Installing a 3 way switch where 3 switches exist

Hi all,

I have an outside light where I want to install zwave controller. This light is currently controlled by three internal switches in different areas of our home.

I have installed three way switches before, but only in areas where 2 switches exist. The 3 way switches I order come with two switches. Is there anything else that needs to be done for this installation?

Can I leave the third switch as is?

Also, since I am thinking about it, do I even need to install the 2nd switch in a three way installation? Or can I just install the main switch?

Sorry, I’m a newb. Thanks as always.

Unintuitively, 3-way configuration uses 2 switches. 4-way uses 3 switches. 4-way and beyond is usually referred to as multi-way.

With Z-Wave switches, the switches used and the specific wiring varies depending on the specific manufacturer and model of switch. For example, the GE/Jasco 45609 requires a special remote 45610 switch and custom wiring for 3-way or multi-way use. Conversely the Intermatic CA3000 switch can be used with standard electrical switches for remotes in 3-way and multiway configurations. Evolve switches have yet another configuration. It all depends on the switches that you choose.

A more specific answer could be provided if you told us what Z-Wave switches you have purchased and how many switch locations are required.


I have the GE 45614 switches and have three switch locations.

The GE/Jasco 45614 set contains a 45609 primary switch(this switch has the model number ZW4001 on the back of it.) and a 45610 remote switch, for a 3-way configuration. The GE/Jasco 45609, main switch that comes in your kit, can be used as a stand alone switch.

For your 4-way(3 switch) configuratoin, you will need a second GE/Jasco 54610 remote switch and to follow the wiring diagram labeled 4-way Wiring Schematic.

In 3 or multiway configurations the GE/Jasco 45609 can only be used with 45610 remotes and they use a proprietary wiring scheme. Failing to adhere to the proper scheme can result in, electrocution, fire, or damaged switches.