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HomeKit Installing two (Eve) smart switches in the same wall box

scr1968

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 4, 2007
158
13
I have successfully installed several single Eve Light switches around my house but I cannot seem to install two switches (not a 3 way - just two switches that control two different lights) in the same box. I can always get one to work, but the second one never works. It has been a while since I have tried but my family is gone for a couple of days and thought I'd give it another try.

Part of the problem might be the screwed up wiring in my house. In this particular box (and others I have tried it in), I have four bundled neutral wires. I cannot recall what I did in the past to try to get this to work but I think it was taking two random neutral wires from the bundle and connecting to one switch and the other random two wires to the other switch. Should that work or do I need to be more particular about what neutral wires I use for each switch? Or can I bundle the two neutral wires from the two switches into the already bundled four neutral wires from the box?

Or is there something else I am doing wrong when it comes to two switches in the same box?
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,722
438
Generally neutrals should all be "bonded" meaning they are all connected to each other.

it sounds like you're somehow been routing power for one switch through the other, which is really bad, and potentially dangerous.

you say you've got 4 neutrals in the box.
My guess is
1 in from the breaker box (might go through another switch box first) (this is called line)
1 out to the another switch box.
2 out to the different lights. (this is called load)

all 4 of those neutrals should be connected to each other.
it looks like those switches come with wires sticking out of the back, the neutral wires from the 2 switches should connect to the other 4 neutrals.

If anything I'm about to say about to numbers of wires doesn't match 100%, ignore all of it, post a pic with things as spread out as you can.

Electricity is deadly, and done improperly can cause fires. If you're the least bit unsure about any of this, do not proceed, and do not turn that breaker back on if you've changed anything.

If you're uncomfortable with this, and have a friend who's handy, it might be best to have them come over for a bit (should be under an hour), you can distance yourself from them in your house. and send them home with a 12 pack or a nice bottle of something (or another appropriate gift)
even if you just want to have them check your work before turning back on.

for the hots wires (typically black)
1 - from the breaker box
1 - to next switch
2 - one from each eve switch (black wire)
all 4 of those should be wire nutted

the neutrals
1 - from the breaker box
1 - to next switch
2 - one from each eve switch (white wire)
2 - one from each of your lights
all 6 of these should connect, you'll probably need a bigger wire nut (Red would be optimal) (color indicates size)


now, you should be left with 2 "load" wires, which carry the power up to each light.
hook 1 load wire to 1 red wire from a switch
and hook the other load to the other red.

so you should have 4 wire nuts,
1 - hots - 4 wires
2 - neutrals - 6 wires
3 - Load "a" - 2 wires
4 - Load "b" - 2 wires

in addition make sure all of your ground wires are connected to something that's grounded.

white wires should ONLY connect to white wires.
green wires should ONLY connect to green wires.

red and black are a little more interchangeable.

with as full as the wire nuts are, after you've installed them, and BEFORE RESTORING POWER
give them a gentle tug to make sure they're on firmly.
After the tug get a flashlight, and look for ANY signs of metal around the base wirenut or small wires sticking out of it, there should be NO exposed metal of any kind. if the wire is made up of smaller wires, even one of those smaller wires sticking out can cause problems.
a couple wraps of electrical tape (no other kinds of tape) around the base of the wirenut can help.

Wirenuts seem easy, and they are, but please check the net for basic instructions as to sizing and how to properly twist wires. with as full as yours are going to be, and the way you're going to have to jam everything in the box to make it all fit, there's a decent chance you can pull a wire out accidentally.
It's just how it is with the size of smart switches.
 
Comment

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,350
386
Florida
Only thing I will add is that many ground wires are bare wire, particularly in Romex cable. The bare wires connect to green ground wires. All grounds in a box need to be bonded together and connected to the box if it’s metal.
 
Comment

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,722
438
Only thing I will add is that many ground wires are bare wire, particularly in Romex cable. The bare wires connect to green ground wires. All grounds in a box need to be bonded together and connected to the box if it’s metal.

good add, thanks
 
Comment

scr1968

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 4, 2007
158
13
Thanks for the replies all.

I totally get the need to err on the side of caution - hence the fact that I have started and stopped this project a couple of times. I do have a buddy who could help me, but I kept thinking I could figure this out since I have been successfully adding single smart switches

One of the many problems with the wiring in my house is that wire color was a complete afterthought on a "box" by "box" basis. For example, the box in the pictures below, for my kitchen, are mostly all black. Luckily the "dumb" switches work as and when I replaced the dumb switches several years ago it was a simple wire for wire swap out and no need to use the neutral wires.

The neutral wires are bundled together with the yellow caps.

Did not have a flashlight handy to really show what wires are coming in from the top and which ones are coming in from the bottom. So these pictures might not be super helpful. And I also took a picture of the smart switch wiring as well.

IMG_1359.jpeg


IMG_1361.jpeg
 
Comment

glenthompson

macrumors 68020
Apr 27, 2011
2,350
386
Florida
Simple wiring for the switch. Black wire goes to the incoming power lead, red to the black wire to the light fixture, and the white to the white neutral returning from the fixture and also connected to the other neutrals. The switch needs power to operate so it gets it from the incoming line and returns on the neutral. The switched light gets power from the red lead and also returns on the white neutral.
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,722
438
can you try forcing the flash on your phone?

if the switches in your kitchen just have the black wires, then it's proper for them to all be black
the white is up in the light fixture,
and the black loops down to the switch and back.

also 3-way switches get interesting when wiriring
(where you have switches in multiple boxes that control the same light)
 
Comment

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,630
1,907
Do you have a multi meter? You need to differentiate the line and load on each switch. A dumb switch doesn't need constant power so no F's were given when breaking the wire coming from the panel (line) and going to the light (load).
 
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