# Modifying strange 3 way switch wiring

Just moved into a house, and wanting to replace one of the 3 way switches with this item:

zwave switch

From what I can tell the two switches each have three wires in them, well 4 incl ground. They both have:

Common / Neutral (white wire) Traveler (red wire) Ground (copper wire)

One switch has Line - current is always flowing through it. One switch has Load - current is only available depending on the switch position.

So two questions:

1) Is it normal that Line and Load are on two separate switches?

2) Based on the diagrams for the product, is there a way that I can wire the new switch to get it to work with my setup?

I tried adding line with the load to the new switch, and taking it off the other switch i.e. new switch has everything, then the other switch only has the traveller and the common, per the diagram. However that was no good.

I'm not 100% sure how the lights are wired, I can't access them easily.

Thank you!

edit - product wiring images (better quality in the link above):

• `Based on the diagrams for the product` ... what diagrams? Mar 30, 2018 at 1:44
• They are on the product page I linked. I'll add them here as well, sorry about that.
– yhax
Mar 30, 2018 at 1:45
• Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved? Mar 30, 2018 at 2:35
• How many cables come into each box? How many wires does each cable have? We don't need to hear about equipment safety grounds (green/bare wires). Mar 30, 2018 at 4:20

Is it normal that Line and Load are on two separate switches?

Yes the Line hooks to the first switch and the Load can come from the 2nd switch.. With Travelers between the two switches.

I am guessing your whites are really black taped whites (or should be) they are not Neutrals - again a guess otherwise how will the light work with out a hot line ? So either there are more wires or you have whites that should have been taped black on the ends.

That said your Zwave most likely requires the Neutral and from what I understand the NEC code for the neutral in the switch box is fairly new (2011 ish) . Sometimes they were run in the box just because that was where everything connected so you ended up with it by 'accident' and not by code. You should check your boxes and see what wires are behind those switches and not just look at what is connected on the terminals ..