Can Zwave or Insteon share neutral wires?

RichTJ99

Active Member
Hi,

I have been looking over the wiring in my home (only light switch wiring). I have a 3 panel gangbox that has 2 neutral wires (instead of 3). Maybe that last neutral is behind the wall or it is an older piece of wiring. I was curious, can the various switches that require a neutral wire share that wire with another device? Say I currently have a dual gang box with one pass through light switch switch (black in black out) and the other wiring has Black & neutral wiring. Can I share that one neutral wire with two Zwave (or other product that needs a neutral) with two devices?

Thanks,
Rich
 

Steve

Senior Member
If it's all the same circuit then you should be fine. Chances are if its in the same gang box it is the same circuit, but test it first to be sure. You just don't want to pull/share a neutral from a different circuit because then even if the breaker is off, that neutral can be live (return path).
 

jarcher

Member
Hi,

I have been looking over the wiring in my home (only light switch wiring). I have a 3 panel gangbox that has 2 neutral wires (instead of 3). Maybe that last neutral is behind the wall or it is an older piece of wiring. I was curious, can the various switches that require a neutral wire share that wire with another device? Say I currently have a dual gang box with one pass through light switch switch (black in black out) and the other wiring has Black & neutral wiring. Can I share that one neutral wire with two Zwave (or other product that needs a neutral) with two devices?

Thanks,
Rich

Rich, the Vizia devices (and probably all Z-Wave devices) do not use the neutral to communicate with other devices. They use it, I think, to get power for itself. Most likely, there is only one "feed" (an unswitched source of power) in that 3 gang box. The wires from the lights (or whatever else is switched) probably come back to the box. Usually, all the neutral wires are connected together and the hot wire is switched on and off for each load (lamp or other thing being switched on and off). If this is the case, you have a neutral present.

However, very often, there is what (I believe) is called an "end loop) wired. This means that the wire which appears to come directly from the light (for example) is actually two hot leads (even though one may be white). If they were connected together the light would go on, because the power comes down one and goes back up the other. This is a case where you do not have a neutral present.

But to give you a direct answer, yes, you should be able to share the neutral among the Z-Wave and other devices. Ultimately, all the neutral wires are tied together in your circuit box.
 
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