LZW31-SN 3way Non-Neutral - Line/Load Separate Boxes

HI Everyone,

Completely new to smart switches and I am not an electrician. I was hoping to get the community’s feedback on the below and also hope that the below solution may help someone in the same position as myself. First time poster so please be kind :slight_smile:

Scenario: We just bought our first home and I have been updating to LZW31-SN switches throughout. I have a 3-way set up that is not on the wiring diagrams shown in the wiring diagrams as follows:

  1. No neutrals in either box
  2. Line/load in separate boxes (Line in - Box 1, Load - Box 2)
  3. 2 traveler wires running between the boxes

Solution I wanted to share (and also get everyone’s thoughts on):

In Box 1, I installed a GE aux switch:

  • The line (power) and traveler wire A are connected to “neutral” (which allows the power to travel consistently along traveler wire A to Box 2).
  • Traveler wire B is connected to “traveler”

In Box 2, I installed an Inovelli Red w/ scene (LZW31-SN):

  • Traveler wire A is connected to “line”
  • Traveler wire B is connected to “traveler”
  • Load is connected to load
  • Inovelli has been configured (at the switch) to non-neutral, 3-way aux

This solution worked for me and I am hoping it will help someone else (as I spent about 2 days trying to figure this out). The GE switch in Box 1 works fine, although it can take a couple of seconds to respond. I am going to try and reduce the on/off ramp time on the Inovelli to see if that speeds up the response time from the GE switch.

In addition, I wanted to get the community’s thoughts on the configuration using 2 Inovellis and if they think it would work:

Box 1: Inovelli Red w/ scene (LZW31-SN)

  • Line (power) connected to “line”
  • Traveler A connected to “load”
  • Traveler B no used.
  • Configured to non-neutral and also disable relay (I believe this would just allow power to flow straight through?)
  • Associate this switch with the Inovelli in Box 2 via my hub (Hubitat)

Box 2: Inovelli Red w/ scene (LZW31-SN)

  • Traveler A connected to “line”
  • Traveler B not used
  • Load connected to “load”
  • Configured to non-neutral, single pole set up

Please let me know your thoughts and I hope this helps someone. I can also upload hand drawn pics of the wiring if that helps.



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Can you verify that your boxes don’t contain a neutral? How old is the home? Neutrals aren’t used by regular 3-way switches, so if present, they are typically just wirenut together and shoved deep in the back of the box.

HI, Welcome to the community.

Its often difficult to comprehend without a diagram so if I misunderstand, please understand :slight_smile:

I think your first case is similar to this:

I can’t say why the neutral is not connected in this diagram, however I think the wiring is the same.

Hint, On the Inovelli site there is an installation pdf and a Wiring-Guide pdf.

The second case will work however unless you associate the 2nd Red dimmer to the first, there will be a delay which some might find objectionable.

I have not had a installation that required association directly between two devices so I can’t say how easy / difficult it is. However in theory it would make one switch “mimic” the other. I don’t know if it will go both ways.

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Hi Guys,

Thank you so much for the warm welcome (and super fast replies). Here are some diagrams on my wiring:

  • Current (working solution) - GE Aux Switch and Inovelli
  • Proposed alternative solution - 2 Inovellis

The key difference between my scenario and the one in the diagram is that my line in and my load out wires are in separate boxes. The wiring diagrams for a non-neutral setup provided by Inovelli only cover scenarios where the line/load are in the same box.

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I can confirm that there are no neutrals. The house is over 100 years old and none of the wires are color coded (they are all wrapped in brown). One of the reasons it took me so long was simply figuring out which wire was which to begin with.

Thank you for the feedback on the second case. That is greatly appreciated. I posted some pictures of my wiring below but forgot to link it to your post (apologies)

I have no idea if running 2 switches in series like that will work (or if it is a good idea. It’s not something I would try), but you can definitely associate 1 red series dimmer directly with another without any major issues. The only thing you miss out on is the LED indicators showing how bright the light is (the LED only indicates the dimming value of the switch itself. If you disable the relay, the dimmer will probably always be set to 100%).

That’s a good point. Thank you. I didn’t think of that. I am assuming it is just the dimming aspect of the LED that is lost. Using different colors for notifications/scenes (e.g. flash purple to show that the garage has been left open) should continue to work, correct?

Correct. Notifications still work, you just lose out on the dimming aspect.

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So I tried the 2 inovellis in sequence using the wiring and configuration approach above (As well as a number of other wiring configurations).

No matter what I tried, it seemed as thought one of the inovellis would not work (which one varied depending on the wiring set up I used). The closest I could get was to be able to get the inovelli in box 1 to work and that the inovelli on box 2 would demonstrate it was receiving power (if I pulled the air gap and then closed it, the light would blink red briefly but then the light switch would turn off again).

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get to inovellis to work in a 3 way set up when there are no neutrals?


Have you abandon the Inovelli + Aux switch option?

In addition, your diagram shows power coming on one wire but no neutral. Its not clear how this would be wired with the previous dumb 3-Ways. Can you add details to your diagram to show all the wires you are dealing with?

My preference would be to have 2 inovellis if possible. I have reverted back to the Inovelli + Aux switch option for now in the meantime.

The diagrams I posted and my original post pretty much demonstrate all of the wiring. There are no neutral wires in my set up, which is as follows:

  1. No neutrals in either box
  2. Line/load in separate boxes (Line in - Box 1, Load - Box 2)
  3. 2 traveler wires running between the boxes.

Please let me know if I am missing anything. Again, I am new to all of this.


Running the two switches in series as shown in your first diagram is not advised and probably will not work, or partially work.

You could use two Inovelli’s by powering the lights from one and leaving the other as just a Z-Wave controller with no direct connection to the lights. In this configuration if you go through your Hub there will be a delay.
However if you associate them the operation is supposed to be much faster.

I however have not had the ocassion to associate two Inovelli’s so I won’t be able to help you going down this road. However I’m sure there are others that can guide you.


Thank you JohnRob. Quick question, do you happen to know what wiring is required to just have a switch as a Z-Wave controller? Given I have no neutrals, do I simply connect the line (power) and no other wires?

Thanks again for all of your help!

I simply connect the line (power) and no other wires?

Unfortunately No. Every circuit needs two wires. When using a dimmer with no neutral, the dimmer steals power from the load wire.

Curious though, In you diagram you show one wire coming in as power (line). In what type of cable is this? I’ve never seen a cable with only one wire.

@fzahid I am guessing that your diagram may not be completely accurate. When some people find a constant hot at the box they understandably confuse the source. I am guessing that if you don’t really have a neutral in either box that the source of the hot is really coming from the light. Completely understanding your configuration is going to be the key to getting things working correctly.

Could your existing setup be like this (pretend the green wires are actually white)?

If so, I think the only true solution would involve changing some wiring at the light.