6696 Decora Anywhere Switches triggered by other signals
I installed two Decora Anywhere Switches on different circuits at opposite ends of the house. They are set to use different channels, and they don't interfere with each other at all. However, they both are apparently sometimes triggered by other RF sources. I live in a rural area, so there are not many homes and no industry or highways nearby. It seems as though signals from garage door openers, or other RF sources are causing the Anywhere Switches to turn on or off. This happens often enough to make these switches just about worthless. One of them controls a 300 watt light in the garage, and I often find the light has come on when I wasn't in or near the garage. The light also goes out fairly frequently while I'm working in the garage. This seems to happen most in the late afternoon and early evening when people are getting home from work, so I'm suspicious that their garage door openers may be the sources of the signals the Anywhere Switches are responding to. I'm surprised that these switches aren't designed with better signal discrimination and selectivity to prevent this sort of problem. I find it hard to believe that these could work reliably in any residential setting considering the number of other devices that generate RF signals that are common in and around homes these days.
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Re: 6696 Decora Anywhere Switches triggered by other...
These switches have an RF operating range of about 50', according to the manufacturer's spec. It is unlikely the neighbors are tripping them. Look around your neighborhood for a ham or CB antenna. That could do it.
Also, these switches run through the AAA batteries pretty fast. You might check them.
50' is not much range for an RF signal. You may take a look at Insteon, which have about a 200' range. Also, they create a "dual mesh" signal by mixing RF with the electrical current in the lines in your house.
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Are these remote controlled dimmers? Do you have failing batteries in one of the remotes? Or perhaps a new remote control device has been introduced in or near your house that interferes with the dimmer remote signal. I had a similar problem that occurred when my boys played with their remote controlled cars.
Decora 3-way and 4-way switches do not wire differently than toggle-type switches. Instructions below are tedious but will accurately guide you to solution.
Let's break down the problem starting with 3-ways.
1) Start with 3-way switches: Old 3-way switch has 2 brass screws and 1 dark screw New decora has same color screws. Wire that went to dark screw on old device must attach to dark screw on decora device. Other two wires can attach to either brass screw. Wires that attach to brass screws are travelers ... these wires travel to the 4-way switch. So there are 2 traveler wires at each 3-way switch.
2) Let's test if 3-way switches are wired correctly by taking 4-way switch out of equation. We will resolve problem with 4-way switch after 3-ways are correct.
There are 4 wires at the 4-way switch. These are the 2 traveler wires that arrive from each 3-way switch.
At the 4-way switch, 2 wires arrive in one cable, and 2 wires arrive from another cable. To say it differently, there are 2 wires from cable1 and 2 wires from cable2. Connect 1 wire from cable1 to 1 wire from cable2 with a wire nut Now connect the 2nd wire from cable1 to 2nd wire from cable2 with another wire nut. So now the traveler wires are connected, and the 4 way switch is out of equation. Turn on power, and click 3-way switches to see if both switches turn lights on-off in all positions.
Do your 3-way switches work correctly?
3) If 3-ways are not correct, then you have wrong wire connected to dark screw. First thing to check is if you can identify traveler wire colors by looking at wires at 4-way switch. Remember, traveler wires at 4-way switch go back to 3-way switch and connect to brass screws on 3-way switch.
4) If you cannot tell traveler wires by looking at 4-way switch, then you can try different combinations until both 3-way switches work. Or you can test: disconnect wires from one of the 3-way switches. Separate 3 wires for testing. Move other 3-way switch to down position. Turn on power. Test each wire to bare ground wire. Mark wire that lights up. Now move other 3-way to up position. Test each wire to bare ground wire. If same wire lights up each test, then that wire goes to dark screw. If different wire lights up, then mark that wire. The two marked wires are travelers, and they connect to brass screws. Other wire connects to dark screw. Repeat identical test for other 3-way switch.
At this point your 3-way switches will work, if light bubs are not burned out.
5) Last step, the 4 way switch. Remember from step above, that 2 wires arrive in cable1: These 2 wires connect on one side of 4-way switch. The other 2 wires
that arrive in cable2 connect of other side of 4-way switch.
Did the lights have the 3 way switch before?? If so, you should be able to follow the map on the package, remember it is totally unlike anything else in the house, I have seen grown electricians cry with 3 way switches in their hands. One of the wires is a jumper, you need 3 wires in each box, one hot , one neutral, one jumper, now depending on how the first guy did it, will determine what route you will take, I can't explain it over the fone here, but you should be able to see it when you know what you are looking at. Remember, one wire jumps, to the other switch, it will be on the same screw at the other end, the hot will be on the same screw at the other end, and the neutral will be on the same screw at the other end, hopefully. Sometimes they terminate the jumper at the light. So you might only have 2 wires on one side. Check it out, i hope this helps.
The Leviton 6696 Anywhere RF(Radio Frequency) lighting control allows you to add an additional (wireless) switch to an existing switched light(s) without having to hard wire it. For example, let's say that you have a bedroom with a switched overhead light. The Leviton 6696 RF receiver would be installed in place of the existing light switch. It will still function and is wired the same as an ordinary switch. The Leviton 6696 Anywhere RF transmitter (after installing the batteries) can then be used anywhere within 50 feet of the receiver (that replaced the existing light switch) to also control the light. You don't have to mount the transmitter if you don't want too. It can be on the night stand, (or carry it with you if you want) so you can turn the light ON and OFF from the bed or wherever.
In addition to your answer that was given to you. Look at the amp rating on the switch you just removed. It's probably a 20 amp switch (if you already had 12 guage wire in there, and it worked fine), and you're replacing it with a 15 amp. Happens all the time. As far as the answer given you, its fine. The only time you would use a 4-way switch is when it's being operated by two 3-way switches from opposite ends like the gentleman mentioned. I would suggest getting the correct 3-way switch. It just makes things easier. And again, turn OFF the circuit when working on this switch - or anytime you're working on anything electrical. This is a huge Rule-of-Thumb! I've been doing electrical work for over 27 yrs., and I always turn OFF the electricity. Best of Luck to you, and I hope this is a little added solution to the one you already have. Take care...Jim