Does the read and white wire go together on a light switch?

Page 1 of 2  

I am trying to replace my light switch. It had an older switch and had three screws on it. On these it had black, red, and white attached. My new one had three screws, but one of the screws was for ground. I didn't have any place to put the white wire.
On the top screw I put red and white and on the bottom screw I put black.
It works, but is this correct?
Thank you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It should work just fine until you find the other mate to that switch. I think you will find that the other switch now does nothing.
3 way switches are to control lights from 2 spots. You now have a single pole switch. If you are ok with just using that switch then it is fine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yeah, until someone throws that other switch. Then he'll be wondering why the light quit. Why not just use the proper switch?
--
Steve Barker



"Terry" < snipped-for-privacy@charter.net> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks everyone.
If I knew it was not the proper switch I would not have used it. It's wired up and working at the moment with no fire, but now I am paranoid.
Steve Barker wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

All you had to do was *look* at it to tell it's not the proper switch. Now go take your old switch in to a hardware store and get one *exactly* like it, then wire that one same as the old one was..
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 14 Jan 2007 14:09:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

By now, the op has probably forgotten how the old one was. Should have made a sketch.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terry wrote:

If by "do nothing" you mean "trip the breaker" than yes.

No, it's not - when the other switch is flipped the hot will be directly connected to neutral... see recent thread about deliberately shorting circuits to find the controlling breaker to see why this may be a bad idea. I'd replace the switch with a proper 3-way ASAP also find the mate to that switch and verify proper operation.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It won't trip the breaker. He has both travelers connected to on pole. The electrically causes one switch to be closed in either position. It is a bad way to wire a switch, but not a short circuit hazard.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You don't know that, without knowing how the original switch was wired.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In case this isn't a troll-
If it works, and hasn't started a fire, I bet the switch at the other end of the hall or wherever doesn't work anymore. Depending on how it was wired, flipping that switch will either do nothing, or pop the breaker, if you are lucky. A three-screw switch (not counting the green ground screw, not found on older switches), is a 3-way switch. Go back to the home center, and look in the bin next to the one where you found this one. Buy that, and wire it just like the old one was. While there, buy yourself one of the DIY books on home electrical wiring, and look for the chapter on '3 way switch circuits'. In the meantime, don't use the light, and leave that breaker switched off.
aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Thanks. It's working, but at least now I know why it didn't work right when the other switch was flipped. I'll have to go back to HD and get a three way switch. Why would I turn off the breaker though (seems to conflict with the first response is why I ask)?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jmDesktop wrote:

If you were working on the light itself , and could ensure that all switches are OFF it is safe to work because there is no current at the work location.
On a switch one wire is always live regardless of the switch. So touching the live wire can spoil your day.
In general , when working on any electric switch or outlet , turn OFF the breaker and check that there is no live wire present before touching any wires. (I prefer before removing the cover plate)
If in doubt turn off the main breaker which removes all power from the house.
when the switch is replaced , turn the breaker ON.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

One wire is always live? Even if the breaker (not main) is off?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No -- like he said, one wire is always live regardless of the *switch*. Turning the breaker off will kill it.
Now go get yourself a book on basic residential electrical wiring, or call an electrician. Working on electricity when you don't know what you're doing is dangerous, to yourself and others.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Miller wrote:

I got it working, but the wire colors were differently placed than the book, the white one went to the common and black was one of the 'travellers," red, of course, was the other. I looked at the other switch and it had two black and one red, so I don't know. It worked and no fires or deaths yet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jmDesktop wrote:

That sounds right, each switch should have two black and one red. one black from the fusebox, one black and one red for the travelers (present at both switches,) and one black to the light fixture.
nate
--
replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Try again...
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Not even then, because someone might have put the switch in the neutral wire, not the hot wire. I found a switch like that once.

In your previous question you implied no breaker was off: " Why would I turn off the breaker though (seems to conflict with the first response is why I ask)?" Why did you ask this if the breaker was off?
BTW, you have to be sure you know which breaker is the one for this circuit. Some people don't want to assume that you know this. The chart on the breaker box rarely lists every outlet and light fixture. So people can't always go by the chart.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Most (breaker box charts) I've seen weren't filled in at all, except maybe for a few dedicated circuits. Some have the inadequate label of "lights". I try to label mine correctly and completely.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm curious as to how you check wires for hot without removing the cover plate.
--
Steve Barker



< snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.