Blue-series 4-way aux switch non-neutral

Using my new Blue series switch in a 4-way configuration with two white-series aux switches.
Missing a neutral in one of the boxes so had to go with a non-neutral config.
I checked the wiring diagrams in the support section for 3-way, but doesn’t show any 4-way diagrams.

The blue-series load is attached to the fixture (black)
I’ve tied the hot 110v wire to the blue-series line terminal.
This hot wire is also attached to each of the aux switch neutral terminals.
The blue-series traveler is connected to the traveler on each of the aux switches.

I powered the circuit, the switch went into pairing mode, and successfully paired to my hubitat. Checked the switch configs in Hubitat. The switch automatically detected non-neutral and I configured the switch to work with aux switches. Saved everything.

Everything from the blue series works great. Fixture turns on, off, dims up, down, etc. Also accepts commands from the hubitat. The aux switches will turn-on the fixture by tapping-up. But tapping down only causes the fixture to flicker but it won’t turn off.

Any recommendations for switch configuration or wiring that will enable the aux switches to turn-off and dim-down the fixture correctly?

Is the box missing neutral where the Blue series is installed?

Is line/load in same box or different box?

In the original config, line goes into 3 way switch, and travellers go to 4 way switch, and travellers go to 3 way switch connected to load.

The first box with line has a neutral and the last box with load has a neitral. But the box with the 4way doesnt have a neutral.

So i have a blue switch in the original line box 1, an aux in the original 4 way box 2, and an aux in the original load box 3. In box 1, the blue switch is powered by the line. It uses the red traveller wire which connexts to the aux switch in boz 2 which also connexts to the red traveller that goes to the aux switch in original load box 3. The load terminal on the blue switch in box q uses the original black traveler wire going to box 2 which is connected to thw original black traveller going to box 3 whixh os now connected to the load in box 3. There is a line in box 2 and box 3 which is connected to the aux switch neutral in each box.

Eberything is working perfectly from the blue switch. But the aux switches can only turn the blue switch on or dim up. They will not turn the blue switch off

Thinking this thru further, and i also have a line in the load box (wasnt used in the original dumb config). So i cpuld potentially put the blue switch tjere with line, load, and neutral and then use the traveller lwires to run a traveller and neutral across to aux swotches in the other boxes. I may try that.

But shouldnt a blue switch function in a non neutral config work properly if the hot line is connected to the aix neutral terminals and the traveller is connected to the aux traveler terminals?

It should. I was just wondering why it’s not configured with a neutral.

You could easily pass neutral from box 1 to box 2 to box 3. Box 1 has a neutral so it should be connected to the Blue series for best results.

With the 14-3 going from box 1 to box 2:
BLK - Load passing through to box 3; usually wirenutted to the corresponding BLK wire of the 14-3 in box 2 going to box 3
WHT - Neutral connected to the Neutral bundle in box 1 passed over to the Aux switch neutral terminal
RED - Traveler connected to Traveler terminal of Blue series and ending up on Traveler terminal of Aux switch.

Box 2:
14-3 from box 1 BLK- LOAD wirenutted to BLK wire of 14-3 going to box 3.
WHT - Neutral Connected to Aux switch terminal
RED - Traveler connected to Aux switch terminal
14-3 to box 3 BLK- LOAD wirenutted to BLK from box 1
WHT - Neutral connected to 2nd hole of aux neutral terminal (you could wirenut these together and pigtail to aux switch)
RED - traveler connected to 2nd hole of aux traveler terminal ( same note about bundling/pigtail if you wanted)

Box 3
14-3 from box 2 BLK - LOAD wirenutted to BLK of 14-2 going to light.
WHT - Neutral connected to neutral terminal of aux switch (you could bundle the two WHT from 14/3 & 14/2 together and pigtail to aux switch)
RED - Traveler connected to traveler terminal of aux screw
14-2 going to light -LOAD wirenutted to BLK wire of 14-3 coming from box 2.
WHT - neutral either wirenutted together with the 14-3 from box 2 or connected to 2nd hold of neutral terminal on aux switch.

  • I recommend bundling with pigtails are noted above to ensure neutral is always passed.

Let me know if the above makes sense.

Yes, it should. But there is something funky in either our wiring configuration or how you wired it.

Do you have Romex or individual conductors like THHN, etc?

If I understand correctly, you have a line in the first box and load in the last box. IF YOU ARE USING ROMEX, in a typical dumb switch wiring configuration, the hot starts at a 3-way switch, goes through a 4-way switch and then to the last box with a 3-way switch with the load. In that process, the netural is sent from the first to the last box via (typically the white) conductor. This means that there is a neutral in the each box, because the neutral has to be passed to the light.

So I’m not saying you are wired incorrectly, but the fact that you don’t think there is a neutral in the 4-way gives me pause.

It might be best if you draw out the original dumb switch wiring so we can take a look. That might make it easier to make sense of what you have going on. (Or post a schematic . . sounds like you have a typical dumb 4-way.)

I have this feeling that “faking” a non-neutral because of switch placement won’t work properly.

Thanks @harjms and @Bry for the suggestions and questions. I’ve probed all the signals to understand the electrical connections between boxes, hot/line, neutral, and travelers but perhaps I’ve got something wrong.

I have Romex (not individual conductors) going into each box. However, the wiring in my home may have passed code but is very unconventional with respect to the lack of neutrals, backfed circuits, branches/repurposing of romex behind the walls, etc. So the romex in box 1 comes from box 2, but uses the white wire in the bundle to route the hot/line from box 2 into box 1 (argh – and not even identified with tape as hot and could have been easily confused for a neutral). box 1 has one other circuit and two switches that DO contain a neutral.

Before I exercise the forum any further, I will get more creative about powering the switch with a different hot/line from box 1 (not the original), and use a neutral in the same box to connect to the blue switch and to the white wire in the bundle going into box 2 – or evaluate blue-switch in box 3 with line, load, and neutral with travelers for red/neutral to the remote aux switches in box 1 and 2. I think that will work. I didn’t originally follow this approach because I thought it might be better to configure as non-neutral and perform less disruption to the original “configuration” of the romex bundles as they were established by the builder 20 years ago.

Also, the wiring site has placeholders for 3-way and 4-way non-neutral wiring diagrams, but only contains a 3-way diagram. I made the assumption that the 4-way version just carries the travelers and hot/line signals to the 2nd aux switch. Resources | Wiring Schematics

I appreciate that Inovelli switches can function without neutrals but prior experience with red switches has been mixed in non-neutral configurations. Never had a problem with neutral configs.

However, if my new approach doesn’t work, I’ll draw everything out and repost here.

Sounds good.

For general guidance:

  • Unless you have a true non-neutral switch loop where a hot/switched hot are sent to the switch box from the light with the neutral remaining at the light, use a neutral configuration. “Faking” a non-neutral or failing to connect a neutral to the switch has been demonstrated to have caused problems.

  • In a multi-way, the Inovelli must be in a box where it has a hot and neutral. With a traditional Line and Load multi-way in separate boxes, this should not be a problem. So then it is just a matter of sending the proper things over the three conductors between the boxes. Most importantly, you need a 3-wire Romex between the switch boxes.

The wiring guide states that the blue switch can reside in a box without neutral if used as single load or in a 3/4-way with aux switches. Or did I misinterpret that?

I wouldn’t say misinterpret. But that statement is targeted for a true non-neutral where there is a switch loop, as I described previously. And you don’t have that configuration, so that statement doesn’t apply to your situation.

If I understand correctly, you do have a hot and neutral provided to one of the 3-way switch boxes, with the load in the other 3-way switch box and a 4-way switch in the middle. If that’s the case, then that’s a neutral configuration and you should wire as such.

I get that you’re trying to put the switch in a box that supposedly has no neutral, but I don’t think you can create a false non-neutral with a neutral configuration and expect it to work properly.

If my understanding is correct, I don’t understand why the neutral isn’t passed from the Line box to the Load box through the middle box, but as you explained you have some wierd wiring.

Would love to see the drawing of that weird wiring.


FWIW, I had a similar 4-way setup, where it didn’t send the neutral with the travelers, but picked up a neutral at the load end from another switch in the same box.

I didn’t use AUX switches, so I can’t help with what you’re trying to do. Just in case you can’t get the AUX setup working, there is an option to do what I did and use three Blues instead. You’d just need to repurpose the travelers to get a line and neutral to the original 4-way switch’s box. I can explain in more detail if that’s not clear and you do decide to go that route.

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Yep, you never know what you’re going to find. But so long as the neutral to the light was on the same branch circuit, that’s a perfectly compliant way to do it in the dumb switch world. Out of curiousity, was there just a 2-wire between the switch boxes?

Yes, it’s all two conductor Romex. And the neutrals at both ends of the 4-way setup are definitely on the same circuit.

UPDATE: Upon further examination, I realized the original circuit used a hot line from box 3 and cascaded the connection via box 2 into box 1 using the white wire in the 3-wire romex bundle, I suppose the electrician had line/load in the same box and instead wanted the line at the furthest 3-way dumb switch (box 1), connected via travelers to a 4-way switch (box 2), connected via travelers to a 3-way dumb switch in the load (box 3). …I also noted that box 3 has both the load and a neutral in it.

So… I moved the blue switch to box 3 and pursued a line/load in same-box with neutral config. Disconnected the hot wire from the white wire in the romex (going to box 2), and connected it to the blue switch line terminal. Connected a neutral in the box to the blue switch neutral and the white wire in the romex bundle. Connected the red wire in the romex bundle to the blue switch traveler. Connected the load to the blue-switch load.

No change to box 2, since it was already had a white aux switch connected to the red traveler in the romex from box 3 and the white wire in the romex from box 3 (now a neutral) – and the same red/white wires in the romex going to box 1.

Put the aux formerly in box 3 into box 1. Connected to the red and white wires coming from the box 2 romex to the traveler and neutral respectively.

Duh – should have done this from the get-go. Everything works as-expected now. Aux switches can turn on/off and dim up/down. Will also use them for scene control :smiley:

Thanks to everyone for their help!


Sounds like you got it figured out! Mark as resolved if it is so!