extend your z-wave network while allowing you control the light with the switch and smartthings. There are a number of different manufactures that make these devices. I use the one found on ebay from Z-wave 4 less. It seems to work fine for me.

(Andrew) #13

thanks for the link, so this goes up near the light, what happens if someone toggles the switches?

(Scott Ainsworth) #14

You connect the wires from the switch to it and flipping the switch will activate the relay and turn on the light.

(Andrew) #15

Trying to find this answer, do I only need one of these for a 3 or 4 way? We have 6 fixtures controlled by 3 switches

The is nice that it uses the switch in put

(Scott Ainsworth) #16

You will only need one .

(Andrew) #17

I am very tempted to order the 8 pack for these, have you had any issues with them at all?

(Scott Ainsworth) #18

The only issue I’ve had is that when you add it ST will assign it a generic zwave switch device handler. It’s features are really better match for the relay device handler. I switched device handlers in the IDE to improve reporting of its state. Otherwise it works great.