Smart Switches

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by fullysprinklered, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Jun 15, 2014
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Regular customer came up with a small batch of smart switches and wanted me to install them in his house. Not something I've done before, so I went online and watched all the pertinent videos I could find on the subject and showed up Monday am with a little know-how and zero experience.

    Here's what I came away with:
    On a three-way install you will need a companion switch at the other location. It's called the Remote switch in Leviton parlance. The main switch they call the Dimmer. Like master and slave.

    You will need a neutral and a power on both ends of the three-way system.

    You will need the Load to be in the box with the Dimmer switch.

    On single pole you will need to jump a pigtail off the neutral to attach to the switch. The power goes on the black screw and the neutral goes on the silver screw and the load goes on the red screw. Ground to the green screw.

    This is where it gets interesting. He wanted the wi-fi feature on 2 switches, one 3-way and one 4-way, but had no companion switches (Remote). Not sure a 4-way is even possible.

    Customer indicated that he didn't care about the multiple location capabilities and just wanted the wi-fi switch and dimmer function.

    Both the three-way and four-way systems had the power in box#1 and the load in box #2 or box #3 respectively. Not the way I would have done it given a choice.

    With his blessing, I disabled the switch in the box with the load and patched the load back to the dimmer on one of the repurposed travelers, on both systems. Pulled a jumper off the neutral bundle to the new switch in the dimmer box.

    It worked. At least he hasn't called me back.
  2. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    For 4 way or more, you usually just run the travelers through extra "slave" switches with the same orientation they have in the other switches.
    fullysprinklered likes this.
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