Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Wiring a GE Zwave light switch


ddeshpan's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 11
IL

12-07-17, 08:01 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Wiring a GE Zwave light switch

Hi - I have installed 2 new Smart dimmers in my home, and I want to make sure I did a safe job (in general, but also in particular as these are in my childrens' rooms). I am a novice with zero background in electrical, but I've done a decent amount of internet research and youtubing

4 questions..

1) My home was built in 2013 in the Chicago suburbs. I'm assuming light switches use 14 gauge wires as a standard?

2) I used the existing wire twist nut in the electrical box to add the necessary neutral wire to the bunch and connect it to my new switch (my old switch did not need a neutral). There were 4 neutral wires in it already, and this additional (I believe it's called pigtailing) made 5. It is an Ideal Tan twister wire nut, which is apparently rated for a max of three 10 gauge wires. Would five 14 gauge wires be ok in there (assuming I was correct to think I have 14 gauge wires)? Or do I need to step up to the Red twister wire nut? Note that the light appears to be working just fine, but I'm asking to prevent any potential for electrical danger in the future. Wire nut in my box: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-Tw...FUp9AQodVS8Dow

3) The switch is working fine, and I used my Yellow wire as the Load and Black as the Line. The instructions on the light switch say both Load and Line are Black. I'm fairly certain I have it correct since it's working, BUT in case it would work even if those are switched incorrectly, I'm curious if it sounds like I did it correctly. I do not have a voltage tester to confirm, but based on wire color guides I found online, the Load can be a few different colors, but Line is typically black. Does that sound right?

4) I was told my house has a mechanical ground, and none of my switches have the Ground connected, and I also have metal electrical boxes and metal conduit coming out of the main panel. Also like I mentioned my switch is now working... is it ok that I did not connect the ground on this new switch?

Thanks so much - apologies in advance if these are simplistic questions... just trying to be safe for my family while also not spending a ton of money bringing someone to do what seems relatively straightforward.

 
Sponsored Links
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 39,413
NJ

12-07-17, 09:40 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Can't assume anything.

Usually #14 wiring is used for lighting. Check the circuit breaker that controls that circuit. If it's a 15A breaker the wiring is #14.

That beige twister is equivalent to a red wire nut and is fine for 5) #14 wires.

You said yellow and black.... that tells us that you have EMT (conduit) in the house. Usually the black is the hot and the color is the switched load. If you had the switch connected backwards.... it wouldn't work.

Since you have a metallic conduit.... that is your ground. Your device is grounded to the box thru the mounting screws.

Depending on what type of electrical box was used.... some have a threaded hole in the back for a ground screw and ground wire.


~ Pete ~

 
ddeshpan's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 11
IL

12-07-17, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Posted By: PJmax Can't assume anything.

Usually #14 wiring is used for lighting. Check the circuit breaker that controls that circuit. If it's a 15A breaker the wiring is #14.

That beige twister is equivalent to a red wire nut and is fine for 5) #14 wires.

You said yellow and black.... that tells us that you have EMT (conduit) in the house. Usually the black is the hot and the color is the switched load. If you had the switch connected backwards.... it wouldn't work.

Since you have a metallic conduit.... that is your ground. Your device is grounded to the box thru the mounting screws.

Depending on what type of electrical box was used.... some have a threaded hole in the back for a ground screw and ground wire.
Thank you for the fast reply! So I should be ok with 5 #14... For my own education - the (Ideal) beige twister is equivalent to a red nut.. but a red twister would be bigger? I'm just paranoid, just want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly. I had looked at this image, which shows the tan twister with a max of three #10 as opposed to the red wing-nut with a max of four #10. https://goo.gl/images/umYEEg

15A is correct - so this appears to be 14 gauge wire.

Again, thank you so much for your help! Seems small but I'm paranoid by nature so I'm trying to ensure I didn't inadvertently cause any unsafe conditions!

 
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 39,413
NJ

12-07-17, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)  
There are two things that dictate how many wires will fit in a wire nut. The metal insert inside and the size of the plastic protector. It can be hard to tell the size of some of those beige type wire nuts.

I only use ones that adhere to the well known color standard. I find the 3M series of wire nuts to be good performers and their combination pieces offer extra wire protection with a longer insulator.

Name:  3m.jpg
Views: 9
Size:  6.9 KB


~ Pete ~

 
Search this Thread