LZW31-SN Dimmer Red Series (Gen 2), GE Aux switch, No Neutral wire: Aux can turn off but not on

My Dimmer switch works great with on and off. But the Aux switch will only turn light off. There are few times Aux turned on the light by rapid clicking. But I was not able to duplicate it at all.

I did go thru the troubleshooting process multiple time by making sure dimmer is set with 3-way and aux.

What else can I do to troubleshoot?

My old and new wirings are exactly as this picture.


Here are pictures of my wiring.

@thenestcafe - Not to disagree with your wiring, but the Inovelli has a white colored wire connected to the Traveler port and the Aux switch has a Red wire connected to it. There’s something amiss here. I would expect to see the red wire on the Inovelli or the white wire that is connected to the Traveler port to the traveler port of the Aux switch.

Sorry to confuse you. I posted the wrong picture. I edited the post with the correct one. Thank you!

What are your settings for parameters 21 and 22?

To add to @Bry’s comment, you can program this from the switch as well. If I had to guess the issue is the parameters he mentioned are off. Here’s a video that should help!

https://youtu.be/SmBwfy9eFS8

21 = 0
22 = 2

So the parameters are correct. A couple things to try:

1 - Try resetting the parameters using the switch. Change to an improper parameter, then change back to the proper one. There have been reports of applications improperly reporting parameters or parameters not “sticking”.

2 - Which Aux are you using? is it one of these:

3 - What type of bulb(s) and housing? Can you temporarily switch to an incandescent?

4 - I can double-check your wiring if you post pics with the switches fully pulled out and so that I can see clearly all the way into the back of the boxes. That includes what is in back of other switches in the box.

Do you have pics of the wiring BEFORE you swapped out for the Inovelli?

Do you have a volt meter (as opposed to an inductive tester) if we need to troubleshoot?

1 - Try resetting the parameters using the switch. Change to an improper parameter, then change back to the proper one. There have been reports of applications improperly reporting parameters or parameters not “sticking”.

  • I tried this many times. Results are the same. However, there are few instances that Aux switch allows me to turn off and turn on once. It typically happens after I switch off and on the breaker. But to turn on, sometimes it takes one press. Some time it requires multiple presses quickly. I have not been able to duplicate this behavior consistently.

2 - Which Aux are you using? is it one of these:

3 - What type of bulb(s) and housing? Can you temporarily switch to an incandescent?

  • 8 x Koda LED Shoplights. Motion sensor is turned off.
  • 1 x LED spot light. Motion sensor is removed.

4 - I can double-check your wiring if you post pics with the switches fully pulled out and so that I can see clearly all the way into the back of the boxes. That includes what is in back of other switches in the box.


The white switch in this picture is a dummy. No wire is attached.

Do you have pics of the wiring BEFORE you swapped out for the Inovelli?

  • I don’t. But the two whites in the main are connected together.

Do you have a volt meter (as opposed to an inductive tester) if we need to troubleshoot?

  • Yes.

Posting these just to double-check:

Presuming the above is correct, try it first as a 2-way non-neutral. Just wire in the two conductors from the 2-wire. Leave the 3-wire Romex out of the equation. See if that works. (Change parameter 22 to 0.)

My thought process here is trying to isolate things to identify the problem. If you temporarily wire it as a 2-way, you take the Aux out of the question.

If it doesn’t work as a 2-way, you either have a bad switch or there is something related to your lights. What’s hanging around in the back of my mind is that you have lights with motion sensors. The single LED has it removed, so that should not be a factor. But the shop lights have the sensors disabled. In not sure how a “disabled” sensor factors into the voodoo science Inovelli uses to make a non-neutral work.

So another couple possibilities could be that your load is still not sufficient or the motion sensors on the shop lights are causing issues. A test around this would be to disconnect the shop lights and the single LED light. Get a bulb socket with leads (like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-Weatherproof-Socket-Black-R60-00055-000/100356874 ) and wire it in temporarily with the highest wattage incandescent bulb you can find. This will take your shop and LED lights out of the equation for testing.

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Thank you for you help. 2-way works as suggested. Also, I was able to to unplug all 8 shop lights and plug in a Incandescent Clamp Light. Both switches works flawlessly. So, the wiring should be correct.

I think the issue has to do with “disabled” sensors. I don’t think the shop light is so advanced that it completely redirect the current away or bypass the sensor. I will consider this case closed and work on removing the shop light sensor.

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I’m sorry to resurrect an old thread. But this is the EXACT situation that I find myself in. This exact wiring. These exact symptoms.

  1. Main box. One 2-wire and one 3-wire (obviously not counting ground wires). The two wire has a black and a white. The white is hot. I can use a multimeter and test between the white wire (in the 2-wire romex) and a ground and I get 123 Volts AC. With the wires exposed, I can touch the white and black from the 2-wire romex and the lights come on.

  2. The 3-wire (white/black/red) romex goes to another box.

  3. The first box contains a Red Series Dimmer brand new out of a box that I just ordered. Date on the sticker is 0720. Second box contains a GE Enbrighten #46199.

  4. The (3) can lights contain 75W halogen/incandescent bulbs. Plenty of draw to avoid the need for the bypass.

  5. The switch is wired exactly like the after diagram in the first post. White/hot from the 2-wire and the black from the 3-wire on the line. The black from the 2-wire on the load and the red on the traveler.

  6. Before I get started, I reset the switch to factory reset (20 second config hold). Then counted to 10, then pulled the air gap, counted to 10, and closed the air gap. I then set parameter 21/12 to 0 and paramter 22/13 to 2 via the switch config. (I actually switched both parameters to something other than these values and then switched them back to these values.)

  7. I then joined the switch to Home Assistant to check the parameters and they were NOT set correctly. So I set them correctly in HA. I fiddled with them a lot between the switch settings and HA to make quadruple sure that I had them set correctly and that the physical setting of the parameters from the switch showed up in HA as I changed them. All verified. 21 = non-neutral and 22 = 3-way momentary. I also set parameter 1 to 1 second and saved it. That worked and had the intended effect on dimming speed. So I’m very confident that the parameters are properly set.

  8. I can unhook the 3-wire from the Inovelli and set it to non-neutral single-pole mode and everything works as expected. When I hook up the aux switch the Inovelli works reliably, but the aux switch does not work properly. If the lights are on, the aux switch will turn them off most of the time. If the lights are off the aux switch will not turn them on reliably. If I stand there and it the “up” paddle on the aux switch, eventually one of them will take. Sometimes it is after 3 attempts. Sometimes it is after 10+ attempts. Eventually it will come on. But I can’t find a pattern as to when or why.

For the record, this is my 3rd Inovelli Red Series dimmer and I have tried two different GE switches. All five are directly out of the box. The GE were brand new from Amazon The Inovelli were from last year and the newest one just arrived today.

I’m at the end of my rope. Please help!

@Eric_Inovelli

You’ve obviously been reading the forums for suggested solutions, as you’ve covered EVERYTHING that I’d typically recommend. Your configuration seems correct to me, so I don’t have anything to suggest. It seems to me that there are some demons that creep into some non-neutral three-ways. I wish we know what they were. Many have no issue, but some do.

A thought in the back of my mind is telling me this is a settings issue, but you’ve done everything that I know to try to fix it.

Do you have a spare dimmer to try?

I’ve tried three. The latest is fresh out of the box straight from Inovelli. Received in the mail yesterday. I’ve tried 2 GE aux switches. Both brand new out of the box from Amazon. Ordered last weekend.

Here are the parameters as displayed from within Home Assistant. I did set them via both the switch and via Home Assitant to different values and confirmed that each time that I changed them, they did actually update to the new/expected setting in this interface.

Screen Shot 2020-11-10 at 9.48.17 AM

Screen Shot 2020-11-10 at 9.48.30 AM

I do remember that when I opened the box there was a white wire and a black wire tied together in the main box. And that both switches had a black wire connected to the common on the 3-way switch. That does differ a little bit from the “before” picture on the diagram (which shows two white wires tied together in the main box).

Unfortunately, I was an idiot and didn’t take pictures to see which black wires went where.

Could that have something to do with it, @Bry?

For dumb switch wiring, that actually makes sense. In a non-neutral configuration, power starts at the light and is sent to the first box, usually over the white. You tested and found that the white was hot.

So for this to work, power has to be sent to the other box. So in the first box, the white hot would be connected to the black on the 3-wire going to the other switch. In the other switch, that black that is constantly hot is connected to the common terminal so that switched power can be returned via the white or red traveler.

Back in the first box, the switch power arrives via one of the two 3-wire travelers and then sent back to the light via the black from the 2-wire attached to the common terminal. So in the first box, I’m guessing that the black attached to the common terminal was from the 2-wire to the light.

So this seems normal to me for a non-neutral dumb switch configuration. I know that the colors used in the Inovelli diagram are slightly different, but there are not absolutes with colors, so it sounds like you are essentially wired dumb-switch-wise like the diagram.

The weird part is that the Aux works properly sometimes after repeated presses.

It still could be a settings thing. Maybe someone on HA that has had similar issues can comment.

Or maybe Inovelli . . .

I think that the HA integration is inconsequential in this. Which is why I posted here. I have the exact same issue happening before I even bind the switch to the Z-Wave network. The only thing that HA gives me is the ability to see that the parameters are set to what they are supposed to be set to (via the interface).

@Eric_Inovelli @EricM_Inovelli

Would either of you have any ideas here? I feel like I’ve been as thorough as possible in my troubleshooting and am running a supported configuration.

Is this the diagram you are referring to?

Can you check the voltage from the traveler on the aux switch when it is in its default position and also when it is being pressed down?