GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Smart Dimmer physically failed ON?!?

I've bought maybe 5 - 10 GE Enbrighten Z-Wave Smart Dimmer switches over the last 10 years. I've had one completely fail on me and now this second switch seems to have just failed in the on position (lights illuminated). I pulled the airgap tab to get them off for the night. If I push the tab back in the lights are instantly on again at 100% (no ramp up like a regular tap-for-on would do, which is odd).

Anyone ever seen a failure like this before?

Z Wave or Z Wave Plus?

The Jasco switches had a bit of a capacitor issue. Usually the issue pops up after a power outage.

I had a Zooz fail like this that had water damage (in a bathroom). Got stuck in the ON position, would not turn off or respond to anything. Busted it apart later and I could see where the internal board got damaged.

Pretty much all dimmers use either MosFets or triacs for the output stage.

  • The predominant failure mode for MosFets is shorted.
  • The predominant failure mode for High voltage spikes on triac's is shorted.

I'll bet if you measure the resistance between output to the input on a dimmer that has been removed from service, you will measure a short.


Must be a short, that was my immediate gut feel. In this case no power failures or blips of any kind, just gliding gently into death while on doing its thing (it wouldn’t turn off at the end of the evening). Temperate SoCal, common room (no bath, no crazy moisture). I’ll postmortem the switch when it’s out.

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If it's one of the older 500 series, as noted above these failures are not uncommon. I haven't had any of the newer ones go south on me. There is info on the interweb about repairing the older 500 switches (something like replacing a capacitor?) if you're interested.

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Here’s the switch. I don’t know how’s to identify its generation. I do know generic circuit inspection and repair. I have to say two things strike me immediately

1, nothing looks fried on this board. That’s just first glance but definitely no obvious literal capacitor bulging, burned board, etc

  1. This looks really well designed and build inside. No joke.

I have personally repaired two of these due to the capacitor failure. These were the switches and not a dimmer. That failure showed up as a flickering of the relay and they would NOT power on. This issue “may” be technically the same? The capacitor is part of the power supply for the electronics, so i could see it possible that it “could” fail on for a dimmer. I bought a pack of 10 capacitors on amazon for around $5.

I followed this repair video

and used these capacitors

BOJACK 5X11mm 10uF 25V 10MFD 25Voltage ±20% Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors(Pack of 10 Pcs)

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I hadn't seen that very cool video until now. I can see that my unit is a newer generation and it's got meaningfully different hardware packaging.

  • I have triangle drive screws (luckily the right size Torx fits them well enough to operate them).
  • My PCB is riveted to the plastic housing and would require drilling the rivet to remove (and subsequently I'd have to put a small bolt in there to reassemble properly)

In my case Jasco is willing to warranty the unit.