2

(Reposted from a guest account I lost access to somehow)

I recently moved into a new home built in the 1970's and am looking to upgrade some no-neutral dumb switches to smart switches. After doing some research, I opted to go with Lutron Casetas throughout. For my 3-way set of switches, I've purchased model # P-PKG1WB-WH, which I'm hoping to install as a single pole and eliminate the other switch entirely (replacing it with a wireless, in-wall remote).

Complicating things further, there is no ground wiring present in the gang boxes (I have determined the metal boxes themselves are grounded and have purchased grounding screws, so I'm hoping that's the only thing I'll need to install to add ground).

Based on what I've seen from a few sources, I think I will just need to connect the line/load from one of the existing switches using a wire nut in order to maintain functionally of the newly installed smart switch. I intend to install a wireless remote to replace the second switch (which came with the Lutron). This link has pictures of both gang boxes, one that features a separate switch and the other featuring a non-GFCI outlet (the switch with the single orange is the one I'll be keeping and the outlet has a black and white wire running to it). I'm noticing that the switch in the gang box with the outlet has a continuous wire wrapped around the traveler screw with the wire being stripped in the middle (at the connection to the switch) rather than the end.

I've replaced switches before, but this particular setup has me struggling a bit.

Any help/advice that could be provided would be amazing! For clarity, the area I'm struggling the most with is how to handle the actual replacement. Which box I should put the new switch into and how to properly cap everything when I'm done (considering the wraparound nature of the black traveler in one of the boxes). Edit: I neglected to mention that there is no neutral wiring present in the one of the gang boxes. I'm not sure if this is obvious information (or even necessary to consider when for the wiring of a standard 3-way) but wanted to mention it in case it was important info.

1 Answer 1

0

Here is an educated guess that needs to be verified with a multimeter.

Yellow and orange wires are likely switched-hot power from the switches.

That means the 3-way switch with the yellow wire is likely connected to the load. If that's correct, then that is the location for the new smart switch.

The same box has a black wire that is likely the hot wire. You should confirm that both switches are on the same circuit by turning off the associated circuit breaker. If all of the lights for both switches turn off with the same circuit breaker, then it is safe to connect that black wire to both switches. You'll need a wire nut and some extra wire to make the 2 pigtails.

If you discover there is more than one circuit in this box, then my assumptions about the wire colors are inaccurate. In that case, you might need to check some other connections and repurpose one of the blue wires.

Other than that, the blue wires are no longer needed because you are eliminating the 3-way switches. Cap off any unused wires.

I neglected to mention that there is no neutral wiring present in the gang boxes.

That is not correct. The white wire on the receptacle is neutral. Possibly all of the white wires are netural.

6
  • so, if I'm understanding you correctly then that would mean the box with the outlet is the one that will be unnecessary. That's good to know. I'm planning on replacing the other switch in the initial box (the one with the two switches) at the same time with the same type of smart switch. Do you think pigtailing the line in that box before connecting it to a second smart switch (same brand and similar specs as the one listed above) will cause any issues? Nov 10, 2023 at 23:31
  • @Sandersonerson If you confirm they are on the same circuit, then there is ultimately only one line and it is attached in parallel to all loads regardless of how complex the boxes look. If you find more than one circuit involved, that's when it gets more tricky. Nov 10, 2023 at 23:40
  • @Sandersonerson I've updated my answer against your updated question. There are definitely neutral wires in the photos. Nov 10, 2023 at 23:49
  • Correct. They are capped in the box with the outlet. That gang box appears to be the only one of the three total I'm doing work on that has any neutrals, and the only box of the two in the photos that I'm asking about. As the existing switches don't appear to have neutral wiring running to them, I'm trying to utilize a switch that doesn't require them. What I should have said for clarity was "none of the existing switches have neutral wiring attached to them". Apologies for being unclear. Nov 11, 2023 at 0:45
  • I have confirmed that both lights are on the same circuit, so I am planning on pigtailing based on your recommendations. I'll make sure to cap all the wires once I'm done. The only question I have is regarding the black wire that has the middle portion exposed to wrap around the switch. Do I need to cut that wire and nut it together, or will using a wire nut to cover the exposed wire be sufficient? Nov 16, 2023 at 1:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.