I have two switches set up as a 3-way and I'd like to take out one and install a smart switch for the other. I know I need a neutral, and I thought things would be good when I looked inside, but it didn't work.
I want to take out box 1. Inside there are two whites, which are bundled together with a wire nut. There is one red. There are two blacks. One of them is live, the other depends on box 2 switch position.
I want to keep box 2 and go from a regular dimmer to a smart dimmer (requires neutral). Inside there is 1 bare copper, 1 red, 1 black and 1 white. The red is live (depending on the box 1 switch position).
I was excited that it seemed that I had the neutral that many people are missing, but when I hooked things up as I believe I should, the smart dimmer never got power.
What I did. 1) Remove box 1 by connecting the live to the red. Since this makes the red in the other box live, I believe the red is the traveler wire. I put a wire nut on the other black and left the white ones together like they were before. Also put on a blank cover. 2) Install the smart dimmer using the red as the line, white as neutral, black as load and bare as ground.
When I did this, the switch never got power, nor did the lights. One thing to note, I have a feeling that box 2 was not original and was added by the previous homeowner.
So do I not actually have neutral? Am I doing something wrong taking the 3-way out. Something else entirely? Thanks,
Here is a pic of box 1 before I messed with it.
And here is box 2 before as well.
Here is one of the boxes for the lights. To clarify, the left wire is black but it looks like it was painted at some point so some is white but peeling... not by me.