Smart 3-way doesn't work, standard does


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Old 09-12-22, 01:25 PM
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Smart 3-way doesn't work, standard does

I'm replacing several switches with Eaton WFSW15-C2 Wi-Fi Smart Switches and I have one circuit that I just can't get to work correctly. It's a new home and I assume (hope) the wiring is up to code. The foyer light works fine with the rocker switches I put in. But when I decided to add a smart switch, it acts like I have the traveler and common crossed up and works from only the hot side. If I turn the hot side on, the common side works. I used this video to identify hot and common. I've tried:
  • Using a known working switch
  • Putting the smart switch at both hot and common sides of the circuit
  • Changing wires around to every safe configuration I can think of
Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 09-12-22 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 09-12-22, 07:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I can help you but I need pictures of the wiring at both ends.....
preferably connected to two working switches.
How to insert pictures.

 

Last edited by PJmax; 09-12-22 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-19-22, 04:21 AM
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Sorry to have taken so long to reply, and thank you for your help. I've done more testing and, with the help of a retired electrician with no smart plug experience, I have concluded that it's the Eaton brand. I've tried three of their switches to no avail. However, using another brand gives me the expected results.
My circuit is similar to your example, but with only two switches.

Eaton Instructions
Both are wired this way:

Common working switch and tape on load.

Common working switch traveler.
Again, the hot side is wired the same with hot (incoming power) on black screw. Here is the Eaton WFSW15-C2 Wi-Fi (up-side-down - sorry).

Common smart switch.

Common smart switch traveler.
 
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Old 09-19-22, 02:50 PM
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There are three only wires on a three way switch. If you have four... someone has gotten lazy and doubled them up on one terminal. You are not allowed to use both the push in and screw terminals. I cannot tell what was done from your pictures. It's hard to tell which switch was original and which was changed.

I'm not easily confused but I am here.
 
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Old 09-21-22, 08:03 AM
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The first two switch images are either side of the original switch. There are two black, a red, and ground. The black wire with tape is the load/common.

The last two are either side of the smart switch. Unfortunately, I have the smart switch up-side-down, which may add to your confusion. The fourth wire on the smart switch is neutral (white). Wi-Fi requires this.
 
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Old 09-21-22, 09:03 AM
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That switch requires both the hot wire and the load wire to be at its location. Since your original switch shows only the load wire then the hot wire must be at the location of the other 3-way switch (on its common terminal).

The diagram labels too many wires as neutral and neutral/common. There is no neutral connection to normal 3-way switches. Neutral connections in 3-way circuits are direct from the incoming cable to the load cable.

Switching a neutral as shown in the diagram is not allowed by code.

It is possible that shorting the traveler to neutral is what triggers the switch on-off but I do not see how that can be achieved and still be up to code unless it is not actually switching a load but just causing a signal to the switch.

It appears that there are 2 cables coming into the box: a black/white, and a black/white/red. Black/white would be load and neutral to the fixture. Black-red-white would be traveler/traveler/neutral from the other switch location. The power source (black/white) is at the other location. The connections there should be black to common terminal, white (neutral) to wire nut with outgoing white, red and black each on traveler terminals.

If that is the case the following might work (calling the other location #1) and following the labels in the two-switch diagram

At location #1: Connect incoming white neutral to common with a pigtail and both to outgoing white with a wire nut. Wire nut incoming black line to outgoing black. Connect outgoing red to one of the switch traveler terminals (either one, makes no difference).

At location #2: Connect incoming white neutral with pigtails and wire nut to neutral terminal on smart switch and to outgoing white wire to load. Connect red traveler wire to 3-Way terminal on smart switch. Connect incoming black wire to Hot/120v terminal on smart switch. Connect outging Load wire to load terminal on smart switch.

 

Last edited by 2john02458; 09-21-22 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Corrected Red wire to 3-way terminal.
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Old 09-21-22, 09:12 AM
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You need to know at which end the supply/hot wire is. You can change the wiring as needed.
You cannot switch a load neutral but you can use neutral as a switching method which is what this switch does.
 
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Old 09-22-22, 05:25 PM
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I may not get to this for a few days, but I'll edit this post when I do. Thanks.
 

Last edited by Kwag_Myers; 09-22-22 at 05:26 PM. Reason: I forgot to say, "Thanks".
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Old 09-23-22, 03:51 PM
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You're welcome. Standing by for an update.
 
 

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