Wiring inovelli 3-way with dumb switch

I’m pretty green with electrical work so I may be missing something obvious here.

My problem is that the dumb switch on the other end will not control the lights. If I turn it off then it kills power to the smart switch and nothing works. If it’s flipped up then it will turn the lights on, but they turn right back off. That allows the smart switch to function properly, but obviously I want them both working.

I believe they are wired correctly and here is why, but please correct me if I’m off base. When the dumb switch is flipped ‘up’ and the smart switch is functioning properly…and the smart switch has the lights turned off…the only wires reading live are the line in and the traveler wire. The traveler wire on the dumb switch is also live at this point. When I use the smart switch to turn the lights on then the load becomes live at the smart switch along with the line and load on the dumb switch.

Any ideas are appreciated

(after looking at inovelli’s website… looks like my earlier comment was wrong)

I assume your situation is not wired correctly. just a guess.

Did you confirm your wiring matches one of the Inovelli schematics? It sounds like power is being supplied from the dumb switch to the smart switch and then to the light, when the line should bypass the dumb switch, with the neutral and traveler wires used for communication between the two switches.

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Yeah that’s my issue. Thanks. I saw that earlier on the schematics and I got so wrapped up in another problem that I brain dumped it when it came time to wire it up. Unfortunately, running a neutral from one box to the other (as explained by inovelli support) isn’t an option for me. Will have to find another brand I guess. Thanks again

The neutral that connects to the dumb switch…can that be pigtailed in the box that the dumb switch is in or does a wire have to be pulled box to box?

(Disclaimer - I am not an electrician)

If the neutral in the dumb box is on the same breaker you can pigtail from there. I’m not sure of the setup with the Inovelli switch (no link to the manual when I looked at their page earlier) but I would have expected that you would use the red and white wires to bring neutral and signal to the dumb switch, with the black wire left to carry line to the smart switch. That’s based on the GE switches though since I haven’t installed a Zooz or Inovelli before.

If you don’t have enough detail from the switch documentation, try Inovelli tech support. @Eric_Inovelli is active here too.

Hey @tons_of_guns,

I’m going to forward this onto our licensed electrician as I’m probably as green as you are with electrical, so I am likely not any help at all.

I’ll upload a couple different schematics, but I’m assuming you probably already saw them.

If it makes things easier, would you mind either reaching out to us at: contact@inovelli.com and shoot us some pics of the wires so we can determine how to help you? Or, if you just want to upload them here, I can screenshot it onto Jason.

Talk soon!


If the traveler is LIVE then it’s wired wrong. You should only have 2 wires hooked up to dumb switch. A neutral wire and the traveler that attached to the Inovelli Neither should have 120v

Yea I’ve realized that mistake now. The neutral is what I’m confused about. Where does it come from for the dumb switch ? There is a bundle in both boxes. Can I use the bundle or does it have to come directlt from the smart switch?

@Eric_Inovelli I’ll take some pictures tomorrow. It’s already closed up for the night. Thanks

It’s a shared neutral from the switch side. It’s not directly from the switch but the shared portion.

I’m not sure what to do with this white wire on the dumb end of the 3 way. If I just leave it hanging it doesn’t work. I’m jumping from the other inovelli in that picture for the neutral. That switch is a single and it’s working correctly. The black wire there is the true load and that gets capped off according to the inovelli instructions. Red wire traveler. White wire I’m not sure what to do with. They were all 3 hooked to the original switch with the ground

Just to confirm, these three wires, red, white, and black are all from the same 14-3 Romex? If so then yes black gets capped and white is hooked up like diagram. But you must hook up the other end of this white wire with your Inovelli switch in the neutral terminal along with the neutral from that switch box.

I assume the other end of the white it bundled with the neutrals in the other box ? I closed it all back up already. I’ll have another look tomorrow

All the wires where the line is come from the same romex. Where the load it’s the white and red coming from the same Romex. The black from that Romex ties to a bundle of other black wires. The black going to the dumb switch comes from a Romex 14-2 that only has a white wire ad a ground. That white wire ties to the other whites in the box.

Lets back up a little

Please describe the Romex wires hooked up to your switches in both boxes. From the above it sounds like you have a 14-2 romex (black, white, ground) and a 14-3 (black, white, red, ground) hooked up to the switches in both locations. Is this correct? This will possibly means you have line in one location and load in the other. This is important to know in order to provide instructions on how to hook up the wires on your smart switch and dumb switch.

Maybe clear pictures of both boxes with the wires spread out will help too.

The line is located in the box where the inovelli will go. It has one Romex with all 3 wires (and a ground) going to that switch. In the load box where the add-on will go there are two different Romex connected to that switch. The first Romex has all 3 wires, but only the white and red attach to the switch. The black ties to the bundle in that box. The black wire connecting to the add-on comes from a Romex that has that black wire and a white wire. The white wire there ties to the white bundle. Pics are attached. For now I’ve unhooked the inovelli in this scenario. The inovelli you see in the pic is on a single pole so ignore it. Pics 1,2 and 5 are off the same box where the add-on goes.

It’s hard to identify from the photos but if you have a switch with ONLY a 14-3 Romex connected then this is your add-on. The black wire is just carrying line from the first box and sending it back over either the red or white wire, depending on switch position.

The bundles here are line and neutral from the breaker. The 14-2 Romex connected to the switch is the load. This box is where the smart switch goes, wired per the first image in Eric’s post.

if this is still unclear it may be time to get an electrician.

just let us know what wiring diagram from here matches your circuit

I am not sure about this. Please confirm a few things for me.

This switch, are all 3 wires hooked up to your switch from the same Romex?

If so, your line and load are in the other box where you Inovelli switch needs to go.

  • Disconnect the black wire from the 14-3 wire where the red and white are currently hooked up to your switch from the black bundle. Put a cap on it as it is not needed. Currently you are sending 120v power to your other switch, thus causing your issues.
  • Put a black wire pigtail into the black bundle of wires and hook up to line on your Inovelli
  • Put a white wire pigtail into the white wire bundle of wires and hook up to the neutral on your Inovelli along with the current white wire that is hooked up to the switch. This will send neutral to your Aux.
  • Connect the current red wire on your switch to the Traveler on your Inovelli

On your Aux, follow the diagram that is posted above:

White to common screw, usually black or bronze.
Red to the screw on the other side of your switch.
Cap black wire as its not needed.