Can I do this??


I was about to purchase Insteon switches when I read that you need to have neutral wires in the switch box. As I dont think this is the case at my house, is it possible to just cap the load wire and use an x10 address? My other option is to go with z wave or x10. Z wave is a bit pricey for me so I might be stuck with x10. What x10 switches would work? I saw some switches that were $40 but that seems to be a bit pricey for x10. Is it not? Also, do the x10 switches make a loud clicking sound when turning on/off?

Yes. You do need a neutral in the switchbox for Insteon (and most newer X-10 switches).

There are some specific Leviton and Smarthome X-10 switches that do not need a neutral and I believe you are correct that some Z-Wave switches do not.

Of course the old style X-10 switches don't need neutrals, but that is what you already have right?
yes, I have a couple of the old x10's and they are pretty loud. Would I be able to use the Insteon lights and just cap the load wire?

Any power-line device (X10, UPB or Insteon) that transmits needs a neutral wire.

Since Insteon and UPB are two-way protocols, all devices transmit, and therefore need a neutral wire.

All X10 devices that do not need neutrals do not transmit X10. They only receive.

ZWave and Zigbee, since they are RF protocols, do not have this restriction.

Bottom line: If your house does not have neutrals at key switch locations, and you want the switch to transmit, your only alternative is the high end ZWave switches (those with "live-status").
jls944 said:
yes, I have a couple of the old x10's and they are pretty loud. Would I be able to use the Insteon lights and just cap the load wire?
I'm not sure what you are asking here... You would cap the load wire if there were no lights attached directly to the switch. This would make it effectively a 1 button keypad or slave switch. Even in this situation you need a neutral.

The Black and White wires on the switch always need to connect to Hot and Neutral respectively. No exceptions. The Red wire on the switch feeds the light if you are hooking one up to it. Otherwise the Red wire is capped and the switch is just a transmitter.
You could always ask an electrician for an estimate on what it would cost to add neutrals to your house.
I just checked a couple switches and they dont have neutral wires. Crap!!

So if I was to have a two-way module, I have to go with the high-end z wave?
Hi, Rupp:

By high-end, I meant the switches that include the "Live Status" function, like in the Intermatic pro line. Specifically, switches that transmit their status when you manually switch them.

And, Yes, the ZDW120W does fall into that category, and it does not need a neutral, and it is reasonably priced.
In most new houses the neutrals are there in the box but tied together and tucked way in the back because they do not need to be connected to standard switches. Just wanted to make sure you checked for that.
yes, I checked for that. Thank you all for the help. Guess I'm going with z wave. This is kind of off the topic, but do you know if Homeseer can do TSS (I forget which way it is)?