3 Way Neutral not giving power to switch unless aux switch is on - LZW31

Hi all! I’m having a hard time getting a 3-way to work. I’m fairly certain that I have a neutral wire, but I’m but I’m starting to doubt things.

Currently it only “works” when the dumb switch is turned on. When I turn that on the LZW31 on the other end (at the far right of the first picture) cycles colors on the LED like its just been reset. The lights don’t turn on until I turn on the LZW31 also. When I turn that on the LED on the LZW31 only lights up maybe 20% of the way up the bar when I turn on the lights.

It acts like I would expect a non neutral setup to act without a bypass installed.

The lights I want to power are 4 pot lights that were installed about 4 years ago. When I turn on both switches they do not flicker anymore, setting a min power seems to have fixed. I have another red series dimmer controlling an individual pot light and it works fine.

When I poke the wires on the LZW31 in my 3-way with my pen tester (3rd picture) it only goes off on the red wire (traveller, I think).

The other LZW31 in the left of the pic is not a 3-way and works fine. It doesn’t seem to care if I pull the neutral though.

The 3way switch I am having difficulty with is on the right side of this pic:

The dumb switch on the other end of my 3-way, next to two fully functional red series and a black series dimmers:

The settings for the 3way dimmer in hubitat:

The “pen tester” I am using:

and the dimmer that I replaced:

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help me solve this. I really appreciate any assistance, I don’t want to admit defeat on this.

Looked at this quickly. Making the assumption that your Line is in the box with the Inovelli and your load is in the box with the dumb switch. Can’t see into that box so hard to tell for sure but that is what it looks like.

If that’s the case, the Inovelli (on the right) is not wired correctly. The white fromt the 3-wire goes to the neutral bundle, so remove it from the Line terminal. Using a jumper, connect a constant hot to the Line terminal. Cut a black jumper and jump from the Line on the other Inovelli.

I’ll go at tinkering with those ideas now. Thank you!

Here is a pic that shows the other box with the dumb switch better:

edit: Tried jumping the line from the working LZW31 to the line on the 3-way, and moved what was in the line on the 3-way LZW31 to the neutral bundle. Did not work at all, zero lighting or LED.

Ok, hang on. Remember the part about when I said I couldn’t see inside the dumb switch box? Glad you posted better pics. It looks like your Line is in the box where you have the dumb switch. I’m saying that because you have the common terminal connected to the Line of the Inovelli next to it.

So at least as it’s wired now, your Line is in the box with the dumb switch, which means the Inovelli has to go there. So to start, unjumper that hot from the existing Inovelli in the box with the receptacle.

It’s not clear to me at this point where your lights are. Do you have pics of the old switches before you started swapping out? I’m thinking your Load is in the box with the receptacle.

So for the box with the receptacle where you presently have the Inovelli, the one all the way to the right: There is a single 3-wire coming in from the top right. Were all three (black, white and red) connected to the old dumb switch? I guessing so but you have to confirm.

EDIT: Can you pull the conductors with the blue wire nut out and take another pic. I just realized it looks like the white from the 3-wire is part of that.

I can see what is going on but need you to confirm a couple things.

I haven’t moved the dimmer yet, but I’ll get on that after I hit send. I should be able to get it back how it was. Though I wonder if the old dimmer from the picture will play nice with the inovelli?

Here’s a better pic of the inside of where the other “dumb” side to the 3 way has been, that you suspect is where the line is, and thus where I should put the Inovelli. I am moving the Inovelli to the far left spot in this pic.

Thanks again!

edit: Here’s the side I wanted the inovelli on before, put back together how it was.

edit2: Swapped the LZW31 to the other side, the LED doesnt illuminate fully and it doesn’t turn on the lights now. When I switch the other side on the lights flicker. Bellow is a pic of how I have that previously dumb side wired.

OK, so here is what you have.

The Line is in the box with the receptacle. It’s the black jumpered from the Inovelli next to it. The Line is presently connected to the common terminal on the dumb switch. So the switched hot is routed to the other box over the red and black travelers on the 3-wire. At the other box, the two travelers connect to the dimmer and the switched/dimmed hot is returned over the white of the 3-wire.

If I am correct, in the box with the receptacle, if you separate the white/black with the blue wire nut and touch the black conductor to the black screw on the presently existing dumb switch, your lights will go on. Please confirm.

So what you have, pending your confirmation, is a Line and Load in the box with the receptacle. The Inovelli will go there.

In the receptacle box, the jumper to the black screw on the dumb switch goes to the Line on the Inovelli. Jumper a white pigtail to the neutral on the Inovelli. That red wire nut is pretty fat, so use the open backstab on the next switch over. The black from the 2-wire going to the light (presuming you confirmed that) gets wire nutted to the black from the 3-wire. The red and white from the 3-wire get connected to the Load and Traveler terminals on the Inovelli, white to Load and red to Traveler.

In the other box, take the dumb switch you just removed and put it there using all three wires from the 3-wire. Black to the black screw and red and white to the brass screws.

The switch settings you displayed in the Hubitat screenshot are correct, but confirm them.

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Touching the black wire to the black screw (line) on my now swapped to the other side LZW31 does turn on the lights, they do not flicker when turned on this way. The switch on the other side does nothing now.

Okay good. That just confirms that the 2-wire in fact goes to the light. I would not have expected the other switch to do anything since you directly wired the light to the hot and it was taken out of the equation. I would go ahead and proceed as I described above.

I think it’s functioning properly now. Thank you so much! You’re an absolute gem! I was shocked through this whole process at how far you were willing to go to solve this with me. <3

I spoke too soon, it only works when the dumb side is switched on, and only turns on from the inovelli side.

Edit: The line and load were swapped on my dumb switch, I fixed that and it works 100% now… I’m pretty sure…

Thanks again!

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Glad you got it going. Glad to help!

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Sorry to ask so much, but…

I started working on a second 3-way that is on the same breaker as the first 3-way and now the 1st 3-way doesn’t work. I took pictures this time so I’d be able to put it back the way it was, and I’m fairly certain I did that.

I reassembled the 2nd box the way it was in my pictures and both its’ lights work as normal.

The problem is, the 1st 3-way doesn’t work anymore and I can’t see anything different about it from when victory was declared here. It doesn’t power the LED fully unless it’s in an off state. When I switch on the lights from the dumb side they flicker and turn off completely in about 5-10 sec, accompanied by a click from the inovelli side.

I did not alter anything in this box, I think:

This is the box with the dumb side of the 1st 3-way:

This is the gang I opened up to begin working on the 2nd 3-way. These are on the same dual breaker:

This is where the dumb side to 3-way #2 is:

Here are the pictures I took for myself as a backup:

So the 4-Gang box has the dumb switch to the far right position. This is the dumb switch that mates with the Inovelli we got working yesterday, right?

Did you do anything with the dumb switch in the process of working on the new switch? It seems to me that for the dumb switch, the black from the 3-wire should be attached to black common screw on the switch. In your latest picture, it doesn’t look that way.

When you posted a success picture yesterday, the black was wired correctly. But then you made an edit and said you moved a couple wires. So I don’t know if the pic you posted yesterday is a working configuration or not.

In any event, put the black from the 3-wire on the black screw. That wire is connected to your light in the other box, so it needs to go on the common terminal on the dumb switch.

Ok, I swapped that back. I also realized I had dimmed the innoveli side all the way down, so that was likely the cause of some of my issues. Do I lose the dimming capacity on a 3-way?

The issue now is that the lights blink on and off randomly. The pattern and whether the inovelli switches on/off on its own seems to change based on what min/max level setting I have them at.

edit: I’m having a hard time pinning down the pattern of how it works now. I can get either switch to turn it on, but sometimes the inovelli won’t turn it on until I toggle the other side. Once I get it turned on it won’t turn off from the inovelli aside from when it just randomly clicks off. Sometimes it even gets into a loop of the inovelli turning on and clicking off.

Dimming works with aux switch, dumb switch will only trigger on/off. Dimmer itself should dim though regardless aux or dumb switch.

Did you set parameters 21 and 22?

It looks like I have both those parameters set to 1. Thanks for hopping in on this.

What type/make/model of bulbs are you switching?

Also, was it doing this yesterday when you had it working properly and before you started working on the other switches?

I’d also try setting the parameters at the switch. Move them both to the wrong value and then put them back.

Dumb switch or aux? Cuz aux should be set to 2.

There was that very brief time that I thought they were working correctly yesterday, but I had the line and load flipped when it worked that time, and I’m unsure now if it would’ve failed if I had played with it longer.