Jasco 45609 switch help!

Trying to wire in this switch for a porch light. Took out old toggle switch. Got two black wires attached to it (no white wire). Hooked up Jasco switch to line circuit terminals. Blue light comes on. Switch does not opperate in manual mode. Switched wires around. Same result. Attaching to load side didnt work either, no blue light on with those. Puzzled. New switch. Eventually trying to hook to my Vera Lite. I would really appreciate any help from the forum members. FYI…very inexperienced when it comes to wiring and electricty. Thanks in advance!!

Were there white wires coming into the switch box? That switch requires a neutral (white wire), and it must be hooked up according to the instruction manual: Support Home Page | HomeSeer

If you’re not familiar with electrical wiring, consult an electrician; do NOT guess, or you may burn your house down.

Your old toggle switch allows current to flow in the from the hot wire (one of the black wires) through the switch, and out the load side (the other black wire) from the switch to the light. Current flows through the switch when the switch is on, meaning that the circuit is closed/complete. When the switch is off, the circuit is open, and current can’t flow through the switch.

Z-wave switches require power to flow through them all the time (this is how they light up their status LED, and listen for z-wave commands, even when the light is off), both of which require a little power. For the switch to have power means that the power has to flow through a completed circuit. There’s two ways to accomplish the switch having power…

Most z-wave switches require a neutral (white wire). On these, there are two paths of current flowing through the switch. The flow of current for the light comes in through the hot black wire to the switch, and out the load wire (often – but not always – black) to the light. The flow of current for the switch comes in through the hot black wire to the switch, then out the neutral white wire. This allows current to flow through the switch and power it even when the light is off.

The other way that a few z-wave switches can get their power, which does not require a neutral, is to let a little bit of power trickle through the switch to the light. This means the light always has power (a lot when the light is on, just a trickle when the light is off). This is OK with incandescent bulbs which have high resistance and won’t light up with just a little bit of current. However, with energy-efficient lights like LEDs, this flow of current will make them light up, pulse, flicker, pop on and off, etc., even when they are supposed to be “off”. Lights are not intended to be powered when off, but since smart switches have to be powered, this trickle current for the lights is one way to let the switch have power.

By only hooking up the black wires, your switch doesn’t have the proper route for power for the switch itself, and if you didn’t hook up a ground wire, then you don’t have the safety either. This is very bad. Again, this is not something to play with or experiment with. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, consult an electrician.

You didn’t follow installation instructions in the switch’s manual(page 7 Step 10. See also wiring diagram).

Surprised? You absolutely have to follow the directions in the manual.

@JamesDVB spent a lot of effort explain why to you, but I suspect you will not understand any of his detail. As he suggested, if you don’t understand the instructions, get an electrician.

@JamesDVB…thanks very much for taking the time to explain in detail the wiring process/sequence. Piece of the puzzle I was missing was the neutral white wire…which I was able to find stuck way back in the deep box and all wrapped with black electrical tape…a bunch were tied together. Even the ground wires were all tied together and wrapped in black electrical tape. Did a jumper wire to the neutrals and to the ground, crimped together with proper fasteners…which gave me the complete 4 wires I needed. Piece of cake from there. Thanks again sir!

mr634, I just installed a dimmer switch that didn’t require the neutral white wire, so it must be using the trickle method like you indicated. Do you know if other dimmer switches (zwave) do require the neutral? I may switch to LED or other lights in the future.

The Linear WD500Z Dimming Wall Switch and the identical (instances of firmware differences have been reported)

Evolve LRM-AS 500-Watt Wall Mount Dimmer both use neutral wires and work well with many LED bulbs. They do not support Instant Status.

Leviton also makes a dimmer that utilizes a neutral, but it is for use only with electronic low voltage transformers, not LED screw in replacements for incandescent bulbs.