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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2018 :  6:48:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Getting ready to replace some X10 3-ways and know that the wiring in the box is "modern" so that there are enough wires, used in the correct fashion, to wire the ToggleLinc dimmers (house was completed in 1994).

I have it straight that:
  • only the primary is wired to the load or lamp
  • the line wire in the primary is a traveler from the secondary
  • the secondary has the switch line, traveler, and incoming power line tied together
  • Neutral wires are tied together, each ToggleLinc is tied in
  • Ground wires are tied together, each ToggleLinc is tied in
  • The unused load and traveler wires are capped, per diagram on page 6 of the user guide.


We are using an ISY994i IR/ZW Pro with a dual band PLM to communicate with both our new Insteon and old X10 devices. What I don't quite get is if I must link the switches together "virtually" or is the wiring sufficient to allow both switches to control the load. So:

  • Must I link the two switches together "virtually" or electronically?
  • If so, are they both controller and responder to each other?
  • Thus, is Primary controller to responder Secondary and is the Secondary also a controller for the responder Primary?


Finally, what will happen when I ask the ISY994i to "link" the newly installed switches? As I always preserve links when I read new devices, I am not worried there. But, if these switches are electronically linked together, how will the ISY show them?

The wiring is "interesting"... but the instructions for determining what is line vs. traveler are very complete, so I think we are okay there (and we do have a meter to use for test).

Thanks in advance for your advice .... AM Smith


AM Smith
North Central Texas

stusviews
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Posted - 01/27/2018 :  9:43:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Both the primary and the secondary are supplied with line and neutral. The secondary load is capped. The primary load is connected to the actual load. Ground wires as needed. Remove wxisting links when adding to the ISY. Both devices are both controller and responders. (ISY controllers are automatically responders, too.)

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Tfitzpatri8
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Posted - 01/27/2018 :  9:49:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For best results, follow the factory reset procedure on each ToggleLinc as you install, then add it to the ISY. From that point forward, donít do any manual linking, use the ISY to create or modify scenes. To create a virtual 3-way, wire only one switch to the load, then add all the switches to the scene as controllers so tapping any will control the scene.

For all things ISY, be sure to subscribe to the dedicated ISY forum: http://forum.universal-devices.com

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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2018 :  11:55:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I debated on tacking this question on to this topic or starting a new one -- since it still has to do with linking, I post it here. We got the switches hooked up using the wiring diagram on page 6 of the owners manual for the 2466 ToggleLinc (see link). In our case, it turned out that our traveler was white (seems odd, but we proved it had power at the primary box per procedure in the manual).

So, now ... as expected, only the primary can control the load (since it has the only connection to it. But, I can only discover the secondary using the ISY (so I can't link them in software). I have even tried doing an explicit add using the address and get an error "cannot determine Insteon Engine."

So, what to do? It almost sounds like we should have capped the traveler and provided individual power to each switch?

Confused ... appreciate any advice.

Here is the link to the owners manual: https://cache-m2.smarthome.com/manuals/2466D.pdf


AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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Posted - 01/28/2018 :  4:07:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Your wiring is incorrect. A 3-way configuration always has two travelers, never only one. The least likely color for a traveler is white.

White is nearly always used for the load or line (unless there's a bundle of white wires), depending on where the power enters.

Describe the wiring in each switch box, most especially the color of the wire originally connected to the black screw. You can disregard ground wires, if any.

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/28/2018 :  5:18:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the response ... what came out of the boxes was an set of X10 switches, so I will describe how these were hooked up first.

The wall dimmer module (this is the switch with the locked tab) had.
  • It's blue wire is connected the in incoming line (hot)
  • The red wire on the module was connected to a red traveler
  • The black wire was connected to a white traveler wire


The companion switch (a plain switch, no tab) had.
  • One of blue wires was connected to the outgoing line (load); this wire was by itself on one side of the switch
  • The red wire on the module was connected to a red traveler
  • The other blue wire was connected to the white traveler wire; this wire is on the same side of the switch as the red


Because the companion switch was the only one connected to load, we decided to treat this box as the primary when wiring in the ToggleLincs. And that meant that the X10 dimmer box became the secondary. So, going back to the wiring diagram (I wish I could paste the image) and starting in the secondary box:
  • The red wire on this Insteon switch is capped
  • The neutrals are bound together with a bundle in the back of the box
  • The black Insteon wire is connected to the black line (hot) and the white traveler is included in this bundle
  • The red traveler leaving the box is capped


Now moving to the primary box:
  • The red wire from the Insteon switch is connected to the black load wire
  • The black Insteon wire is connected to the white traveler wire
  • The red traveler coming into this box is also capped, so both ends of this wire are capped (per diagram)
  • The neutral Insteon wire is connected to a neutral in this box (it is a four gang box with a fan and two other X10 switches in the box; at this time we are only replacing the one X10 companion switch ... the others come later)


Complicated description; hopefully, I have provided you with enough information to visualize the connections.

Again ... thank you.


AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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Posted - 01/28/2018 :  6:18:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Insteon switch connected to the load is called the primary. How did you determine definitively that the existing white wire is a traveler and not a neutral or other purpose wire.

How many wires between the Insteon primary (connrcts to load) and the fixture? Are they black and white? How many wires between the Insteon primary and Insteon secondary switches? What are their colors?

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/28/2018 :  6:58:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again, thanks for the response ... I will answer part of this now and the rest tomorrow after looking at the switches and boxes. It looks like we have the correct box identified as primary ... good news. My husband hooked up the X10 years ago so we looked at the old X10 wiring diagram and then confirmed that the white was a traveler (they call it control on the old diagram) by use of a volt meter before unhooking the X10 switch ... it was clearly hot in the primary box and connected at the other end as a traveler.

As for the wire number and color questions, I will have to answer that separately after opening things back up.

Thank you ... more tomorrow or the next day.

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/28/2018 :  8:16:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just a few tips on ensuring that the white wire is line.

1. It's not connected to any other wires.
2. It comes from the fixture (or from another box).
3. With the load disconnected (e.g., bulb unscrewed), the measurement between ground and the suspect wire is line voltage.
4. With the load disconnected (e.g., bulb unscrewed), the measurement between the neutral and suspect wire is line voltage.

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  09:53:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at the primary box ... there is only ONE cable (bundle of wires) for this switch. It contains a red, black, and white wire ... right now, the red wire is capped and black is used as the load wire ... white is currently treated as the traveler. We have not yet performed the tests you describe for checking the status of the white wire (have to get twelve feet in the air to unscrew the light bulbs and there are two fixtures involved). Can we "air gap" one switch to check the status of the other instead?

In the secondary box we have the correct number of wires ... with a line in that is black and white and a line out that is red black and white. Unfortunately, it appears that every multi-way switch in this house is wired this way where only one of the boxes has the correct number of wires. X10 tolerates this because it doesn't care about neutral and ground ... Insteon cares. Additionally, for any switch that is multi-way ... or for any box that is connected to a multi-way switch, it is hit and miss if there is a bundle of neutrals in the box (they must be somewhere .... just not in the box).

We suspect, but have not proven, that instead of wiring a single switch to the load ... the electrician wired the load in between two switches (house was finished in 1994, we purchased in 2000). I do have photos of the primary box, but do not seem to be able to include them here.

Is it time to call our electrician in to help sort this out?

As always ... thank you for your input.


AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  1:59:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A 3-way configuration has one and only one correct schematic or it simply won't work. What does vary (a lot) is the routing of the cables.

A ground wire is for safety only. Virtually every device will function fully without the ground wire-but for safety's sake connect it.

No electric device will work at all without a neutral wire. Standard switches never have a neutral wire because they only apply or remove power.

A white wire connected to an electronic switch (e.g., Insteon) is/should be a neutral. A white wire connected to a standard 3-way switch is never a neutral.

A standard "end run" 3-way switch correctly has 3 wires (that's why it's called 3-way). Unless something war rewired, white is not a neutral wire.

Label and disconnect each and every wire for testing. That way you won't need to disconnect the load. It's important that each wire be disconnected from anything else for accurate testing. You must use a meter, a voltage indicator is inadequate. Even the least costly voltmeter will suffice. Label everything.

You described the wires in one switch box (3-wire cable), they're exactly as expected. Describe all the wires in the other switch box. You can disregard any ground wires.

Again, label everything.

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  3:33:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is what the other box looks like (in the Insteon diagram, this is shown as the secondary because it does not control the load) -- incoming power comes to this switch box.

There are two cables coming into this box for this switch, they are incoming power:
  • Black -- this tested hot when we first started this whole mess
  • White -- this is the neutral wire and it is bundled with the rest at the back of the box


The other cable exits the box, it has three wires:
  • Black -- this is connected to the black (hot) wire from the incoming cable and also the black line wire on the Insteon.
  • Red, this is capped (but given our configuration), I do not believe it should be; the Red wire on this Insteon is also capped.
  • White -- this was used as the control traveler for the X10, so we currently have it hooked up as the traveler for this switch, so it is bundled with the two black line wires


I have pulled out an ancient Basic Wiring book from Sunset and see that our configuration is either a "light at end of circuit controlled by a pair of three way switches" or "light wired between a pair of three-way swiches." Thus, the box at end only has three wires. The Insteon diagrams are all for a different situation where a "power goes through a pair of three-way switches to light at the end of a circuit" ... so they do not match up and really just confuse things.

Depending on how things test out, I am guessing that this is how we should proceed with wiring -- starting in the box with incoming power:
  • Incoming black connected to Insteon black and outgoing black
  • Incoming and outgoing white bundled with the neutral
  • Insteon red capped; outgoing red used as a traveler and bundled with the two black wires.


Now, moving to the other box; I would like to confirm that the white wire should have a black piece of tape on it because even though it left the other box as a neutral, it has now been "repurposed" as a line wire and the black in this box is now the load wire. If that tests true ... then, this is my best guess at what to do:
  • The black load wire, connects to the red Insteon load wire
  • According to the Insteon diagram, I would now connect the red traveler wire to the black Insteon line wire -- is this correct?
  • That leaves the white wire (that should be taped black) .... what do I do with it?
.

BTW, we did find that the switch the ISY could not see didn't have a solid ground (did not realize until we opened it all back up). That has been reconnected and the ISY now finds the switch, but it still doesn't work correctly because only one of the two switches can control the load (and they don't appear to be linked in the ISY).

Finally, all of the above is pure guess ... especially when it comes to the red traveler wire (since the Insteon diagrams appear to ignore it completely. I can see that I might need to keep this traveler capped at both ends and simply connect the white (should be taped black) wire to the Insteon black line wire. But, I am just not sure.

As always, thank you for your help.

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2018 :  3:51:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
More questions arise after looking through some other topics on this forum that deal with neutral wires existing in only one box (which is what I have). For this situation, here are my questions:
  • The line wire coming from the fixture is white (should be taped black). Is this the one to connect to the Insteon black line wire?
  • The Insteon diagrams cap both ends of the red traveler. Can I "repurpose" this wire as a neutral by bundling it with the neutrals in the secondary box and then using it as a neutral in the primary box?


As always, thank you and I look forward to your response.

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  4:20:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What you are calling line, neutral and load have not been verified at all unless you disconnected each and every wire and tested same with a voltmeter.

Just to verify: One switch box has a single 2-wire cable (black and white) and a single 3-wire cable (black, white and red). Nothing else (except, perhaps ground wires).

What are all the wires in the other switch box?

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  4:51:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Correct .... in simple terms, yes, one box has a single two wire cable (black and white) and a single three wire cable (black, white, and red). We have tested the two wire cable with a voltmeter and the black showed approx. 122 volts when tested either to ground or neutral.

The other box has a single three wire cable (black, red, white). We have tested the black and white wires with a voltmeter -- black showed no voltage and white showed approx. 122 volts when tested to ground or neutral (we believe this wire should have a mark on it to indicate that it is "hot"). I do not recall that we tested the red wire.

We performed these tests prior to wiring the Insteon switches and as we were disconnecting the X10 switches.

Thank you

Look forward to your response ....

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  7:07:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Something is amiss. The wiring cannot be as you described (unless there are wires that you did not mention) or the 3-wire cable in one box is not the other end of the 3-wire cable in the other box.

In particular, you mention a box with only one 2-wire cable and one 3-wire cable.

The second box has only one 3-wire cable. If both statements are true, then there is no neutral wire at all.

That's possible. Did you measure with nothing connected to each and every wire, not even a switch?


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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  8:04:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There is a neutral in the first box (the box with a two wire cable and three wire cable). There is no neutral in the second box (the box with only the three wire cable).

Testing in the first box, on the two wire conductor cable, was performed with nothing hooked up, not even a switch. Testing at the second box (against the three wire conductor cable) was performed with an X10 switch still hooked up in the first box. Note that we tested the wires in the second box before unhooking the switch in the first box.

In the first box, the incoming two conductor cable showed black had voltage and white did not. In addition, there is a neutral bundle in the back of this box. So, I am thinking the black wire here is power coming into the first box (line in) from the breaker in the main panel.

In the second box, the single three wire cable showed the white had voltage and black did not. There is a neutral in this box by virtue of it being a 4-gang box of switches (but only of the switches has a neutral). So, in this box I am thinking the white wire here is power coming into this box (line in) and the black wire is load (going to the fixture). As stated earlier, I do not recall testing the red wire in this box.

Thus, there is a neutral, but it only exists in the box with two different conductor cables -- 2 wire and 3 wire. The box controlling the load only has the single 3-wire conductor cable and there is no neutral specifically associated with this switch.

This matches a way to wire a three-way where:
  • BOX1 contains incoming power (2-wire)
  • The fixture box has a three wire cable coming from BOX1; black hot, white neutral, red traveler.
  • The fixture box also has a two wire cable connected to the light; black and white (painted black)
  • Finally the fixture box has a three wire cable going to BOX2
  • BOX2 contains white incoming power, black return to load, and red traveler (3-wire)


Thank You.





AM Smith
North Central Texas
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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2018 :  8:15:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Please check out this thread: http://forum.smarthome.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=19061&SearchTerms=neutral

I believe this is the exact situation I face .... only one set of neutrals between the two boxes. In this thread, an unused traveler was repurposed to provide a neutral in the second box.

From what I have described, can I also do this for my 3-way switches?

Thank You.

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/29/2018 :  8:29:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm still confused. You mention that one box has only a 2-wire cable and a 3-wire cable. But, then you indicate that there's a bundle of white wires in that box.

Are the two white wires bundled together? If so, then that makes sense.

You had not mentioned the 3-wire cable from the fixture to the switch box.

Any measurements made with something connected to the wire are invalid.

You have definitely not conclusively identified which wire is load.

You've also mentioned wires that you have, until now, omitted.

We are progressing

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Edited by - stusviews on 01/29/2018 8:32:05 PM
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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  09:11:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh dear ... now I am confused! Additionally, I need to modify the configuration of BOX1 such that the two wire cable is actually ONLY connected to another Insteon switch controlling a single light that is completely separate from the three way we are dealing with. The black on this cable reads approx. 123 volts, the white shows nothing. There is a two wire cable going out to this to the light that is totally dead without a switch in place. The wires for this single switch are white to white (neutral), incoming black to switch black (line), and outgoing black to switch red (load) -- exactly as a single Insteon switch should be wired.

Now moving to the three way, with NO switches connected to either end, we test as follows -- we actually have a single three wire cable in BOTH boxes (the two wire in BOX1 is, apparently, not used for this switch at all -- and yes, we tested with this switch disconnected too).

BOX1 -- black shows approx. 123 volts, red and white show nothing.
BOX2 -- black, white, and red show nothing.

I think this means the power source comes into the fixture box, am I correct?

BOX1 seems to be the power source, but is it primary (control) or secondary to Insteon?

Can you confirm that the following makes sense as the next steps?

BOX1:
  • Cap the red Insteon switch wire.
  • Tie the white wires from the switch and the incoming white wire together as neutrals
  • Tie the black wire from the Insteon switch to the black from the incoming cable
  • Tie the unused red traveler to the neutral bundle (the whites) to repurpose as a neutral (mark with white tape at both ends).


BOX2:
  • Hook up BOX1 as described above and turn power back on
  • Test the black and white wires; tie the wire that tests with voltage to the Insteon black wire for line
  • The line that tests with no voltage is tied to the Insteon red wire for load
  • Finally, tie the repurposed red traveler wire to the Insteon white wire for neutral


I hope you can now sort this out so that we can make great progress in getting these two switches hooked up.

Thank you again .....





AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  1:28:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rock6112hill

Oh dear ... now I am confused! Additionally, I need to modify the configuration of BOX1 such that the two wire cable is actually ONLY connected to another Insteon switch controlling a single light that is completely separate from the three way we are dealing with. The black on this cable reads approx. 123 volts, the white shows nothing. There is a two wire cable going out to this to the light that is totally dead without a switch in place. The wires for this single switch are white to white (neutral), incoming black to switch black (line), and outgoing black to switch red (load) -- exactly as a single Insteon switch should be wired.


There can be no voltage on any wire at all. Ever! Voltage is measured between a wire and something else, so a wire with 123 volts makes no sense. With all wires disconnected (and labeled), take several measurements, between a wire and other wires in the same group (e.g., for a 3-wire cable, between black and white, between black and red, between white and red and between each wire and ground.

You mention two black wires (other than the switch), but only one white wire. That's possible if and only if you have metal boxes and no ground wires. Is that the case?

Also, you keep introducing new wires/devices. Stop. Start anew. Label the boxes consistently, for example call them Box 1 and Box 2. A label such as "the other box" can be confusing.

List each and every wire in each box and how they are bundled and their color, for example, a 2-wire cable (black, white) and a 3-wire cable (black, white, red). Then post back. You do not need to enumerate any ground wires.

Use a list, not prose. I'm still with you on this

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  3:07:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stusviews, thank you for sticking with me ....when reading voltage we are testing from wire to wire (so black to ground, or black to white ... in the same cable). So, let's start fresh:

BOX1 -- contains three cables, described in this list:
  • A two wire cable with black and white wires
    • Testing black to ground, shows approx. 123 volts.
    • Testing black to white in the same cable also shows approx. 123 volts
    • Testing white to ground shows nothing

  • Another two wire cable, also black and white
    • Testing black to ground, shows nothing
    • Testing black to white in the same cable also shows nothing
    • Testing white to ground shows nothing

  • A three wire cable with black, white and red
    • Testing black to ground, shows approx. 122 volts
    • Testing black to white in the same cable also shows approx. 122 volts
    • Testing white to ground shows nothing
    • Testing red to ground shows nothing


BOX2 -- contains a single three wire cable with black, white and red:
  • Testing black to ground shows nothing
  • Testing black to white in the same cable shows nothing
  • Testing white to ground shows nothing
  • Testing red to ground shows nothing


Now back to BOX1 and it's purpose, it has two switches in it:
  • A ToggleLinc that, when hooked up, successfully controls a single light, this is how it is hooked up:
    • The BOX1 black that tested with voltage, connected to the Insteon black wire for line
    • The BOX1 white wires are bundled together and the Insteon white is connected here for neutral
    • The BOX1 black wire that tested with no voltage, connected to the Insteon red wire for load

  • A ToggleLinc that is one of two switches in a three way circuit that is supposed to control a light


Note that BOX2 contains the other ToggleLinc that is part of the three way circuit.

So based on the above, a few questions:
  • Since the three wire cable in BOX1, when tested as above, shows voltage does that mean that the power cable for this circuit goes from the breaker to the light?
  • Now that I have described how the single ToggleLinc in BOX1 is hooked up using both two wire cables, can we now ignore this circuit and these cables for the rest of our discussion?
  • Is the next logical step to install the Insteon switch in BOX1 and then turn power back on to repeat the BOX2 tests?
  • If this is the next logical step, how should the three wire cable be hooked up to the Insteon switch in BOX1?


Again ... thank you for your patience.

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  4:45:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
BOX1: the 2-wire cable that shows black to ground and black to white seems to be the line (black) and neutral (white).

The 2-wire cable with black to the Insteon red is load.

The white wires (one from each 2-wire cable) connected together and to the Insteon white is the neutral.

The 3-wire cable in BOX1 appears to be the other end of the 3-wire cable in BOX2 with the following major incongruities:

The black wire (from the 3-wire cable in BOX1) measures 122 volts to ground/neutral, but the same black wire at the other end measures nothing between that wire and ground/neutral.

A possibility is that there are two 3-wire cables, each one from the fixture box to each switch box.

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rock6112hill
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  6:29:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BOX1: The two wire cable that tests with voltage has never been hooked to any switch associated with the three way circuit (even before X10 was installed). I am almost wishing I had never mentioned this cable as I think it is confusing things.

Thus, if we ignore both of the two wire cables in BOX1 because they truly are part of a separate circuit, then I think we can figure this out.

Here is the type of circuit I believe we have (proven by the prior tests) -- it is "light wired in between a pair of three way switches at the end of a circuit with power supplied to the fixture box."

So, starting at the fixture box:

FIXTURE BOX -- has three cables, as follows:
  • A two wire cable, black and white -- comes from the breaker, it is the power source
    • The black wire is line
    • The white wire is neutral
    • There is a wire from this cable going to the light, and a wire coming back from the light

  • A three wire cable black, white, and red that is routed to BOX1 such that
    • This cable tests with voltage on the black wire only, white and red test with nothing
    • It is on the power, or line, side of the light fixture
    • It receives power because it is connected to the two wire cable (without physical inspection, impossible to tell how).

  • A second three wire cable, black, white, and red that is routed to BOX2
    • This s cable tests out with nothing on any of the wires BOX2
    • It is on the load side of the light fixture
    • Does not receive any power until the switch in BOX1 is connected

  • The red wires from the two three wire cables are tied together in the fixture box


NOTE: The red wires from the two three wire cables are used as travelers and are tied together in the fixture box.

Given the above, and since I know that both of the two wire cables in BOX1 are a completely separate circuit, can your confirm that the following is reasonable?

BOX1 -- connect only the three wire cable, as follows:
  • Black wire to Insteon black for line
  • White wire to Insteon white for neutral
  • Red traveler wire to neutral white wires to repurpose as a neutral in BOX2, white tape at both ends



BOX2 -- repeat the tests to determine what is line and what is load, then wire as follow:
  • Black Insteon to the wire that tests with voltage for line (either black or white, we should mark this to indicate it is line)
  • Red Insteon to the wire to the wire that test with nothing for load (either black or white, we should mark this to indicate it is load)
  • Insteon white to the repurposed, and taped, red traveler as neutral


Thanks again






AM Smith
North Central Texas
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/30/2018 :  8:26:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
From the fixture:

1. There is a 2-wire cable entering the box, with black as line and white as neutral. Makes sense.
2. There is a wire from this cable going to the light, and a wire coming back from the light.

This will work if and only if the switch controlling the light is a standard switch. An Insteon switch requires 3-wires, line, neutral and load.

From the same fixture box, there are also two 3-wire cables, one to each switch box. At least one wire tests for voltage. I requested that each and every wire be disconnected for testing. Apparently, that was not done.

BTW, a light does not have a line voltage wire at all, it has a load wire (return from the switch and a neutral wire).

You seem to be taking shortcuts and not disconnecting wires before testing them. The wiring seems to be in place for what you want to accomplish, but still not correctly identified.

Too, you indicated that there is an existing light being correctly controlled by an Insteon device and one that you would like to control with a virtual 3-way configuration, but only one fixture is mentioned.

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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2018 :  9:12:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews


From the same fixture box, there are also two 3-wire cables, one to each switch box. At least one wire tests for voltage. I requested that each and every wire be disconnected for testing. Apparently, that was not done.

BTW, a light does not have a line voltage wire at all, it has a load wire (return from the switch and a neutral wire).

You seem to be taking shortcuts and not disconnecting wires before testing them. The wiring seems to be in place for what you want to accomplish, but still not correctly identified.

Too, you indicated that there is an existing light being correctly controlled by an Insteon device and one that you would like to control with a virtual 3-way configuration, but only one fixture is mentioned.



All the wires ARE disconnected at the all the switches. So, respectfully, we are not taking shortcuts.

I only mentioned the other light to eliminate it's circuitry from our discussion because you asked me to identify all the cables in both BOX1 and BOX2. This single light does have:
  • A two wire cable black and white, clearly from the breaker to BOX1
  • A second two wire cable, also present in BOX1 that tests completely dead when its switch is disconnected
  • There is a fixture box for this light, it is separate from the fixture box for the three way


Additionally, I am using the terms line and load in regards to the Insteon switches because that is how the wires are marked both on the switch and in the diagrams. IE. black is line and red is load, of course the Insteon white is neutral.

Thus, dealing ONLY with the two three wire cables that are connected to the fixture box for the three way as these are the only cables that apply to the three way circuit. One of these goes to BOX1 and the other to BOX2. The wires are still disconnected.

BOX1 -- a three wire cable with black, white, and red
  • Testing black to ground, or black to white, shows approx. 122 volts
  • Testing white to ground shows no voltage
  • Testing red to ground shows no voltage


BOX2 -- a three wire cable with black, white, and red
  • Testing black to ground, or black to white, shows no voltage
  • Testing white to ground shows no voltage
  • Testing red to ground shows no voltage


The ONLY explanation for these readings, that I can think of is:
  • Power for this circuit is routed from the breaker to the fixture box
  • The three wire cable that goes to BOX1 is wired into the fixture box such that only the black wire tests with any voltage
  • The three wire cable that goes to BOX2 is not "energized" until the switch in BOX1 is hooked up


Thanks again ....

AM Smith
North Central Texas
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rock6112hill
New Member

23 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  12:00:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been doing some research online and have found a couple of images that clearly show our situation. They are included here:




Here is the link, in case the image doesn't show:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/7ahg67fo0vopQhmI3

In both of these images, the power source comes to the fixture box and the fixture box is situated between the two switch boxes:
  • The black from the power source is connected directly to the black in the three wire cable that goes to our BOX1
  • The white wire is designated as common
  • The red wire is designated as traveler


Given that this is our situation, and proven to be so by testing the 3-wire cables in both BOX1 and BOX2:
  • What is the correct wiring to use in BOX1 (has power) and BOX2 (has no power)?
  • As Insteon switches require power at all time, how do we provide it in BOX2?


Thank you ....

AM Smith
North Central Texas

Edited by - rock6112hill on 01/31/2018 12:10:47 PM
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3692 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  12:12:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Given the wiring in the diagram, I would connect all whites in all three boxes together. I would connect all grounds in all three boxes together. I would connect all blacks (except fixture hot) together.

At one switch box, connect insteon switch white to the white wire. Connect insteon switch black to the black wire. Connect insteon red to the red wire going to the fixture.

At the fixture box, connect fixture white to the white bundle. Connect fixture black to the red wire from the switch box above.

At the second switch box, connect switch white and black to the white and black wires.

Cap all unused or unconnected wires, any from switches or from cables.

Cross link two switches.

Done.
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stusviews
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USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  1:05:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If the diagram you posted is what you have, then oberkc's advice is correct.

Before linking, both Insteon devices should be illuminated, but only one will control the load. If that's true, then link both switches as both a controller and a responder. That's it.

Note that an Insteon virtual 3-way configuration does not use a traveler at all.

See my post: 01/30/2018 : 4:45:13 PM

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Edited by - stusviews on 01/31/2018 2:22:23 PM
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rock6112hill
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23 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  3:07:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you OBERKC and STUSVIEWS, I am still somewhat confused. First, I don't have access to the fixture box (it is 12 feet in the air, or in the attic) -- so I am afraid will have to go with the wiring diagram as shown.

Referring to the picture with the yellow background:

Fixture Box:
  • Incoming source black (hot) is tied to the black that goes to SW2; this wire is the black hot in BOX1 and it tests with voltage when no switches are connected but power is on
  • Incoming source white (neutral) goes to the light
  • There is a black wire exiting the light (labeled hot) that goes to SW1; this is the black wire in BOX2 and it tests without voltage when no switches are connected but power is on
  • The two red wires, from each of the 3-wire cables, are tied together as either travelers or switch wires
  • There are also two white wires, from each of the two 3-wire cables, that are tied together as common (these are shown with a black stripe)


You recommend:
quote:
At one switch box, connect insteon switch white to the white wire. Connect insteon switch black to the black wire. Connect insteon red to the red wire going to the fixture.


Given that I do not have access to the fixture box:
  • Would you modify these recommendations in any way?
  • Referring to the diagram with the yellow background; which box is this? SW2 (aka BOX1) or SW1 (aka BOX2)?


You also recommend:
quote:
At the second switch box, connect switch white and black to the white and black wires.


Again, given that I do not have access to the fixture box:
  • Would you modify these recommendations in any way?
  • Referring to the diagram with the yellow background; which box is this? SW2 (aka BOX1) or SW1 (aka BOX2)?
  • Does your recommendation mean that the black is hot and the white is neutral all the time? I thought I remember in earlier posts that white was never neutral coming from a light


Part of the reason I am still confused is that BOX2 tests without voltage until a switch is installed and the light is turned on. So, BOX2 does not have a constant supply of voltage and Insteon documentation seems to indicate that this is required.

I know I am not saying this well, but isn't there a need connect a wire from BOX1 to BOX2 in order to ensure that the Insteon switch is in an always energized state? If so, is it the white (common) or red (traveler / switch)?

Thank you for your advice and patience ...


AM Smith
North Central Texas

Edited by - rock6112hill on 01/31/2018 3:07:33 PM
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
3692 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2018 :  4:14:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, you do not have a neutral at the switch boxes. This can only be remedied by access to the fixture box. Sorry.
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