ZooZ wiring 3 way

I am new to smart things and I am trying to wire a Z Wave switch from ZOOZ and I ran into an issue with the wiring. I hope this is the right place to ask if anyone else have seen a similar wiring and if yes how did you wire it?
Her is what I see

White - Hot
RED - Travel
Black - Travel

Red - Travel
Black - Travel
Red - Load

At Light
Red coming in to Black on the light
5 white on 1 wire nut with one of it to the light
3 black on 1 wire nut
1 red 1 black on a wire nut

Pictures would be better, but it sounds like you have power coming in at the fixture, which unfortunately doesn’t work with smart switches that requires a neutral like the Zooz unit.

Agreed. Are the two switch boxes single gang boxes?

I will get the pics as soon as I get a break. Many guests at home and it is the kitchen pantry light that exits also to garage.
BOX1 is single gang in kitchen. BOX2 has another 3 way switch for the garage and a fan switch.

Is either the garage connection or the fan in Box2 on the same circuit as the light you are trying to replace? You might be able to grab a neutral from that if so.

So when I turn off the circuit breaker for this light it also turns off garage and the fan. So can I assume that it is from the same circuit?

Yep. That is correct.

So at least you have a neutral in one box. There are other threads here that discuss hot to the light first. Hopefully someone will way in here with a solution or take a look at the Zooz documentation.

Tagging @thesmartesthouse

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Doesn’t mean there is a neutral in the box. Those other circuits could also be power at the fixture.

So I got a few mins to remove the 3 gang box and here is what I saw. Took some pics too.

The travelers black and red are accompanied by a white wire which is connected to 2 other black wires using a wire nut.
Pic 1 and 2
Pic 3 is the single switch with the white hot wire

Killjoy, lol. Good point though.

Well, um . . . thanks.

Firstly, the white wire on the single gang box switch which is hot may not always be hot depending on how the switches are thrown. One or the other traveler wire sin a three-way setup will always be hot.

I’m not going to suggest a solution here, but will pass on a couple observations. You would normally expect to see a black, white and red connected to a three way switch. Your switch in the two-gang box has two reds. But looking at the 2nd picture of that box, it looks like one of the reds is pigtailed to two blacks. That makes me wonder if the power is being fed to that switch via that pigtailed red, not to the light as we originally thought. (You would normally see a black pigtail to feed power.)

I’d pull the pigtailed red from the switch and see if it’s hot all the time. If it is, double-check to make sure it is attached to the black/dark screw on the switch, which is the common. If that’s good, then find the white bundled in the same three-wire containing the other two connections to that switch and see if it’s wire-nutted to other whites. If all that seems in order, then you may have power fed to the switch and a neutral in the box.

Here is the three-way switch FAQ:

When in doubt, consult with a licensed electrician.

That was a long explanation. Thanks so much. I think the pic is a bit confusing. That red wire is not on any wire nut. Neither of them are. If you look at the second pic carefully, the white wire is nutted to the black wire. The red is going straight up. You can see a tiny bit of it continuing.

Also that white wire in the single gang switch is the only wire out of the 6 wires that’s always hot regardless of the switch position on either of the switches and that red in the two gang that’s connected to the black nut is the only one that matches the light. It’s hot only when the light is on. The others change as we switch the switches just like a regular traveler.
I drew over this pic. Hope this could clear that.

Thanks. I see that now. I’m not sure what you have going on there. Hopefully someone else can weigh in.

yeah, it’s strange to have two runs of 14/3 on one 3-way circuit. Doesn’t fit any of the “normal” options here https://www.easy-do-it-yourself-home-improvements.com/3-way-switch-wiring-diagram.html

So I managed to open a few more 3 way switches in the house with power on since I couldn’t disturb the family and guests and three others are wired similar to this one. Is anyone aware of a cable with 2 red black and a white or something like that?

I am trying to make a drawing and see if it makes any sense.

Sorry for my poor drawing but does this make any sense?

This is good and the electrician that installed this did you a favor. As you may have read in the FAQ or online, power to the light first typically doesn’t work for smart switches because you don’t have enough wires and typically don’t have a neutral in the switch boxes. Not sure when your home was built but recent NEC code does require neutral at all switch locations so maybe this is why a 14-3 Romex (red, black, white wire) was used between the light fixture and the switch. Again in older installs a 14-2 (black, white) would be used in this situation and thus no way to make a smart switch work without addition wires.

The key to 3 way switches is the different color screw labeled “common” where one switch will have load to fixture and the other switch will have line power from breaker. The switch in the picture above has a red wire hooked to this terminal, that is load to your fixture. Notice the white wire that I labeled 2nd switch is hooked to the black wire from the fixture wire, that is “sending” power to the other switch which is also why you mentioned that white wire always has power. Your Zooz Switch will have to go in the gang box pictured above since it has line, load and neutral in this box.

Zooz switch

  • the wire labeled fixture has everything you need, White is neutral, Black is line, and red is load
  • Remove the fixture black and switch white wire nut and put that black wire into the line terminal on the Zooz switch
  • I cannot see where the white wire of the fixture wire is going, but I assume to a bundle of wires with a wire nut. If so put a short pigtail wire into this bundle so you can get neutral for you Zooz switch.
  • Also put the white wire from the 2nd “switch” wire into the second neutral hole so your other dumb switch will work.
  • Put the red 2nd switch wire into the traveler terminal on the Zooz switch
  • Put a cap on the 2nd switch black wire as you don’t need it

Other switch

  • Make sure the wiring diagram of your Zooz switch matches this one
  • the white wire currently hooked up to the common terminal, black screw, remains
  • the red wire hooked to the opposite side remains
  • the black wire above the white wire isn’t needed so you can remove it and put a cap on it.

Enjoy your new smart switch.


This house was built between 1998 and 2000. That explanation makes complete sense. I will try to install it and if it works, I will make a better diagram of the before and after and post it here. I am glad you could figure it out. Thank you so much. I have 4 ZOOZ switch and 3 of the switches I wanted to change are wired like this. I will tackle this first since this is the only one I could do without disturbing the family.

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That solution worked like a charm. Now I have to connect it to my hub. But it is working awesome as a standalone. I will update this post with a before and after wiring diagram later. Thank you so much for the help everyone. This will help me with 2 more switches that has similar wiring.

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I may have been extremely ambitious when I said I will get a better diagram. I improved a little bit but not the greatest. Here is how this wiring existed

The new wiring modified for ZooZ Zen23 switch