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I recently replaced a 4-way light switch setup with a smart dimmer setup (GE Enbrighten 14294 and GE Add-On 12723) and wanted to check wanted to check that everything I did was safe and up to code (Georgia, USA).

The original setup was wired like this (I think. It didn't occur to me to take a picture at the time): Original 4-way wiring setup

When I replaced the switches, I wired it like this: enter image description here

Everything works perfectly. I just wanted to make sure I'm not going to burn my house down. There are a couple things that jumped out at me:

  1. The ground wire isn't connected to the 4-way switch. It wasn't in the original configuration either, and it's crimped and cut too short to reach the terminal. Now that I'm using a smart switch with a neutral connection, is it dangerous to not have a ground connection?
  2. Is using the red wire as the traveler appropriate? I know code is sometimes strict about what colors can be used for what purpose.
  3. The black wire is still there, but no longer connected to anything. I've capped it off with wire nuts, but is there anything else I need to do?
  • Is cutting the crimp in the second box off and replacing it with a different type of splice an option? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 19 at 12:34
  • @ThreePhaseEel Possibly. It's pretty short, but there may be enough there to cut the crimp and replace it with a wire nut if it's not okay as is. I'll have to take a look at it next time I'm at home. – Miles Budnek Feb 19 at 13:47
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Yeah, that looks right to me, the remotes only need neutral and comms. I presume the master puts only enough power on that comms wire to let the remotes power up, and uses that same wire for comms. Good design, leave it to GE.

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From the looks of your drawing, you did not provide a neutral at the other switch locations.

Georgia is on the 2017 Code which has adopted 404.2(C) which states the neutral conductor must be provided at certain switch locations and for certain rooms. Rooms that people can occupy, bathrooms, and stairs are included.

Exceptions do apply. One of those being if this is a simple retro update and not a full scale remodel e.g., opening up walls etc, then you can put up to (5) smart switches on the branch circuit that require a neutral to piggy back on the equipment grounding conductor, i.e., the green/bare wire. NEC has also given manufactures up to the year 2020 to redesign their devices to not piggy back on the equipment grounding conductor.

As mentioned above about the location, another exception is if you can see the other switch(es) from within the same room, then a neutral is not required at the other switch locations.

  • There is a neutral. All of the white wires in my second drawing are tied to the neutral coming from the panel. – Miles Budnek Feb 19 at 16:28
  • Read my first sentence "a neutral at the other switch locations" – Kris Feb 19 at 16:44
  • But there is a neutral at all three locations. The switches I used require a neutral. The white wire in the 14/3 cables going to the second and third switches was originally used for switched hot, but in the new configuration it's neutral. – Miles Budnek Feb 19 at 18:13
  • Ah ha. I see what you did now. Looks good. – Kris Feb 19 at 19:17

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