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Thread: Do Caseta dimmers without neutral wire 'assume' or require the use of the Hub?

  1. #1
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    Do Caseta dimmers without neutral wire 'assume' or require the use of the Hub?

    Hello,

    This is my first time here, so please forgive me if I've erred in someway by posting poorly. My advance appologies to the forum steward for suffering the work of possiby moving or correcting my posting. Sorry!

    I had a Lutron smart switch (MRF2=8ANS-120), but I needed a dimmer. Not knowing sufficient about them yet, I bought the only model they sell at Home Depot which is the Caseta PD-6WCL. Unbeknowst to me, this model doesn't make use of a neutral like the MRF2. [The PD-5NE Caseta dimmer uses a neutral but isn't available locally and cost $60 or more over the other model online, because it can be used with ELV's.]

    The short of it is that the PD-6WCL connected as directed doesn't power up in my configuration; but then neither did the MRF3 until you connected the neutral. So with no where to connect the neutral, my question is, do the 'non' neutral versions of these Caseta dimmers assume, in compensation of not requiring a neutral, that you will spend the money to get the hub, or is there some way to hook them up such that the work.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Lutron Technical Support
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    The PD-6WCL does not need a neutral connection because it gets powered by the dimmable lights that it is connected to. Are you able to try an incandescent or halogen light bulb connected to this dimmer? The dimmer will not power up if there is no lighting load connected to it.

  3. #3
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    Hi Kyle,

    Good idea. Its only 6:30 in the morning, so I'll rig a test bench instead of tackling the problem more directly so as not to disturb those who slumber. It isn't common, but it has happened to me that I've just assumed a switches integrity and doubted my work only to find that there was a problem with the particular switch, but only after tearing my work apart. Fool me twice... There was something in the literature that 'seems' to have suggested that the 'hub' was intended most specifically to rectify the lost neutral, so I wondered if, for this model at least, it was required rather than optional as is the case with the Model 10.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    Hi Kyle,

    The other mitigating probem is that this new home was wired by a relativey young guy who is a 'Master' electrician whose defenition of mastery apparently revolves around using every 'acceptable' wiring short-cut (and likely then some) in the book. Virtually every box contains wires marked for 'service other than' the color of the wire suggests, and I haven't fully figured out the schedule of his 'coded' short-hand yet for having only industry rather that his mastery.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Lutron Technical Support
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    Hello,

    All of our Caseta products will function without a hub. Some of the Caseta devices require a neutral connection because they operate differently than the PD-6WCL. As long as the PD-6WCL is wired to a compatible lighting load, it will power up and will control the lights.

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    Excellent, thank-you! Now I know how to move forward.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle L. View Post
    Hello,

    All of our Caseta products will function without a hub. Some of the Caseta devices require a neutral connection because they operate differently than the PD-6WCL. As long as the PD-6WCL is wired to a compatible lighting load, it will power up and will control the lights.
    Hello,

    That being the case, having removed a non-dimming switch that controlled 5-50watt low-voltage halogen ceiling lights that used a neutral, can you think why simply inserting the new switch into the active circuit (leaving the neutral off) doesn't work.

    Is it possible that non-dimmable step-down ballast type transformer (if there is such a thing) were used, because I get no activity at the switch when it is placed between the source of the power and the load.

    Simply connecting the power to the load (no switch) causes the lights to work. Thanks!

    Tim

  8. #8
    Lutron Technical Support
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    Hello Tim,

    The PD-6WCL is not rated to control low-voltage lamps with transformers. It is only designed to control 120V lamps. The correct model to use would be either the PD-10NXD or the PD-5NE, both of which require the neutral connection when controlling this type of lighting load. We would recommend going with one of these dimmers so that everything is within specifications. Please see the Caseta load specification sheet here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle L. View Post
    Hello Tim,

    The PD-6WCL is not rated to control low-voltage lamps with transformers. It is only designed to control 120V lamps. The correct model to use would be either the PD-10NXD or the PD-5NE, both of which require the neutral connection when controlling this type of lighting load. We would recommend going with one of these dimmers so that everything is within specifications. Please see the Caseta load specification sheet here.

    IT WAS THE SWITCH! I returned the first one and, on a throw of the dice, I bought the same thing again, doubting Lutron's quality control and believing instead in myself, et voila! What are the chances I wonder? Sadly none of those 'other' models is available on the shelf though I am now made to understand that I need, or 'should' be using a higher rated device. I'll check the load spec sheet and move forward from there. Thanks for that.

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