Please help me figure out how I managed to wire this wrong. I’m trying to install a VZW31-SN in a 4-way (3 switch) configuration alongside two dumb switches, but it doesn’t seem to behave correctly. The dumb switch at the “far end” (furthest from what I believe is the line power) appears to be acting as a master control, such that if it is in the down position, no other combination of settings on the other two switches can turn the lights on. When that “far end” switch is on, then the lights will turn on when either or both of the other two are in the up position.
Part of my difficulty has to do with trying to identify where the 14/2 wires go when they exit the switch boxes. The 14/3 is pretty obvious because of its third (red) wire.
I’m fairly sure I correctly identified the switch that has the incoming 120V power, but there’s actually two 14/2 wires that were both attached to the same screw on the old dumb switch (I tested the screw with a multimeter with the power on, and it showed 120V). I kept these both on the “line” screw for the smart switch, figuring one goes to the breaker box and the other feeds power to some other set of lights - and I don’t think it matters which is which. The smart switch’s LED is able to stay on no matter what position the dumb switches are in, so I believe I at least correctly identified which box to put the smart switch in.
Here’s a diagram of how I wired it up. I’m only 90% sure on the “before” side of things, as I forgot to take pictures of what it was like before and am basing it on memory. The “after” side is accurate to what I have now.
After turning the breaker on, I setup the smart switch for “Multi-way (Dumb)” mode using the setup directions, and got the violet LED as confirmation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work as a true 4-way switch anymore. Any troubleshooting suggestions?
Let’s start with the simple stuff. It sounds as if you said the 3-way switch parameter via the paddle. Is the switch added to your hub? If it is, take a look at that parameter and see how it is set. If it’s not added to the hub, now would be a good time to do that.
It sounds as if you said the 3-way switch parameter via the paddle.
Yes, that is how I set it.
Is the switch added to your hub?
My hub, which is in the form of a mini computer that’s a bit more powerful than a Raspberry Pi (to be used with a HUSBZB-1 dongle) is arriving later today, and it’ll take me time to get Home Assistant installed and configured. So for now, I just want the switches to work without any hub.
After installing the Inovelli in the Line box w/the two blacks, did you make any changes to the wiring in the other two dumb switch boxes?
I did start with the wrong switch box, and had started attaching the smart switch in box #3 before realizing that it had to go where the line power is. So then I put the wires back onto the dumb switch. I’m fairly sure I put them back in the exact same way - if they had been different then they wouldn’t have matched the “Before” diagram and I would have been posting here on how to deal with it. I am 100% certain that the wiring on all 3 boxes currently matches the “After” diagram that I shared. I even opened up and double-checked the middle box, even though no changes were needed there.
Did you change any other parameters, or just the wiring type?
Just the wiring type
Try changing to a 2-way (Single Pole) configuration, confirming with the white LED. Then set it back to Multi-way Toggle and confirm with the violet LED.
It think you meant “confirming with the Cyan LED”. I tried switching to Single Pole (Cyan) and then back to Multi-Way Toggle (Violet), but it’s still behaving the same way. The smart switch and middle (dumb) switch work correctly as if they were a 3-way, but only when the 3rd switch is in the up position. If 3rd switch is down, lights will not turn on no matter what - but the smart switch does have its LED lit.
Unrelated to your current thread, but I wanted to pop in here since I saw the mention of the HUSBZB-1 dongle… In 2023, I would highly recommend using something different for Zigbee and Z-Wave. Both the hardware and firmware is extremely outdated on those sticks and it leads to all sorts of slowdowns and network instability.
For Zigbee, I’d recommend something off of this list. For Z-Wave, I would get a 700 or 800 series Z-Wave USB stick.
I used the HUSBZB-1 dongle from 2019 to 2022 and it was a night and day difference when I finally upgraded.
Aha! I must have flipped the far switch upside down when I re-installed it. I had the black from the 3-wire going to the common. I actually didn’t realize that this mattered; I should probably learn more about how 4-way switches work before I pretend to be an electrician. In the past I’ve wired up my basement suite and part of my sister’s new house, and that gave me a fair bit of confidence, but this is the first time I’ve dealt with a 4-way and first time dealing with smart switches.
The concept when you have a line and load in separate boxes is that the hot comes in via one common (black) terminal, makes its way to the other side via one traveler or the other, and then goes out the last switch via the common (black) terminal out to the light. Study the drawings a bit and do a few more and they become 2nd nature!