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I'm trying to install a Leviton VPT24-1PZ Vizia 24-Hour Programmable light switch replacing an existing 3 way switch. the electrical box for this switch only has a black wire, white wire, red wire and ground. The Leviton VPT24 has a black, white, red, yellow red and ground.

I can get power to the new switch by connecting BL to BL and WH to WH and the ground to ground, but when I connect the RD to RD I can get the light to turn on, it did before with the regular switch. I tired connecting the YR to the RD with no success. I tried reviewing the wiring install provided by Leviton but the number of wires in their guide has one more wire than I have coming out of the wall box. How do I connect this device?

  • Color means less than nothing in 3-way circuits. You cannot possibly succeed without first identifying the functions of the existing wires. Also, installation is not possible in every 3-way location, sounds like this is the wrong location. Sounds lik you want the quick-n-easy, that is not possible here. It is likely possible to do it with the wiring already in the walls, but that will require full deployment of ones thinking cap. – Harper Jan 29 at 16:27
  • Can you post photos of the insides of all switch boxes on the circuit? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 30 at 0:44
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To use this system at all, two things must be true.

  • Power must enter the 3-way complex at one of the switches, not the lamp. AND
  • You must use one of the two available models of matching smart remotes, not a plain 3-way.

If either of those is false, you bought the wrong family of smart switch. Try one that uses wireless or powerline communication. This is the end of the answer for you.


Now, this family of switches has a master (4 wire + ground) and a remote (3 wire + ground). You must use both and You get no choice of which goes where.

Both 3-way switch boxes will have one cable that is /3; that is the colors are black white red. We will totally redefine how its colors are used, to accommodate the needs of the new smart switch. I need you to mark the red wires with alternating bands of yellow tape, so its color is red-yellow.

One of the boxes has the /2 cable going up to the lamp. It will be black and white. Mark the black wire solid red. This box is the one that must take the master smart switch. This box now has a red wire, a red/yellow wire, some number of blacks, and some number of whites. The master switch has those same exact colors, thanks to the magic of colored tape. Match 'em up. All blacks together under a wirenut, etc.

Now the remote. If you are using Leviton's "Coordinating Remote Switch", with 4 wires + ground, then you need to cap off and tuck back the red and black wires. You will not be using them and do not connect them in this next step. If it is Leviton's "Matching Remote Switch" (why are there two kinds??) then do not cap any wires, you will use them all.

The other box will now have a red/yellow, some number of blacks, and some number of whites. The smart switch remote goes here. Same deal.

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Using the installation guide, it's pretty clear you're missing something important here: a neutral wire. The white wire in a standard three-way switch is simply a traveler wire (as is the red). A traveler just carries a load between switches and is not a neutral. Your switch, however, is a powered timer switch, meaning it consumes electricity. You'll need to replace the three-line wire with four line wire (sometimes sold as /2/2, as in 14/2/2 or 12/2/2) and have the white wire attached to the neutral.

See What's the best way to add a neutral wire for smart switch? for more details about this process.

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