Going From 3 Way Switch To Lutron Smart Dimmer - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Like Tree2Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 03-11-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Hi all,

Disclaimer: I am clearly not an electrician but I always work with the breakers off and work step by step to never get in over my head. Oh and I only work with <=120V.

Ok, so I am trying to install a smart dimmer (Lutron PD-6WCL), of which the big feature is that it never requires a neutral. That's great and all but of course my wiring doesn't line up with the examples laid out in their 3-way setup diagrams.

For this install I will be using one real switch and then a pico remote at the other location. So I basically have to undo the 3 way wiring into a 2 way setup and condemn the second switch location (in my pictures on the right hand side)/cap the wires and replace with pico remote.

See attached for pictures of the original setup and what I was able to accomplish yesterday to get it working.

From what I understand the second location (bottom of the stairwell) is wired in downstream of the light fixture, which explains only the single Romex going into the box.

I got it working as setup in the second picture, but in this case the dimmer was constantly making a hissing noise. I tried contacting Lutron support but they really weren't helpful--seemed too caught up on the fact that it doesn't NEED a neutral when I was asking if it COULD be connected with a neutral like I had done, or if that's what's causing the issue.

If I really need to, I can access the fixture junction box, but it's very heavy and at the top of a 15 foot stairwell and well I think I almost died 3 times when I installed it so if I can do the install without accessing the junction box it would be great. So as it stands I don't know exactly how it's wired in the junction box.

So...my questions for those much smarter than me in this domain:

1) Do you think the use of a neutral is causing the hissing and if so

2) is there a way I can wire this setup without using a neutral?

3) if not, is the install I found 'legit'. To me I am just taking out one leg of the 3 way circuit, and when I test the two red wires against neutral there is no potential so I believe they are dead? But I capped them just in case.

I can always break down and buy the 'pro' dimmer model which costs like twice the price of this one but takes a neutral.

Thank you advance for your input! I wired everything back to the old switches for the time being until I can figure this out.




Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-11-2019, 08:53 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Hi all,

Disclaimer: I am clearly not an electrician but I always work with the breakers off and work step by step to never get in over my head. Oh and I only work with <=120V.

Ok, so I am trying to install a smart dimmer (Lutron PD-6WCL), of which the big feature is that it never requires a neutral. That's great and all but of course my wiring doesn't line up with the examples laid out in their 3-way setup diagrams.

For this install I will be using one real switch and then a pico remote at the other location. So I basically have to undo the 3 way wiring into a 2 way setup and condemn the second switch location (in my pictures on the right hand side)/cap the wires and replace with pico remote.

See attached for pictures of the original setup and what I was able to accomplish yesterday to get it working.

From what I understand the second location (bottom of the stairwell) is wired in downstream of the light fixture, which explains only the single Romex going into the box.

I got it working as setup in the second picture, but in this case the dimmer was constantly making a hissing noise. I tried contacting Lutron support but they really weren't helpful--seemed too caught up on the fact that it doesn't NEED a neutral when I was asking if it COULD be connected with a neutral like I had done, or if that's what's causing the issue.

If I really need to, I can access the fixture junction box, but it's very heavy and at the top of a 15 foot stairwell and well I think I almost died 3 times when I installed it so if I can do the install without accessing the junction box it would be great. So as it stands I don't know exactly how it's wired in the junction box.

So...my questions for those much smarter than me in this domain:

1) Do you think the use of a neutral is causing the hissing and if so

2) is there a way I can wire this setup without using a neutral?

3) if not, is the install I found 'legit'. To me I am just taking out one leg of the 3 way circuit, and when I test the two red wires against neutral there is no potential so I believe they are dead? But I capped them just in case.

I can always break down and buy the 'pro' dimmer model which costs like twice the price of this one but takes a neutral.

Thank you advance for your input! I wired everything back to the old switches for the time being until I can figure this out.




Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Oh and I didn't put it in the diagram because I didn't know how to show the wires traversing the fixture junction box but in my diagrams the box should be in between the two switch junction boxes.

Thanks again!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-11-2019, 08:54 AM   #3
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


One the left which set of wires go the light?
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-11-2019, 08:58 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
One the left which set of wires go the light?
Hi Nealtw,

You seem to getting a lot of my threads....sorry! Lol

I assumed the left hand too wire because it has the tagged red but to be honest I have no idea. The second 4 wire Romex is throwing me off because as far as I can tell the only other thing on this circuit are my smoke detectors. I can confirm later today but will just be process of elimination disconnecting the wires and seeing which disconnects the light... Unless there is a quicker way... 3 way switches really mess with me...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Hi Nealtw,

You seem to getting a lot of my threads....sorry! Lol

I assumed the left hand too wire because it has the tagged red but to be honest I have no idea. The second 4 wire Romex is throwing me off because as far as I can tell the only other thing on this circuit are my smoke detectors. I can confirm later today but will just be process of elimination disconnecting the wires and seeing which disconnects the light... Unless there is a quicker way... 3 way switches really mess with me...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

I can't make that work even if the second 3 wire is feed the SD
You will have to figure which is the light cable.
White is neutral black from power and black from the light to the switch and red not needed. And then find out what else is not working.
If black is used at the light.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:18 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Well actually it must be the top left wire because the tagged red is basically functioning as the hot. That tagged red must be connected to the black in the fixture box as it's the black and neutral that are completing the circuit in the right hand box..right?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:23 AM   #7
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Well actually it must be the top left wire because the tagged red is basically functioning as the hot. That tagged red must be connected to the black in the fixture box as it's the black and neutral that are completing the circuit in the right hand box..right?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
The white that was connected to the three 3 switch is not neutral
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #8
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Well actually it must be the top left wire because the tagged red is basically functioning as the hot. That tagged red must be connected to the black in the fixture box as it's the black and neutral that are completing the circuit in the right hand box..right?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
In the box on the right cap each wire separately.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:28 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Ok will give it a shot...will only be in a few hours though stuck at work....

Thanks again for all your help this thing was driving me nuts yesterday... The real problem was my other hinge project which hijacked my weekend and left this until Sunday afternoon, recipe for disaster haha.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:32 AM   #10
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Ok will give it a shot...will only be in a few hours though stuck at work....

Thanks again for all your help this thing was driving me nuts yesterday... The real problem was my other hinge project which hijacked my weekend and left this until Sunday afternoon, recipe for disaster haha.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
If power is on the 2 wire at the bottom of the box, that black goes to the switch alone and either the red or the black on the left will operate the light.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:34 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Ok so I should leave the setup of the left hand box as in the 'current setup' pic and cap all three separately in the right hand box? To do the test you suggested?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:40 AM   #12
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Ok so I should leave the setup of the left hand box as in the 'current setup' pic and cap all three separately in the right hand box? To do the test you suggested?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
See post 10, if the light work then you test to see if you are still getting power at the dead box.Those wires should not be tied together.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 09:59 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
See post 10, if the light work then you test to see if you are still getting power at the dead box.Those wires should not be tied together.
Ok I think I understand. When you say 'those wires' you are referring to the white and black in the right hand box? In my mind it was to complete the circuit but I guess that doesn't make any sense the circuit would be completed through the light. If they were live, then I would have shorted it out connecting those together I think. Anyways will check it out in a few hours...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Nealtw likes this.
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 10:18 AM   #14
retired framer
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 23,285
Rewards Points: 14,458
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogityman View Post
Ok I think I understand. When you say 'those wires' you are referring to the white and black in the right hand box? In my mind it was to complete the circuit but I guess that doesn't make any sense the circuit would be completed through the light. If they were live, then I would have shorted it out connecting those together I think. Anyways will check it out in a few hours...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
They are making the circuit because you are feeding the light the long way around.
__________________
Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
Nealtw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2019, 11:36 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 105
Rewards Points: 38
Default

Re: Going from 3 way switch to Lutron smart dimmer


Ok so then if I disconnect them won't the light not work anymore? Or that's what you would like to know? Sorry if I sound obtuse I'm just trying to wrap my head around it.

Thanks

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Boogityman is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with Smart Switch? where' Ground? mbishara Electrical 6 11-28-2018 10:20 AM
GFCI after dimmer switch curiousB Electrical 16 04-08-2013 04:18 PM
lutron dimmer light switch w low voltage halogens pdxrain Electrical 4 12-30-2011 05:00 PM
Dimmer switch issues idlewatcher Electrical 0 03-07-2011 01:28 PM
Basic Switch wiring question; Dimmer to Toggle switch (Pictures included) inspectator Electrical 8 08-07-2007 01:19 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts