Problem wiring GE 12727 with two add-ons -

Hard to tell from picture but looking at your neutrals wire nutted together find which black wire from the nutted set goes with a white wire from the nutted neutrals. “If” your setup is the textbook case then that should be your supply from the breaker. That is the black wire you would use for hot on the GE switch and the black wire already attached to old switch in photo is probably your load wire. You would then also make sure to attach a pigtail into the neutrals so you would have 3 wires nutted with the whites. Since I cannot tell what is in the back of the box and what wire goes to what romex I will guess (and you can check) that the red wire goes to the same romex as the white wire with black tape that is attached to the switch. If that is so then it is probably the black wire in the diagram above that comes from the auxiliary switches.

edit To tell what should go where I would not bother trying to wire up any of the ‘other’ switches. Just the one main regular switch. If you can wire the main switch (not GE one) into the system correctly you will have what wire is what figured out.

my wiring is exactly the same as the diagram above except the 3-wire romex is white, black and red. not white with a black stripe.

the 3-wire romex black wire is nutted with the black wire from the 2-wire romex where the power comes in
the white wire from the 3-wire romex is plugged into the GE switch traveler
the red wire is plugged into the GE switch load

i put it this way as per what I think you were telling me above. but nothing works. not even the old switches. when I put the volt meter, i read 120 volts on “load” and nothing on “line”. shouldn’t the voltage show on “line”?

EDIT: should mention… the black wire from the 2-wire romex (power) is plugged into the Line on the GE switch

If you have one end of the volt meter on ground it should read 120v when touched to the hot (line) and zero volts when touched to the neutral. If the switch is ON then the load should also read 120V. If the switch is off then it should read zero volts (this is on regular switch)

Make sure what you think is line vs load is correct since all the romex comes into the wall above and is hard to sometimes tell. Like stated above I assumed the black wire in a 2 pair from the nutted pair was coming from the breaker (line).

Hell one way to check would be to wire neutral and line wires directly to the neutral and load lines to the light directly bypassing all switches. This would ensure you have the right ones.

You have all the wires… just need to figure out order =p When you plug neutral and line from power does the LED on the GE switch come on? (might have to try turning on switch too… do not recall if LED on when switch off or on as default)

Ok… read what you did slower… the red wire should not be plugged into the GE switch as load. That is the traveler to the other switches (if standard followed). For your load it would be the black wire that used to be connected to the switch. So the black wire from the 2-pair of romex that is NOT from the breaker.

So to wire up just 1 switch the black from the 2-wire romex from power would go to hot, the other black from 2-wire romex to load, and the two neutrals nutted together with a pigtail running to GE switch’s neutral.

kinda hard to tell if this GE switch is on or off since it’s always in a neutral position. it also doesn’t have a LED light.

“If you have one end of the volt meter on ground it should read 120v when touched to the hot (line) and zero volts when touched to the neutral.”

but that’s just it… with the current setup, LINE is showing 0 volts and LOAD is showing 120 volts (with the second probe touching ground on both).

I think i need to take a break and come back to this with a clear-head a little later. But I really do appreciate your help.

You would think with a last name like mine (OHM) I shouldn’t have any of these problems :slight_smile:

Could just be you have line and load switched up? I assume both are coming from 2-pair romex?

no, not in the current configuration. the RED wire which is in the “LOAD” is coming from the 3-pair romex. is that not correct?

EDIT: not “3-pair” meant to say the 3-wire romex

No probably not. The load will likely only be a 2-wire. The 3-wire is likely what is going out to the auxiliary switches.

huh. then were would that red wire go? on the 4-way diagram above my red wire is the equivalent of the red wire on that diagram which is on the switch.

It should be wired like this

Z-wave switches will go like this

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The red wire is the traveler that goes to the add-on switches. Initially to make sure your z-wave switch is hooked up just ignore it. When you get that working you would attach the traveler and a neutral for each of the add on switches. No hot required.

that was interesting idea… so i took off the red line and the neutral from the switch and left them hanging. plugged in the white and black for load and line (i tried both combinations) but the light wouldn’t come on. however, with the power on and the red line hanging out the box i used a volt meter on the hanging red and ground and it’s a 120 volts. if the red line is the traveler, how’s it getting juice?

I pulled all the wires out of that box and exposed them. I found power only on the red line and the nutted black wires.

simple actually. You get 120V on the red is because it’s getting power from the twisted 2 black wires through the switch on picture number 1. flip the switch on picture #1 and power should be gone on the red wire and you will now get power on the black wire on the same romex as the red wire. Here is a picture that should help.

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that picture is not the same wiring config. Notice the load is at one box and the line is on the other box. This is one of many wiring configurations so you can’t use it in @tohm case.

The only way left I can think to try and clear things up outside a video chat is to disconnect and un-wire every line then test the voltage on each with it’s corresponding ground.


Ray, wow!!! Thank you so much for making that diagram. And Chris too, you were clearly telling me the correct thing but I kept missing it. It was the line wire I kept messing up.

Right now I only hooked up the main switch controller but it works. I can’t do the other two switches tonight because I got home late from work and I’m going to be one wire short. But the main switch is hooked up and it’s working. It’s too late at the moment for me to go to the store to pick up a wire, though I’m going to search the basement now to see if i can find one to finish the last two switches.

I can’t tell you how happy I am though that this starting to come together. THANK YOU Chris and Ray!!!

Well… i did find a 16 Gauge piece of wire and hooked up the two add-on switches but they their not working. The main switch though still works. Could it be that even though the main switch works that I still missed wired it that’s preventing the 2 add-on’s not to work? The wiring for the add-on’s look so simple.

and here is the master

As as guess without being there… You need to tie that other white wire on the main in with the other neutrals. This is assuming the white wire with the orange nut in the main switch is paired with the red wire. Assuming this since both have a black bit of electrical tape probably to show they go together.

Yup Chris… i added that wire to the nutting of the other neutrals and it did the trick.

It’s all working now!

You know, i ultimately have 2 other 4-way switches that I’m going to want to upgrade, I think now I have a much better understanding thanks to you and ray. I think I’ll work on a clear diagram in VISIO before I close up these gang-boxes.

Thanks again for all your help, words can’t even express my appreciation!