ZWave Ge Switches - can I run from 2nd slot of hot wire to 2nd switch?

I’m looking at replacing my garage switches ad there are currently 2 switches installed. It looks like the old units loop from the first to the next with an extra loop wire.

Can I use that old loop wire to come out of the hot GE Z Wave to the 2nd switch?

You need to use a GE add-on switch and wire it like the diagrams in the link below.

GE Add on

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The 2nd isn’t turning the same light on and off. One is for indoor and the other outdoor. So it’s 2 switches, side by side, controlling different lights.

I think I understand what you are asking (single line wire connected to two switches) and that should be fine but to be sure, I’d recommend you upload a picture to verify. In any case, I prefer to use separate connections using a wire nut.

JSo I take the line that’s going in and connect a wire nut to two wires going into each? What kind of wire can I buy To use? I think I’m getting that the lines on the bottom are hot and the top are out to the lights with these switches.


This is some interesting wiring. I’m assuming the middle 2 wire line connects to the bottom of the right switch. Hard to tell in your picture. I can tell you’ve disconnected a cable so I want to make sure.

If that is the case then from what I can see, it looks like a single 3 wire line is used for two separate lights, one is your power from the breaker and one is a power pass through.

For a GE Smart Switch you need to connect the cables the same they are now plus add the white additional cable that came with your switch to the white bundle of cables in the box

It looks like the hot wire just loops around the first switch on the right and keeps going into the left unit.

I’m guessing I should cut that, add a nut, and add a single line from the nut to each GE. Is there a specific gauge of wire I should use?

I’m actually asking about the black wire from the line in the middle (of the three entering the box). Where does it go?

I think I need to open it up again for a look when I get back later. I’m not sure where it’s heading. There is 3rd light in the garage but that controls a different outside light.

Actually - the garage door opener control is right above. Could it be going to that?

I just want to make sure it is pass through power to something else

By any chance, the one on the right-side is a 3-way. Normally, the switch that had red wire (travel line) connected, is the 3-way switch.

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Normally that is the case, but he appears to have two 2 way switches. Meaning the red wire is used for a second device (like ceiling fans are normally wired). In his case he says it controls two lights.

Now I’m not certain of that because I can’t see where the black wire from the middle line goes to.

On the back of GE zwave switches that I have there are 2 holes in the back for each “leg”. So you could place the hot into 1 hole and have a line going from the second hole to the hot side of the second switch.

No need for any wire nuts or additional wires.

So the actual wiring between the 2 switches does not change.

I had the same situation in several of my boxes in my house. The hot was daisy chained between switches.

Since my boxes are very small I have very little room to add more wire nuts.

As far as gauge you should always get the correct gauge of wire for your application. Too thin and there is a risk for safety and fire.

Meaning if you use wire that is too thin you risk over heating the wire and causing a fire.

Edited: 10/31/2016: Removed mention of stranded wire

Please always use the appropriate solid core, correct gauge wire for residential electric for general safety and avoid fire

So if the circuit is 15 amps use 14 gauge

If the circuit is 20 or more amps use 12 or thicker gauge.

Chances are your light circuit is 15 amps.

But please use google and Home Depot to verify this .

If the old wires look okay, you can use the old black wire between the switches.

Note: Please confir with an electrician, theoretically solid core might be safer, less resistance, but I find solid harder to work with.

Note: every time I wired in a new switch I replaced the incandescent bulb with a new led.

The new led draws much less current than the old bulb, and thus less heat and less chance of fire.

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Yes, you can chain the line and neutral wires. As mentioned above, each terminal has 2 holes. I’ve done it for my neutrals in a couple switch boxes.

Just be aware you do not use stranded wire hooking up to the switch terminal screw. It’s against code due to expansion caused by heat and become loose over time. What you can do is solder the end first.
You will find the smart GE switch comes with jumper wires with soldered ends.

@Navat604 thank you, I did not know this! This sounds important!

Hmm, that explains why the wires GE supplies come pre - soldered.

But in that case would it be easier to always use solid core then?

Edited my other post to remove mention of stranded wire. Always use the correct wire for the application, which is probably solid core for residential electric wiring.

Multiple wires on one screw is a no no also. Also the exposed copper shouldn’t extend past the body of the switch.

this is more of a wiring question than a smartthings question. If you look up wiring a 3 way switch and a regular switch it should come into focus. the white wire is your neutral and you have line and load on each switch. the line can be connected to the 2 switches as it is just supplying the voltage.

From what I remember of the GE Z wave switches i installed and what I’ve seen online you can backwire ( not the same as backstab ) 2 wires on to each terminal. So you can feed the line into the switch and feed the line over to the 2nd switch on the same terminal.