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    Classic No Neutral Solutions?

    So, I've been waiting to convert my last few lights to z-wave in 3 & 4 gang locations full of 3-way dimmer needs since multiple breaker circuits show up in them, but almost always just a single neutral from one of them. Since tying the neutral from different circuits together is not only against code, but dangerous, I'm looking for the best current options.

    I love HS ones, but they need neutrals.

    I know Inovelli makes some, but the one thing I can't stand is a really noticeable delay between turning the switch on and the light coming on. Have they gotten any better?

    Does anybody have no neutral ones they are really happy with?

    Every single one of these except one needs to be a 3-way. All need to be dimmers. Even if only the "master" end of the 3-way setup actually sends switch change status back to HS4, switch activity on either end of the 3-way needs to send status back to HS4.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions...

    #2
    If you have missing neutrals in some boxes, the rest would be hot wires and (here comes the problem)... travelers (technically, they are both travelers). In my house, during an extensive addition made some years ago, some old school electrician used black/white wires for hots and travelers and ran the common wire from the panel to the fixture box. I don't know what code said at the time, but I know it was a common practice. You might want to ring out a box and see if you have ANY common wires. I didn't and had to run common wires to the affected boxes. Epic PITA.

    Alternatively,

    https://thesmartcave.com/smart-switch-with-no-neutral/
    Last edited by ewkearns; February 23, 2021, 11:59 AM. Reason: Poor Grammar and added link.
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      #3
      ewkearns - Thanks for the link. My house was built in 2010 and thankfully I only had one box in the garage that had no neutral at all (against code when built). I was able to run one to it, but it still has 2 different circuits and no way to get the neutral from the second circuit to it. There are neutrals in all my others, but again from the wrong circuits. For example, the 3 gang at the top of the stairs has power from 3 different breakers, but only one neutral since you don't need them for old school on/off switches. These are all in existing walls and any thought of pulling in the other ones is simply not going to happen. I have no choice but to find no neutral required switches.

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        #4
        It is not against code to have a single neutral with two hot leads. This is called a multi-wire branch circuit

        https://www.m.electrical101.com/m.mu...h-circuit.html

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          #5
          Originally posted by ts1234 View Post
          ewkearns - Thanks for the link. My house was built in 2010 and thankfully I only had one box in the garage that had no neutral at all (against code when built). I was able to run one to it, but it still has 2 different circuits and no way to get the neutral from the second circuit to it. There are neutrals in all my others, but again from the wrong circuits. For example, the 3 gang at the top of the stairs has power from 3 different breakers, but only one neutral since you don't need them for old school on/off switches. These are all in existing walls and any thought of pulling in the other ones is simply not going to happen. I have no choice but to find no neutral required switches.
          As long as there's a circuit with a hot and neutral in the box, you could use a "normal" (neutral required) switch with no load connected, and control the load via z-wave. You'd need to install a z-wave relay such as the aeotec nano (or Shelly etc if you use MQTT or other means of HS interface) elsewhere in the circuit and associate it with the switch or switches.
          -Wade

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            #6
            drhtmal - Thanks! That's only true if the each circuit is the opposite side of the power. IE When you wire 240 you take "the red side" and "the black side."...the opposite phase. Otherwise, since power always takes the shortest path to ground you could have a 20 amp sized wire carrying the return path for two combined 20 amp circuits. Since these are 3 and four gang locations that only solves for two of them. It could be part of a solution, but I kind of really slow down when it comes to rewiring/reloading the phase distribution behind the main panel.

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              #7
              Wade - Thanks! I did something like that downstairs after they remodel and I ended up with a 3 gang box with one switch that did nothing at the bottom of the stairs. I just powered up a HS switch with no load and it controls two different lights in the hall at the same time. I have thought about doing it, but it has some delay. It's a great idea, but in general I don't want to have a bunch of switches that are useless if HS4 is down or I try to sell the house.

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