Zooz Zen22 3 way problem

I installed a Zooz Zen22 dimmer into my previous 3 way circuit and cannot get it to work correctly. I have the following wiring setup (line and load in separate boxes).

The Zooz indicates to bring a load wire into the line box, but I am wondering why I cannot use the wiring that is already there. I am using a dumb switch as the 2nd switch. Installing a load wire in the line box would be very hard, messy, and seems unnecessary with all the wires in the box now.

Here is what I have tried.

I first tried to install this in the load box (preferred location). I connected the wires as follows:

Neutral — Neutral on Zooz
Load — Load on Zooz
Red (traveler) — Traveler on Zooz
Black (from traveler 3 wire romex) — Line on Zooz

The dummy had the red traveler and black traveler connected across from each other on the dummy switch, and the line wire connected to the other post on the switch. Neutrals in the line box were connected together with a wire nut.

This didn’t work right. So I tried switching the load and black traveler wire on the Zooz and it worked sort of, but if I turned on the dummy switch, the Zooz lost power. Leaving the dummy switch off, the system worked, but the dummy switches LED was dimmed when the Zooz was off.

So, thinking the problem was that I did not have constant line power to the Zooz, I switched it to the line box. I connected the wiring as follows:

Neutral — Neutral on Zooz
Line — Line on Zooz
Red (traveler) — Traveler on Zooz
Black (from traveler 3 wire romex) — Load on Zooz

This also worked sort of, but if I turned on the dummy switch, the Zooz lost power. Leaving the dummy switch off, the system worked, but the dummy switches LED was dimmed when the Zooz was off.

Is there a way for this to work? It would be best if I could use the load box and not the line box, but I will take what I can get. Anyone have any idea?

Thanks for reading this,

Rick

you need to follow option 2 from their wiring diagram. You should end up with no black wires connected to your dumb switch. I have pictures of this exact wiring scenario in my review thread:

CFLs and dimmers do not get along.

I read your review earlier actually. It was good. So you are saying, that even with all of these wires in this box, I have to run another load wire to my line box for this to work?

I also assume that there is no way for this to work with the Zooz in the load box without moving the line wire to it.

That is really a bummer as it is not worth having to rewire everything. Why did Zooz decide to require a less than optimal wiring pattern for this switch? Optimal wiring is the diagram I included in my original post.

I am using LEDs and they work great with dimmers.

no no no. you have all the wiring you need if your house matches the diagram you posted. take the two black wires in your load box and cap them together. this will extend the load to your line box with the Zooz switch. Then in the load box connect the two white neutrals to the same terminal on the dumb switch. Look closely at my before and after pictures of the dumb switch and you can see this.

Ok, I connected the two black wires together in the load box and put the neutral on the common pole of the dummy switch in the load box. Turned on the power and the Zen22 worked, but the dummy switch didn’t do anything…well it turned off its own LED when the switch was turned on (which is dimmed when the dummy switch is off, so I think something is still wrong). I have included pictures of my wiring as I am not sure what the problem is now.

Here is the Zen22. The black wire across from the red, connected to the load terminal, is coming from the same line (3 wire romex) as the red traveler. The black wire connected to the line terminal on the Zen22 is from the line running to the breaker box. It is hard to see in this picture. The neutrals for the line and 3 wire romex are together in the wire nut and then connected with a pigtail to the neutral terminal on the Zen22.

Here is the picture of the dummy switch. The red traveler is at the top on the right looking at the picture. The neutrals from the load and the 3 wire romex are together in the wire nut and then connected with a pigtail to the common terminal of the dummy switch (black screw).

Thoughts?

Rick

The wiring looks right

This confuses me. What do you mean by its own LED?

Along the same lines if I wanted the Zen22 in the load box, to connect the black wire in the 3 wire romex (traveler wire) to the line wire in the line box with a wire nut. Then at the load box, connect the traveler wire to the line terminal on the Zen22. So it would look like this:

Load box (Zen22) with traveler wire and load wire:

Load wire from lights – Load on Zen22
Black traveler wire (which is connected to the line wire in the line box) – Line on Zen22
Red traveler wire – Traveler on Zen22
Neutral wire (traveler wire and load wire connected with wire nut) – Neutral on Zen22

Line Box (Dummy mechanical switch) with traveler wire and line wire:

Red traveler wire – traveler terminal on mechanical switch (top of switch)
Neutral wire (traveler wire and line wire connected with wire nut) – Common terminal on mechanical switch (opposite lower side black screw).

Rather than carrying to load into the line box, wouldn’t this carry the line (power) into the load box?

I could then have the Zen22 in the load box, which is the preferred location. Would this work?

In either case (if this worked), I still have the problem of the dummy mechanical switch not doing anything).

Rick

It is a lighted mechanical switch. It has an LED to illuminate the toggle.

ah, yeah, you’re going to have to replace that with a regular one.

Is that why the dummy mechanical switch is not turning off the lights (or turning them on when the Zen22 is off) though? Is it messing up the smart switch because of the toggle LED draw?

probably. i’m guessing the way the zooz works is it passes a low level of current between the red and the white. it think flips the status of the smart switch when it detects that circuit being broken. the LED in your dump switch probably messes with this.

LEDs do. Your picture has a CFL in it.

Ah, so it does. I did not even notice. I got that off the net. :slight_smile: I am using dimmable LED bulbs though. :slight_smile:

Ok, I swapped out the LED toggle for a regular one and it works now. You are a genius sir. Thanks a ton!

Rick

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I know this is an old post but I have a similar wiring as the original post. Is it ok to add the zooZ Zen 23 to either of the box? Or do I really have to only install this switch at the power source box?
My plan is to take the source(black wire) from first box straight to second box through the unused black wire.