Replacing switches in a 4-way circuit

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  #1  
Old 11-18-15, 11:01 AM
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Replacing switches in a 4-way circuit

Hi Guys,

New to the forum and was hoping to get some help on this. I'm hoping to wire up some z-wave controllable switches for my interior garage lights, which are on a 4 way circuit.

I have the "Master" zwave switch (GE 45740) and the two "add-on" (GE 12728) switches I need. I've attached pictures of them below.

Master Switch
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Add-on Switch
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1) My question is on the 4-way switch. I Have a Leviton 4-way currently in there and there are 2 red wires coming into it and 2 black wires coming into it. The labels are simply "input" and "ouptput". How do I replace this switch with one of the "add on" zwave switches? You'll notice the add on switch has 2 inputs for traveler and 2 inputs for neutral.

2) I'll also need to replace one of the 3-way switches with an "add on" switch, how would the wiring from a 3-way switch go into it?

I don't know which way power is coming in. I'm assuming the 1st 3-way switch as it's much closer to the breaker than the lights. The first 3-way switch is where I plan to put the master zwave switch.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 11-18-15, 11:17 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Those are easy to install and we can help you BUT we/you need to know how your system is wired now.

You have three switches.
Starting with the easiest one.... the 4W..... you'll have 2 reds and 2 blacks on the switch and the whites are wirenutted thru.

Go to each three way switch and tells us what you see in the boxes and what's on the switch.
You should see red and black as travelers on both switches.
If you're lucky there will only be three wires in one box and they'll be on the switch.
 
  #3  
Old 11-18-15, 11:30 AM
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PJ,

Appreciate the quick reply. I will try and get that information today and posted.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 06:34 AM
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PJ,

Here are pics of the 3 switches in the circuit.

This is the first 3-way switch in the circuit. The common wire is red coming out of it.
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This is the 4-way switch
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This is the other 3-way switch. Common wire is black coming out of it.
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Old 11-20-15, 09:20 AM
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Can you confirm which end is the hot end ? The power will be on the common with the switch in either position. Check from common terminal to ground.
 
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Old 11-20-15, 05:56 PM
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What else is in with the three way switches ?

#1 switch with red on common...

#2 switch is four way. We know what's there.

#3 switch with black on common.....

Which switch has the hot wire ?
Which switch has the feed to the lights ?
Which switch will be the Z wave master location. It can go at either end.
 
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Old 11-23-15, 03:24 PM
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PJ,

Thanks again for your help on this. I really appreciate you taking the time.

As for your list of questions:

#1 - Light switch for exterior garage lights and light for mudroom right off of garage

#2 - Also has a switch for stairway lights to basement.

#3 - Switch for porch light

-Hotwire is in the same box as #3. (black wire coming out of common)
-Unknown which switch feeds lights. If there is a way to tell, please let me know and I'll get on it.
-I'd like to put the master zwave in box #1 (red wire coming out common)

If there's anything else please let me know.
 
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Old 11-23-15, 11:16 PM
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Did you confirm that the black at # 3 is hot ? Needs to be checked.... color means nothing.
If black at #3 is confirmed as hot.... that means that the red at #1 is switched out to the light.
The wiring is NM (romex) not conduit..... correct ? The red as a common is a little strange.

The diagram is what you should have now. You have three wires between the three switches.

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You can change how they are used. In the following diagram are the same wires between switches but we re-purpose them. This should be the diagram.... confirmation pending answers to my questions.

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  #9  
Old 11-24-15, 04:00 AM
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Yes, the black on #3 is hot in both switch positions (up or down). As for the red being common on #1, I thought that was unusual too.
 
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Old 11-24-15, 06:28 AM
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I'm looking at the pictures you posted with the z-wave switches.

- Not sure on type of wire, Romex or conduit. From what I can see the wire has a white jacket, mostly 3 wires in it. Sorry, my terminology is terrible I'm sure.

- The gray line you have going to Neutral, do I need to run a short wire from there to the white wires tied together in the back of the boxes?

- The Hot wire, looks like it skips the 4-way switch and a 3-way. Is that correct? Do I tie that into another wire behind each of those boxes?

Awesome diagram by the way, extremely helpful. Thanks again.
 

Last edited by msu50000; 11-24-15 at 08:19 AM.
  #11  
Old 11-24-15, 09:07 AM
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do I need to run a short wire from there to the white wires tied together in the back of the boxes?
Yes. Each switch needs a neutral to work.
the wire has a white jacket
That is called cable not wire. Wire is individual conductors. Cable is two or more wires in a sheath. You have cable, NM-b (AKA Romex).
The Hot wire, looks like it skips the 4-way switch and a 3-way.
That is correct.
 
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Old 11-24-15, 09:29 AM
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Thanks Ray.

The hot wire that skips two of the switches, is there a specific wire I need it to connect to in the box? The gang boxes are pretty tight as far as space goes and there is a ball of wires back there both black, white and red. Just want to make sure I've got that hot wire going to the correct spot.
 
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Old 11-24-15, 09:37 AM
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Please wait for PJ to respond to your specific questions.
 
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Old 11-24-15, 06:36 PM
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Ok.... right now the hot/black is on the common of switch #3. Take the black off the common and connect to the black traveler. At the 4way switch.... connect the two blacks together.

We're moving the hot power from switch box 3 to switch box 1.

The slave switches work by shorting the red/traveler to the white neutral.
 
  #15  
Old 12-07-15, 08:23 PM
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Update

Thanks so much for your help PJ, wired everything up and it worked perfectly. Now just have to get the dial in the zwave programming. Thanks again.
 
  #16  
Old 12-07-15, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for letting us know how you made out. These new type switches are becoming popular and the wiring of them isn't getting any easier.
 
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