It's possible that this question is too general to be asked here, but I'm pulling my hair out, so I'm hoping someone can shed some light on the subject.

I installed a Leviton Z-Wave switch in a 2-gang box, using a length of 14-gauge wire to connect into the three neutral wires in a wirenut in the box. The load wraps around the bottom red pole and daisy chains to the other switch. Seems weird, but that's how it was originally.

So I turn on the breaker, everything works fine. I'm a genius. Then, I turn the breaker off again, repack everything into the junction box, screw in the switch, and replace the switchplate.

Breaker on - light doesn't turn on anymore. All the other ones do, and I read current going through it with my voltmeter. So, I unpack everything, everything looks good, fiddle with some wires, turn it on again and nothing.

I put back the original switch and it works fine, so it's not the light. Is it possible I blew out the switch somehow? Is there something else I might be missing? I've replaced lots of switches, but this is the first time I've encountered a problem like this.

  • 1
    Can you post a photo of the inside of the box? It sounds like you swapped line and load on the switch... – ThreePhaseEel Jun 29 '17 at 1:55
  • @ThreePhaseEel - I reverted everything before I had a chance, but this is the original switch: i.stack.imgur.com/6aSsn.jpg. It's the one on the left - top wire was to Black, bottom to Red, then the other switch, and the neutral to white. – Ryan Anderson Jun 29 '17 at 2:00
  • Can you post the instructions for the switch you used for that matter? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 29 '17 at 2:02
  • @ThreePhaseEel Sure thing: leviton.com/en/docs/DI-000-DZS15-02A-W.PDF – Ryan Anderson Jun 29 '17 at 2:09
  • I can tell you right now that that red-wire is likely an always-hot wire, can you check that for me? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 29 '17 at 2:14

Smart switches don't like being upside down and backwards

What happened with your smart switch is that you swapped the Line and Load terminals -- it would not surprise me if something is acting goofy, or if the switch is somehow damaged even, as a result of that. Try connecting the red wire to the Line terminal on a new smart switch with a proper pigtail (instead of the current configuration) and the black wire to the Load terminal -- you wired up the neutral and ground fine, though.

If that doesn't do the trick, I'd make sure nothing is shorting when you stuff it into the backbox -- wrapping the device with electrical tape and ensuring screws are tight helps.

  • Yep, I think you're right. The bottom wire (the one that loops from the bottom pole to the other switch) is definitely the line. I had connected that one to the red pole instead of the black. Thanks for your help - I'll try it again in daylight and see if I haven't destroyed this thing. – Ryan Anderson Jun 29 '17 at 2:55
  • Just wanted to let you know that I changed it up this morning, and everything is working just fine. Thanks again for your help, I feel a bit dumb now that I see the answer was so obvious. – Ryan Anderson Jun 29 '17 at 15:41

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