Q: OLD Wiring With Leveton Z-wave Switches

I’m slowly setting up my new home with a wink hub, and I was hoping to get some advice regarding the wiring of some light switches. I have two questions…

First is more of a sanity check; my switch looks like so: Switch 1 Diagram (sorry, I can’t post images as a new member). For description, the switch has two black wires attached to it, while two white (neutral) wires are braided together in the box and not connected to the switch at all.

Because the Leveton switch requires a neutral connection, is it okay to do what I have in the diagram? That is, is it okay for me to splice the white cables to connect to the new switch’s neutral terminal, and move the former black load wire to the red terminal on the new switch?

Second question is a bit more tricky… I have a box with two light switches in it going to two different lights: Two Switch Diagram

Right switch has two black wires and two white (similar to the single switch in my first scenario). The black wires are going directly into the switch and the white wires are braided together, separate from the switch. Both sets of black and white go back out of the box. Left switch has a black and white wire coming into it: white at the top, black at the bottom.

I have no idea what’s going on outside the box. If I wanted to add two more Leveton switches of the same type (requiring a neutral connection), what would I do (if it’s even possible)?

You are correct as to Switch 1 Diagram. For the two switch situation things are murky. If those two switches control two separate lights, as was the case with Switch 1, then they are probably wired the same way, even though one of the wires is white. You could test that fairly easily with a circuit tester, which you can also use to determine which wire is hot and which is load. If they are the same, despite that one white wire to the one switch, then you could replace them with two z-wave switches in the same manner as Switch 1. When you have multiple z-wave switches in an enclosure, they all share the same bundle of neutrals. The typical way to add their neutrals is to make short pigtails that will go into the wire nut neutral bundle, and connect to the neutral terminal on the switch. It’s best to make those pigtails out of solid copper wire, e.g., the white conductor taken from a length of Romex.

0 .not braided - just “twisted”. Even the twisted aspect is incidental because wirenuts are screwed onto straight wire held together in your fingers, and usually the force of screwing the wirenut on, twists the conductors together.

  1. sanity check: your diagram marked NEW is correct

  2. two switches: you need a multimeter to confirm what is inside the switchbox, and at the end devices. Assume nothing! That said, the wirenut-whites are probably neutral (and unused by your existing switches). The leftswitch-black is probaby hot, leftswitch-white is probably switched-hot to the leftbulb. The rightswitch-blacks, one is always-hot and one is switched-hot to the rightbulb.

You seem have a great infrastructure to add more 3wire Zwave switches.

  1. seriously, get a multimeter and assume nothing. Wiring standards are not laws of physics, so actual installations vary.

Thanks, both of you. This weekend I grabbed some romex, wire nuts and a multimeter and installed two zwave switches as I had in the first diagram, and they’re both working flawlessly. I appreciate the help.

Now, combined with the power of IFTTT, I have porch lights that turn on automatically at sunset and off again at sunrise.

I hope you realize that you don’t need IFTTT to get them to come on at sunset and off at sunrise – that is a native capability of ST.

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