"Option 5" 3-Way GE Z-Wave Dimmer Install Help Needed

I have the situation depicted in “option 5”:

From the way my brain is thinking about it, the “easiest” way to make this work is to re-wire it such that it matches “Option 9”. But I think even then I would be left without a needed Neutral in the switch on the right.

Any advice is appreciated. I’m quite confident working with voltages at this level, just trying to make sure I’m not missing an easier method of accomplishing the goal.



You are correct about missing wire trying to convert from option 5 to 9. The easiest way is to install dimmer switch that does not need neutral such as Luton Caseta but it requires a Luton bridge.
You can also install an Aeon Nano dimmer without needing a neutral as well.
The third option is to install relay module at the light fixtures box. Aeon Nano, Visions, monoprice and a few other make them.

So looking at the way that the Add on switch and the main switch work together I think if I just re-wire for main power into the box that currently goes out to the light, I can use the 3-wire that runs between the two to carry just the needed neutral and traveler (and ground obviously).

I don’t really consider adding an additional technology (Lutron) an option.

I’m working on drawing up a diagram of my proposed solution.


If your current setup is power into the light, then to the switch, you might be hosed without running a new 3 wire (red/black/white) from switch to light.

Simply rewiring what you have won’t work, you have to ADD an additional wire. If your setup is #5 then the only neutral is at the light and not in the box with the switch. Unfortunately, in your wall you only have two wires going between the actual light and a switch - one is for source power (line), the other is sending power to the light (load).

IF you had a separate power and neutral going to either box (perhaps one of the switches is part of a multi-gang box?) - Then you could turn it into a # 9 picture, which does support the GE switches you want to use.

Other than that I think you are going to have to add something - either a separate wire run, or the lutron bridge and switches.

To clarify. Adding an additional run of romex is what I meant by re-wire. Re-wire at the light so that the breaker power (hot and neutral) go directly to the switch box, and an additional run of romex goes light to switch box. Then I can use the exiting white and red lines between the two switches to run the neutral and traveler. This would essentially abandon the black wire that runs between the switches.

Obviously connecting the grounds between everything.

Yes, that would work, as would replacing the 2 wire from switch box to light with a 3 wire, so you gain the neutral wire, plus black for constant power from light box and red for switched power returning to light. Your choice.

Sorry, my bad… I assumed “re-wire” meant use the current wires you have but hook them up differently. If you are going to run a new 14-2 this is what your “After” would look like…

So This is what I’m going to end up with.

I kind of like the idea of having less wiring coming to/from so running a 3-wire instead of two 2-wires.

This is working great. Took the opportunity to move the switch to the other side of the hallway (from behind the door).
Thanks everybody.

Incidentally I can share the inkscape files I used to make the GE style drawings, if anyone’s interested.