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Thread: Problem configuring Maestro 4-way Dimmers, Companions will not remain on

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Problem configuring Maestro 4-way Dimmers, Companions will not remain on

    I am installing a 4 way dimmer switch configuration, including 1 master (MACL) and two companion (MA-R) switches. Using the Lutron guide, I installed the switches:
    https://webapiaw1proddat01st01.blob....93_Page_15.pdf

    The Master dimmer switch operated as expected, but the two companion switches would only "flash" on when pressed either once or twice. They would not remain on.

    Suspecting a wiring problem, I disconnected all the wires, and tested to identify the hot line, tested continuity of all other wires, reviewed the schematic, rewired, and ended up with the same result.

    There are three colors to the lines, black (B), red (R), and stripped black (SB). I labeled and taped each line.
    (I properly wired a ground for all three switches to the box's copper ground, so I'll ignore the ground wire in these descriptions.)

    Switch 1 - 3 wires (3 way companion) to/from one ROMEX cable
    Line - Black (B1), connects to Black screw
    Communication Traveler: Red (R1), connects to Blue screw
    Traveler: Stripped Black (SB1), connects to Brass screw

    Switch 2 - 4 wires (4 way companion switch), from two ROMEX cables.
    Cable 1 (from switch 1)
    R1 - Connects to Blue screw (Comm Traveler from switch 1)
    SB1 - Connects to Black screw (Line from switch 1)
    Cable 2 (to switch 3)
    R2 - Connects to Blue Screw (Comm Traveler to switch 3)
    SB2 - Connects to Brass Screw (Traveler to switch 3)

    Switch 3 - 3 wires (3 way master switch), from one ROMEX cable.
    SB2 - Connects to Black (Line in from switch 2)
    R2 - Connects to Blue Screw (Comm Traveler from switch 2)
    B2 - Connects to Brass Screw (assumed load to lights).

    B1 was verified as the only hot wire into the system.
    B2 is assumed to be the outbound load to the six LED pot lights, as it's NOT coming in hot, and is the only possible outbound LOAD line.

    I believe I've wired this consistent with the Lutron PDF diagram. Originally, there was one (non-Lutron, conventional) 3-way dimmer switch, and two conventional switches (3 way, and one 4 way). I originally wired from the Lutron instructions, marking the hot black wire, etc., for each switch. I originally believed that switch 3 had the hot LINE wire, and switch 1 was a companion. After I traced the wiring, I discovered that the reverse was the case, as documented above.

    I'm lost here. I have no idea what I did wrong. I haven't rechecked the ground wires, but a qualified electrician wired these lights originally, and the grounds all appear to be valid in each box.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Your description is correct. Basically you want power coming in on the black and going out to the next device/load on the brass. The blue is used for communication.

    If your dimmer has a neutral connection you must use it and the dimmer will need to be at the end where the wire goes up to the light.

    If you want to test, you can install the dimmer at the end where the wire goes up to the light. At the middle box, connect the 2 reds and the 2 blacks together. At the other end, tie the 2 blacks together. Then install the middle device, then the 3rd device.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  3. #3
    Based off the issue occurring, we'd recommend to check the programming for the MACL-153M and make sure it is programmed to recognize companion dimmers. To check this programming go to Step 9 under the install guide @ https://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocu...y/0301629b.pdf. Make sure before saving the programming that the 4 IL is blinking. If you have any other questions our tech support team is available at (1-888-588-7661) and support@lutron.com.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorothy B. View Post
    Based off the issue occurring, we'd recommend to check the programming for the MACL-153M and make sure it is programmed to recognize companion dimmers. To check this programming go to Step 9 under the install guide @ https://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocu...y/0301629b.pdf. Make sure before saving the programming that the 4 IL is blinking. If you have any other questions our tech support team is available at (1-888-588-7661) and support@lutron.com.
    Bingo, that fixed it. You can close Case: 01736497 .

    Suggestion: On that documentation you referenced, which I've probably read a dozen times previous, it states: "IL4 is the default for a Maestro® CompanionDimmer". NO WHERE does it state that (a) one must push the up bottom (referenced as "R") to change to IL4 mode, and that (b) the companion switches WILL NOT operate correctly unless the master is programmed to accept them, via the IL4 setting. In my other 3-way Master/Companion circuit, I installed a previously used master switch, which was already programmed in IL4 mode, which explains why I did not experience the issue on that installation.

    If your product WILL NOT operate without programming IL4 mode, you ought to clearly state that in your instructions. That omission cost me hours of troubleshooting a non-existent wiring problem. It could have been a 30 minute job. Not happy with Lutron.


    Regards,

    Scott

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