4-Way Z-Wave Switch Installation (No Neutral & line/load to light)

Hi Team. Well, after forgetting to take a photo of a dimmer in a 4-gang outlet, I had our electrician come in an wire everything back to normal again. Literally 2 hours later, this is what I am working with:

The takeaways, no neutral, power starts at the lights and, ideally, would like to change the existing dimmer with an Inovelli Black Dimmer, with the other 2 switches being swapped with GE Aux Switches.

Will it work? Many Thanks! Deryk

Do you have Romex or individual conductors like THHN? Do you have three conductors between the switches? At least with Romex there would be 14-3 between the switches in a lot of cases.

There has to be a neutral in here…lights wouldn’t work. N may not hit the switch boxes (and that’s acceptable).

That drawing isn’t going to be 100% accurate. It has the line starting at the kitchen dimmer and returning switched through the other switches and then back to the lights. But there the diagram also show a line to the lights. One of those lines can’t be correct, as you can’t feed from both ends.

I’ve never seen a traveler into the power panel. I think it just needs a revision.

Thanks everyone. I will hand that back to the electrician to “proof” it again. I attempted to compile a written schematic with a visual one that was not labeled. I will update soon!

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Hello Team. I appreciate all of the responses. Just asked the electrician to proof my work. I made the appropriate changes to the diagram:


Did your electrician point out that you have a switched neutral which not only violates the electrical code (in the US) but is extremely dangerous, as neither your switches nor airgaps don’t cut the power to the lights. I’d look at getting that resolved before you go further.

And your drawing still doesn’t make sense to me. It’s feeding a hot from two ends. When you feed the hot to the kitchen dimmer and the switches are positioned to connect all the way back to the lights, the hot will be directly connected to the neutral, which is a dead short. That can’t be correct.

Hi Bry. That does not surprise me. Our first contractor installed that 7 yrs ago, and honestly, what we adopted is no surprise to me? The licensed electrician that fixed my initial dilemma of rewiring the dimmer after forgetting to remember “where the wires connected” spent 2 hours trying to figure this puzzle out. This was his proposal of what he observed. I will pose the question to him to see what is needed to bring this to code. Many Thanks!

That drawing doesn’t make sense and it wouldn’t work the way it’s drawn.

There should be a white wire between the office switch and bedroom switch.

There should be a black wire between the lights and the office switch.

I highly doubt there is a single white wire going from the bedroom switch to the panel. Or for that matter, a 2-conductor black and white run that way either.

I’m guessing that the line is fed from the lights to the office switch on the black conductor. Then, it is fed to the bedroom switch and to the kitchen dimmer on the white wires. It changes color but is hot all the way from the lights to the kitchen dimmer.

This hot at the kitchen dimmer then goes back through the 3-way switches on the travelers to the office switch. At the office switch the white is the load feeding switched power back to the lights.

Well Team … went back and confirmed with the Electrician. Yes, the company that did the initial wiring in the plaster walls did NOT do it to code. Not surprised! What we are looking at are “switches” wired to actually switch on the neutral, and not on the hot.

Is it still possible to swap an Inovelli Dimmer where the original Dimmer is, and use Aux Switches at the Bedroom & Office given this wiring? Many Thanks! Deryk

You need to get your issue fixed and THEN figure out if it’s possible to use an Inovelli. No one here that is responsible in their answers will/should provide you a solution when your wiring configuration is illegal and dangerous.

You haven’t answered my question about your wiring type regarding if you have Romex or individual conductors and your drawing isn’t accurate, so it’s difficult to assess how to fix it. But that’s why you hired an electrician.

Hi Bryan, I understand where you are coming from now. It wasn’t until you pointed out the issue that prompted me to start asking questions of the electrician. That when this all came to light.

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Either your electrician can’t explain it right or you’re not translating it right.

The drawing shows a white (neutral) going to the office switch and then a white (line) going from the kitchen switch to the panel. That will not work, period.

The drawing also has these missing details;

  • Single conductor going from the lights to the office switch. This will also either have a black or a black and red.

  • Red and black wires from office to bedroom. Is there a white, because I expect there is.

  • A single white wire going from the bedroom switch to the panel. Where is the black and/or red conductors?

You actually might need a better electrician… If there are the wires I think there are, then you can connect it correctly.