VZM35-SN - No neutral or ground

Hi, I just received my Inovelli Blue Smart Fan Switch and I’m so excited to install it! I removed my existing single pole dumb toggle switch for my ceiling fan and found that I only have 2 wires: 1 black and 1 white. There is no neutral and no ground. I’m having trouble identifying which is line and which is load. The white was attached to the top screw on my dumb toggle switch, with the black being attached to the bottom screw. Am I able to install my new Inovelli switch with this setup? I found that the dumb switch was cracked when I removed it and ended up kind of falling apart, so I will have to go without my furnace and kitchen light if I’m not able to do this (it’s a studio apartment with a separate breaker panel). The switch is only wired to my ceiling fan.

Dumb switch: Leviton E233075 SSK-2
Smart switch: Inovelli Blue Smart Fan Switch (Ceiling or Exhaust)

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.


EDIT: I went to Home Depot and bought a replacement dumb switch, so I don’t have to worry anymore.

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What are you using to test, a meter or a proximity tester?

If you have a meter, you can try testing between each conductor and the metal box, which MIGHT be grounded. Usually when there is no visible ground in a box, you have either EMT conduit or BX. But I think i see a fabric sheath or possibly the BX conductor wrap, so I’m not sure exactly what you have.

If you strike out with a meter, a proximity tester will identify the hot.

The white is PROBABLY the hot, but test it to be sure.


Thank you, I’ll test it after work today and let you know what I find!

I used a proximity tester and determined that the black wire is line (hot) and the white is load

The switch powers up just fine, but the ceiling fan does not work. I now realize that I misread the wiring diagram. My ceiling fan needs its own 120v power source (what’s the point of a switch, then??)

Not sure I follow. The fan switch provides the voltage to the fan. Without neutral you’ll only have two speeds available.

Sorry for the confusion! From my understanding of the wiring diagram, there should be a 120v power source going to the fan (separate from the switch?). It’s very possible that I’m misunderstanding this. Currently, the switch is set up as expected; power flows to the switch and then to the fan when the switch is turned on.

For some reason, my switch powers up just fine (lights up, all functions appear to work), but no power appears to be flowing to the ceiling fan. I even pulled the chain several times to double-check that the fan is on high. I also ensured that the switch was configured for a single-pole ceiling fan (I tried setting it to “exhaust fan” for shits and giggles, but still nothing). I’m assuming that the switch is not meant to function with my wiring.

The flow is:

Load center->fan box (neutral connected to fan only) → line is passed down to the switch box-> switched → load is passed back up to fan box → fan is connected to the load coming from the switch.

Thank you! Any idea why the fan will not turn on? I put the dumb switch back for now.

EDIT: I realize my wording is very confusing. The fan works fine with the dumb switch, but not with my Inovelli switch.

I would try to install back in the box, apply power, perform factory reset.

Ensure line and load are correct. Configure switch for multi speed or single. Tap to turn on, press and hold up or down to change speeds (in multi speed mode).

Before you removed the dumb switch, did you turn the fan on to HIGH using the pull chain, leave it like that, and then remove the dumb switch?

I kept the fan off when I removed the dumb switch. I set it to high after installing the Inovelli switch (but before pressing the on button on the switch).

I’ll give it one more shot tomorrow. Thank you so much for the help so far!

I realized I never posted my message last night. The factory reset worked! Thank you so much for your help!!

Great. Glad you were able to get it working.

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