Trouble with 3-way switch

Thanks, that’s what I was suspecting. I got a decent deal on GE switches :frowning: and wondering if I easy rewiring was an option. I guess not…

It IS necessary to use the neutral wire with these switches. I found out when I was replacing an existing 3-way switch and tried doing without going to the trouble. Didn’t work.

Many times existing switches have the neutrals (white) twisted together with a wire nut stuffed in the back of the box. I removed the wire nut and added another white conductor and connected it as shown in the GE diagram. (That is why they include the white wire “pigtail” in the box with the switch. The included pigtail is too short to suit me so I made my own from spare Romex I had on hand.)

Works like a champ.

It’s also possible to run an extra Romex from the light fixture box to you switch as well depending on you access since you already have the GE but definitely easier with in wall relay module.

Actually I might be able to reroute the power cable going to light fixture to the switch as the switch is at the bottom of basement stairs and light fixture is just above that. With a unfinished basement should be relatively doable. I can then use one of the travel wires to take neutral to the add on switch as well. The only challenge is to find time when wifey is not home :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

@jgravert- Sorry to bring this old post up, but I finally came across this post and it seems to be a solve for my problem.
I have a question that I will save for last and want to verify a few things first.
I have 2 different 3 way light switches that i want to swap out to new Z-Wave switched and in both cases the wiring seems to be the same. All locations have a Neutral White and ground access so that is not an issue

Switch Location Number 1:
Power in (line) Black
Load Out- Black
Red Traveler
White Neutral

Switch Location 2:
Black Wire
Red Traveler
White Neutral

I am guessing that the light fixture is in the middle of the 2 switches.
In the normal instructions at the Add On Switch location the two black wire are twisted together.
Here is my question: In your “New Way” diagram above, what becomes of the black wire in the “Add on” box. Is it just capped?

Yes, it isn’t used in the case of a smart add on switch. Add on switches only trigger the master switch.

Sorry to interrupt the convo here, but just wondering if you got any tips how to do new wiring (I got leviton zwave switch + remote). My setup looks like Option #5 from that list (

Attaching the pics of the original switches.

It’s the switch on the left that I want to replace.
Any help would be appreciated.

What you are missing is neutral at the switch boxes but since I see you have two other light circuits beside the switch in the first picture. You could use a neutral from those switches if they are on the same circuit breaker. You can confirm this by turn off the breaker and check the lights.

My situation has the line and load at the same end passing through the light. It looks like this:

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make 3-way z-wave dimmer work. I am using Leviton DZ6HD (master) and DD00R remote switches.

Any answers? With pics preferred.

Please see this thread as your situation is covered:

Do you think I have the same issue as yours (before) with my following set-up?
I installed lutron caseta without neutral to replace my 3-way switch in the hallway/entryway.
I first installed the remote and as per instruction, capped all 3 wires. I tested this before replacing the other switch and the lights are always on. I thought maybe because the dimmer was not installed yet. But after installing it, still always on.
To complicate matters, I actually have 2 sets of lights–each 2-bulbs each (one near main door and the other near kitchen). One set is always off and the other set is always on.

And as far as |I can understand things–I’ve followed the instructions correctly–remote and dimmer.

Thank you very much for your time.

Like me you will need to get a meter possibly with some extension wire to physically test your wires while they are not connected to the switches or lights. You are going to want to turn off the breaker first, cap all the wires then turn the breaker back on to find your hot wire. Then find your neutral. Once you accomplish this you will need to figure out using continuity testing which wires are going where and write everything down. After you can apply the diagrams to your situation and then make notes which wire goes where.