4-Way wiring with GE 12724 & GE 12723

I’ve seen plenty of wiring diagrams for the 3-way configuration of the GE dimmer and accessory switch, but I can’t seem to find a wiring diagram for a 4-way configuration. At the 3rd switch in the middle, there are two traveler wires. Do those get wire-nutted together and pigtailed to the traveler side of the GE 12723?

Thanks,
Steve

[quote=“magnum003, post:1, topic:191662”]I’ve seen plenty of wiring diagrams for the 3-way configuration of the GE dimmer and accessory switch, but I can’t seem to find a wiring diagram for a 4-way configuration. At the 3rd switch in the middle, there are two traveler wires. Do those get wire-nutted together and pigtailed to the traveler side of the GE 12723?

Thanks,
Steve[/quote]

I’m not specifically familiar with how the GE set up, I used Linear in my house. With the Linear no travel is ever needed, just power to the accessory switch. The accessory switch is a scene controller and is associated with the main switch.

Try this thread… helped me. I think you do pigtail them, but I’m not an expert.
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,20936.30.html

Yes… All GE Auxiliary switches use the same “common” and “traveler” wire.

Thanks for the replies. I’m patiently awaiting shipment of my VeraPlus to test these out.

If I set these up for a group of lights in my upstairs hallway, can I then use the Ecolink Z-Wave Motion Detector to trigger the lights to dim to say 20% between the hours of 8pm and 8am and turn off 4 minutes after each trigger (motion)? The thought being that when my kids get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, they don’t turn all 4 60watt hall lights on full blast, but rather have them dim to 20% so they can make their way to the bathroom. Then of course, I’d want them to turn off after 4 minutes.

Link to Motion Detector:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FB1TBKS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_5&smid=A1XO9WGZO0A93O

Yes, but…

You’ll need to use the Program Logic Event Generator plugin(PLEG), unless you’re good at Lua/LUUP code. You can fairly easily configure PLEG with a specific action for that schedule when the motion sensor is tripped.

So I’ve made a first attempt at getting the 3 GE Switches installed. I ended up terribly confused. My ran in to my first problem when i found that one of the 3-way switches was at the end of the circuit. So as far as I can tell, I don’t have a neutral (even though there’s a white wire).

Second problem was trying to understand where the line was coming from. I also don’t know where the load/line originates. I’m fairly confident it’s got something to do with the “3-way to load” picture and the pigtailed black and white wires (from different runs of cable).

The last pictures of the 4-way wiring aren’t simple either. The electrical book i have shows red on the common (copper) screws and white on the brass terminals. But in my case, i’ve got a white and red on both copper and brass screws. So, I’m completely dumbfounded here. I have no idea where to begin and i don’t want to ruin these switches by mucking around with it. Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Steve

Hi magnum003,

What I would recommend in your situation is to kill the power to all of the boxes that are involved. Use a non-contact live wire detector to make sure that there is no power in any of the boxes. Pull the switches and the light fixture and remove them out of all of the boxes. Now separate all of the wires so none of them are connected to anything. Place wire nuts on the ends of all of the wires. Turn power back on at the breaker and again use the voltage sensor to identify where your power comes in and to which boxes. Turn the power back off again. Now use a multimeter with a very long piece of wire that can reach from one box to the other. Hook the long wire to one of the unidentified wires and then take the multimeter to the other boxes and check for continuity. Create a wiring diagram to determine which wires go where. If you can see which wires are in which cable, you will only need to identify one of the wires. Once you start identifying which wires go where the confusion will go away.

Once you have this information it should be easy to identify how to wire your switches. I have had to use this technique in an old house that I have installed zwave switches. In my situation ALL of the wires were black and they even used a 3way technigue where two 3 way switches fed either hot or neutral to the ceiling fixture. Not allowed by code today!!

I thought the great thing about the GE and Zwave is you do NOT need a traveler wire. For example, you can have the source switch then have 2, 3, 4 more auxiliary switches set up anywhere and not have to have a traditional traveler wire used in 3 way setups. Am I missing something?

Hi nutshellml,

Most Zwave auxiliary switches require a traveler and a neutral wire. The exception is the Linear WT00Z auxiliary switch. That one requires neutral and live but no direct connection to the main dimmer. The WT00Z works by acting as a Zwave scene controller that is tied to the dimmer through Zwave.

-bob

[quote=“rbakley, post:11, topic:191662”]Hi nutshellml,

Most Zwave auxiliary switches require a traveler and a neutral wire. The exception is the Linear WT00Z auxiliary switch. That one requires neutral and live but no direct connection to the main dimmer. The WT00Z works by acting as a Zwave scene controller that is tied to the dimmer through Zwave.

-bob[/quote]

Ahh GOOD TO KNOW! since I’m starting a remodel on the house. When you mentioned that I looked back at a previous post and did realize it’s only the Linear that doesn’t require the traveler. I think during remodel, where walls are coming down, I would just have them run a traveler, if it’s not needed I can just cap it vs. not having it and then being forced to get Linear switches. Decisions…
THANKS!

[quote=“rbakley, post:9, topic:191662”]Hi magnum003,

What I would recommend in your situation is to kill the power to all of the boxes that are involved. Use a non-contact live wire detector to make sure that there is no power in any of the boxes. Pull the switches and the light fixture and remove them out of all of the boxes. Now separate all of the wires so none of them are connected to anything. Place wire nuts on the ends of all of the wires. Turn power back on at the breaker and again use the voltage sensor to identify where your power comes in and to which boxes. Turn the power back off again. Now use a multimeter with a very long piece of wire that can reach from one box to the other. Hook the long wire to one of the unidentified wires and then take the multimeter to the other boxes and check for continuity. Create a wiring diagram to determine which wires go where. If you can see which wires are in which cable, you will only need to identify one of the wires. Once you start identifying which wires go where the confusion will go away.

Once you have this information it should be easy to identify how to wire your switches. I have had to use this technique in an old house that I have installed zwave switches. In my situation ALL of the wires were black and they even used a 3way technigue where two 3 way switches fed either hot or neutral to the ceiling fixture. Not allowed by code today!![/quote]

Thanks Rbakely. I was hoping i wouldn’t have to do this, but I guess it’s the only way to really know what’s what. Does that mean one of the three wires on the “end circuit” will end up being a neutral (white I assume)? Right now, nothing is used as a neutral in any of the configurations. They’re all either line, load or traveler (as far as i can tell).

Steve

Hi Steve,

What will probably end up happening is that the power from the circuit breaker will come into one box and then the live wire (black wire) and neutral will continue through all of the boxes until you get to the box where the light (or load) is connected. This box will be where the main dimmer is installed. The traveler wire (usually red) will continue through all of the boxes until it reaches the main dimmer box. The auxiliary switches are then connected to the neutral and traveler wires.

If the power and the load are in the same box, then you just need to connect the red traveler wire and white neutral wire to the rest of the boxes and install the dimmer in the first box and the auxiliary dimmers into the rest of the boxes.

While not recommended, you can use the white wire for live wires, just use a piece of black electric tape on the end to identify that it isn’t a neutral wire any longer.

-bob

[quote=“rbakley, post:14, topic:191662”]Hi Steve,

What will probably end up happening is that the power from the circuit breaker will come into one box and then the live wire (black wire) and neutral will continue through all of the boxes until you get to the box where the light (or load) is connected. This box will be where the main dimmer is installed. The traveler wire (usually red) will continue through all of the boxes until it reaches the main dimmer box. The auxiliary switches are then connected to the neutral and traveler wires.

If the power and the load are in the same box, then you just need to connect the red traveler wire and white neutral wire to the rest of the boxes and install the dimmer in the first box and the auxiliary dimmers into the rest of the boxes.

While not recommended, you can use the white wire for live wires, just use a piece of black electric tape on the end to identify that it isn’t a neutral wire any longer.

-bob[/quote]

Thanks again, Bob. I’ll make another run at this on Tuesday when the house is empty. Hopefully I return victorious!

Hi Steve,

One last thing to consider is that there might be a junction box somewhere that you haven’t found yet. By code, this junction box cannot be hidden and must be accessible. But just because it is “supposed” to be not hidden, doesn’t mean that it won’t be. If there is one, it would probably be somewhere in the vicinity of the existing switch boxes. Using the multimer with long wire test, if you get multiple hits in different boxes, then that is the most likely scenario. To be sure that you have everything wired correctly, you should find this hidden box.

-bob

Ok. I found Line and Load in the same box. They’re in the 3-way switch with load picture. The white wire that was pigtailed to the black wire was line and the black wire fed the end-circuit 3-way switch. So, I’m guessing I need to put the primary z-wave switch in the box with Line and Load. What application do people use to draw this stuff out.

I should also note that the Line and Load are both on the same 2-wire bundle. I’m guessing this is because the line originates at the light (vs switch).

Hi Steve,

Yes, having the power come into the light fixture and then the live and load wires coming down to the box was a common way to wire “back in the day”. The real question is whether you have a neutral wire in the box with the load and power wires? And if not, do you have a real neutral wire in one of the other boxes?

One advantage you have is that using three and 4-way switches required two “traveler” wires to connect between the switches. If you can pick up a neutral wire in one of the boxes you can connect this to one of the traveler wires and use the other traveler wire to actually control the main dimmer from the remote locations.

Let me know if this makes sense.

-bob

Thanks for the reply Bob. It doesn’t look like i’ve got a neutral in any of the boxes. I only have neutral in the light fixtures. I took apart the other light fixture and found where the hot fed the white wire in the line/load box. There’s neutral in that box as well. Doesn’t look like i have a way to get neutral to the light fixtures without running new wire.