One thing leads to another

So I have twelve track lights that are a mix of non dimmable CFL bulbs. At Costco I spot a two pack of LED bulbs for about $5.50 with a utility company instant rebate of $4.00. So I load up and change the bulbs. Now that I have new bright dimmable bulbs I needed a z wave dimmable switch. I have one that was deleted but not unpaired so I went digging for my never used Vizia RF + installation tool I bought 5 years ago. The software only works on a windows PC so I found an old win 7 netbook and fire it up and start updating. I finally get the switch reset so I can reuse it. I go to replace the switch and notice that there is no neutral. I go get the romex and drop another wire in the wall to make it right. I start hooking it all back up and only then realize that the old metal box can’t accommodate the zwave switch so back goes the old switch. That’s about three hours I will never get back. To make things worse it is a 115 year old plaster wall that I need to cut to enlarge the gang box…next weekend.


I feel your pain!

The house I’m in was built in the late 50’s for a well to do family.
The walls are all plasterboard covered in plaster. Close to an inch and a quarter thick.
All of the metal wall boxes are nailed to the studs, have metal plaster rings around the switch openings, and are set back so deeply that when I replace a switch, I have to use longer screws from the hardware store. I ended up buying a box of machine screws that are 3/4 of an inch longer than the ones included with the GE Z-Wave switches just so I can get them in securely.

I completely feel your pain. Replacing a wall box also involves a LOT of plaster repair from having to hammer the metal box out of the wall.

Yeah, I have seen a lot of that plaster board used in the 50’s. I have one of those vibrating cutting tools so after a little research I will attempt to cut thru the wood lathe & plaster on the open (non-stud) side first and then try to remove or cut thru the nails on the other side.