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SaganagaJoe
distinguished member(2110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 04:25PM
Lots of smart people here, so I figured I'd ask:

When changing a light switch and wires are the same color (NOT black for live wire and red for return), is it true that the live wire always goes in at the top of the switch (the "on" position) by the ground wire?
 
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Podunk
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
10/11/2017 04:34PM
Need more info. If you're talking house wiring you shouldn't have a red wire unless its a 3 way switch. I'd google 3 wire switch. Its easier than trying to explain it.
SaganagaJoe
distinguished member(2110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 04:47PM
quote Podunk: "Need more info. If you're talking house wiring you shouldn't have a red wire unless its a 3 way switch. I'd google 3 wire switch. Its easier than trying to explain it."

Just a single pole, one switch to one fixture. Not changing a three way.
10/11/2017 05:10PM
It makes no difference on a single pole switch. Either way is fine. The hot wire enters the switch and the hot wire exits the switch.
SaganagaJoe
distinguished member(2110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 05:13PM
quote awbrown: "It makes no difference on a single pole switch. Either way is fine."

so what you're telling me is that when replacing a single pole switch, it doesn't matter where I put the hot and neutral wires?
DayDreamin
distinguished member (410)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 05:17PM
Both Black wires are considered hot.
One Black wire on top pole
One black wire on bottom pole
White(neutral) wires together with a connector
ground wire at green screw
Podunk
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
10/11/2017 05:50PM
If the switch is working backwards, down is on, just switch the 2 black wires top to bottom.
overthehill
distinguished member(4271)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/11/2017 05:52PM
Yep. One wire is always hot. The other black is hot out to the fixture only when turned "on". The whites are wire nutted together.(neutrals). On a single pole switch top or bottom does not matter. Bare grounds should be bonded together as well and a short bare to the green screw (ground) on the switch. All bare grounds together and a short bare to green ground screw on switch. Be sure and flip the breaker to kill power first. A single pole switch is labeled off and on. Off is toggle down Up is on. Black pwr in. Black per out. Whites nutted together as if it were a continuous white to the light
marsonite
distinguished member(2084)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 06:16PM
Two ways to wire a light with a single pole switch. The first has already been mentioned. Feed is to the box with the switch, neutrals wire nutted together, and a the hot feed is attached to the switch and then to the light.

Also can have the power to the light box, and then run a "switch leg" down to the switch, in which case there will be no neutral at the switch. The white wire should be identified as hot by wrapping black electrical tape around it.

Either way, top or bottom screw on the switch, it doesn't matter.
SaganagaJoe
distinguished member(2110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 08:04PM
I think I understand now. I found a You Tube video that helped me as well. Thanks! Man do we have some smart people here.
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(1800)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 08:23PM
And that, my friends, is why I hate electricity.....
dew042
distinguished member (208)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/11/2017 11:55PM
quote marsonite: "Also can have the power to the light box, and then run a "switch leg" down to the switch, in which case there will be no neutral at the switch. "

Always fun to replace a fixture wired like this, 120v doesn't hurt too much.
flopnfolds
distinguished member (399)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/12/2017 07:17AM
Ha. Truth. We have a mix of knob and tube and a variety of newer (still old) wiring in our house, with the occasional other wire connecting every so often. While finishing our basement, it became apparent that somebody on a number of circuits had switched polarities at some junction box. White was hot, and was bit several times before I figured it out...
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(580)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/12/2017 11:30AM
quote flopnfolds: "Ha. Truth. We have a mix of knob and tube and a variety of newer (still old) wiring in our house, with the occasional other wire connecting every so often. While finishing our basement, it became apparent that somebody on a number of circuits had switched polarities at some junction box. White was hot, and was bit several times before I figured it out..."

wait until you deal with places where the neutral is switched rather than the hot side. If you are changing a light fixture with just the switch off you can end up on your fanny...
dr bob
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(580)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/12/2017 11:33AM
quote flopnfolds: "Ha. Truth. We have a mix of knob and tube and a variety of newer (still old) wiring in our house, with the occasional other wire connecting every so often. While finishing our basement, it became apparent that somebody on a number of circuits had switched polarities at some junction box. White was hot, and was bit several times before I figured it out..."

knob and tube can be a real head scratcher...

dr bob
SaganagaJoe
distinguished member(2110)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/12/2017 12:51PM
quote DrBobDerrig: "quote flopnfolds: "Ha. Truth. We have a mix of knob and tube and a variety of newer (still old) wiring in our house, with the occasional other wire connecting every so often. While finishing our basement, it became apparent that somebody on a number of circuits had switched polarities at some junction box. White was hot, and was bit several times before I figured it out..."


wait until you deal with places where the neutral is switched rather than the hot side. If you are changing a light fixture with just the switch off you can end up on your fanny...
dr bob"


Aaand this my friends is why I always cut the power to the whole house at the junction box.
arm2008
member (41)member
 
10/12/2017 04:00PM
quote Podunk: "If the switch is working backwards, down is on, just switch the 2 black wires top to bottom."

Ahhhh, NO. If your single pole switch is working backwards you have it in upside down and you just need to flip it.
Grizzlyman
distinguished member (450)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/13/2017 07:44AM
Also- if you're doing more than a couple outlets- buy a rotating or "swinging" screwdriver.

They're worth their weight in gold for outlets.
10/13/2017 10:11AM
quote Podunk: "If the switch is working backwards, down is on, just switch the 2 black wires top to bottom."

This is not correct. If the switch is working backwards, ie down is on, you simply rotate the switch. Switching the 2 wires will not solve the problem, the switch is simply upside down.
Podunk
senior member (80)senior membersenior member
 
10/14/2017 04:54PM
quote awbrown: "quote Podunk: "If the switch is working backwards, down is on, just switch the 2 black wires top to bottom."


This is not correct. If the switch is working backwards, ie down is on, you simply rotate the switch. Switching the 2 wires will not solve the problem, the switch is simply upside down."

Sorry my bad.
arm2008
member (41)member
 
10/20/2017 08:47AM
quote awbrown: "quote Podunk: "If the switch is working backwards, down is on, just switch the 2 black wires top to bottom."


This is not correct. If the switch is working backwards, ie down is on, you simply rotate the switch. Switching the 2 wires will not solve the problem, the switch is simply upside down."


LOL, right. What I said.
 
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