Help with 3 way switch switch replacement

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  #1  
Old 04-07-14, 02:27 PM
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Help with 3 way switch switch replacement

I'm in need of some help deciphering the wiring of a 3-way switch in my house and hope I've come to the right place. I'm attempting to replace the existing on/off switches with a primary and secondary z-wave dimmer and am at a loss at to what variety of 3-way setup this is. My primary switch requires a line, load, and traveller (no neutral as my house was built in the 1950s and most switches do not have a neutral) while my secondary switch needs a neutral and traveller only. The main thing throwing me off here is why both wires coming in on the 2 wire cable are nutted to the wires going out on the 3 wire cable with a third wire coming out of each nut and running to the switch. I'm also wondering which switch is the primary and which is the secondary in this setup. Excuse the amatuer artistic skills of my diagram.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-14, 02:33 PM
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And just to clarify, the beige wire is not nutted in with the black wires on its way out to the 3 wire cable. I just drew the nut connecting the 3 black wires on the left switch on top of the beige wire.
 
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Old 04-07-14, 03:03 PM
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The main thing throwing me off here is why both wires coming in on the 2 wire cable are nutted to the wires going out on the 3 wire cable
That would be true if it is a switch loop and power comes in at the light. Power would come down one wire of the 2-conductor and go to the common of the second switch through the white of the three conductor. Black of the 2-conductor connects to the common of the first switch and carries power back to the light.
The main thing throwing me off here is why both wires coming in on the 2 wire cable are nutted to the wires going out on the 3 wire cable
There is no primary in a standard 3-way circuit.
 
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Old 04-07-14, 04:16 PM
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Common on the 1st switch is connected to the red from the 3 wire cable, same for the 2nd switch.
 
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Old 04-07-14, 04:57 PM
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If you've shown all the wires..... you can't use the Z wave system. You are showing a three wire cable between switches. That's the switching line. Then you are showing just a single two wire cable in the first box. On that two wire cable...... one wire is hot to the switches and the other is switched hot to the lights. You are missing a neutral.
 
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Old 04-07-14, 05:47 PM
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Thanks, I discovered that same thing after some research. My main Z-Wave switches, GE 45612's, do not require a neutral. I have them working on all of my 2-way switches with no neutral connection. Knowing that my older house doesn't have neutrals I specifically chose the 45612s for the fact that they didn't require a neutral. My assumption was that since the 45612s do not require a neutral that their accompanying auxiliary switch for use in 3-way switch setups, the GE 45610, wouldn't either. Unfortunately that's not the case. The 45612s don't require a neutral but the aux switch, the 45610, does.
 
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