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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm very new to electrical work, but trying to learn. I'm interested in home automation, so as part of my bedroom remodel I wanted to learn how to install z-wave switches. But I seem to have royally screwed it up. Can anyone help me? Here's the problem:

I had previously (successfully) installed a z-wave on/off light switch in my bedroom that controlled the lights. I wanted to move it to control my closet instead, and replace the bedroom one with a dimmable z-wave switch.
This is what I did to install:

1. Turned off power to both circuits controlling the switches (they're physically near each other, but on different circuits).
2. Performed the light switch installations, moving the old z-wave switch to the closet, and the new dimmable one to the bedroom.
3. Turned the power back on. Confirmed the bedroom switch was working (and it dimmed correctly).
4. But the closet switch was not working - not even receiving power.

Shortly after, I realized the lights weren't working in the guest bedroom and bathroom. I can't for the life of me figure out how to fix them!

This is what I tried:

1. Tested to see if the outlet in the guest bathroom was broken as well - it wasn't, just the light switches.
2. Reset all the GFCI outlets I could find, both with the power off and on.
3. Uninstalled the z-wave switch in the closet and replaced it with the original "dumb" switch. And it worked for the closet - but the guest rooms remained without power.
4. Check the breaker but nothing was tripped - and I hadn't accidentally forgotten to turn a switch back on.

And then I ran out of ideas. I suspect I did something wrong when installing the switches (shorted something?) but I'm at a loss.

My questions are:

1. Is there anything else I can try to fix the guest room lights?
2. Is this beyond my abilities, and should I hire an electrician?
3. What on earth did I do to my lights to make them stop working?
 

· Registered
Joined
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1,051 Posts
Hi,

I'm very new to electrical work, but trying to learn. I'm interested in home automation, so as part of my bedroom remodel I wanted to learn how to install z-wave switches. But I seem to have royally screwed it up. Can anyone help me? Here's the problem:

I had previously (successfully) installed a z-wave on/off light switch in my bedroom that controlled the lights. I wanted to move it to control my closet instead, and replace the bedroom one with a dimmable z-wave switch.
This is what I did to install:

1. Turned off power to both circuits controlling the switches (they're physically near each other, but on different circuits).
2. Performed the light switch installations, moving the old z-wave switch to the closet, and the new dimmable one to the bedroom.
3. Turned the power back on. Confirmed the bedroom switch was working (and it dimmed correctly).
4. But the closet switch was not working - not even receiving power.

Shortly after, I realized the lights weren't working in the guest bedroom and bathroom. I can't for the life of me figure out how to fix them!

This is what I tried:

1. Tested to see if the outlet in the guest bathroom was broken as well - it wasn't, just the light switches.
2. Reset all the GFCI outlets I could find, both with the power off and on.
3. Uninstalled the z-wave switch in the closet and replaced it with the original "dumb" switch. And it worked for the closet - but the guest rooms remained without power.
4. Check the breaker but nothing was tripped - and I hadn't accidentally forgotten to turn a switch back on.

And then I ran out of ideas. I suspect I did something wrong when installing the switches (shorted something?) but I'm at a loss.

My questions are:

1. Is there anything else I can try to fix the guest room lights?
2. Is this beyond my abilities, and should I hire an electrician?
3. What on earth did I do to my lights to make them stop working?
First thing I would check would be inside of the closet switch box. How many wires are in there without the switch installed? It is possible that the feed to the other rooms goes through that switch box or the closet light electrical box. It has happened to me where one wire actually breaks while you are working on others in the box. There may be a three wire between the closet light and the closet switch.

I understand that you want to learn how to do wiring. Most of us pros went through several years on the job as helpers and apprentices and for some, trade school as well. I do not recommend "Baptism-By-Fire" in your own home school for a beginner to learn about wiring.
 
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