Question: Does It Matter Which Wire Goes Where On A Light Switch?

Which wire should be switched?

The hot and neutral should be identified, the neutral should be marked according to the local electrical code, and the switch should be wired in the hot wire (as pointed out in the answer by Robert Hughes)..

Why does a light switch have two black wires?

The bare or green-wrapped ground wires serve as a backup to divert the power safely away in case of an electrical fault. In most cases, two black wires will be attached to the switch’s two terminal screws.

Does it matter how you wire a switch?

The white and bare wires are connected together and the bare wire is also connected to the green screw on the switch body. Just leave it to a professional if you need to ask such things. The general rule is that a switch should always cut the line and not the neutral.

Which wire is positive when both are black?

If the multi-colored wire is black and red, the black wire is the negative wire, while the red one is positive. If both wires are black but one has a white stripe, the striped wire is negative, while the plain black wire is positive. Look in the owner manual to determine which wires are negative in a car.

Can you wire a light switch without ground?

Going without a ground wire If the light switch has a screw for a bare ground wire but your electrical box doesn’t have one, you’re OK just leaving that screw empty and connecting your other wires to the hot screws. … If the box isn’t grounded, the switch will still work.

Can you connect a hot wire to a neutral wire?

When you put a load (a light, a vacuum, a range hood) between the hot and the neutral, power flows. This is parallel wiring. You can have multiple separate loads between the hot and the neutral. … There is never a direct connection between the hot and the neutral wires.

Does the hot wire go on the top or bottom of a switch?

If you are speaking of a single pole switch, doesn’t matter. On a 2 pole switch, box mounted, technically it doesn’t matter, but good practices are line at the top, load at the bottom. If a disconnect switch, always line at the top, load at the bottom.

Why are there so many wires in my light switch?

It’s because you have a feed in, two feeds out (going to other things on the circuit), and one switch loop. The switch loop is not using a “neutral” as a live. It is simply using a white conductor as a feed to the switch, or at least it should. The way it is wired now is incorrect.

Does it matter which wire goes where on a single pole switch?

There should be one wire only under each terminal. One of these will likely be black. The other may be black, red, or white. One of these is the power feed, and one is the switch leg, but the switch terminals are interchangeable, so there is no need to identify which is which.

Where does the hot wire go on a switch?

The black (hot) wire goes to the brass screw or into the hole in the back of the device on the same side as the brass screw. This wire is sometimes red. The green or bare copper (ground) wire, if the device has one, attaches to the green screw terminal on the switch or to the electrical box.

What happens if you switch hot and neutral wires?

In North America, switching the hot and neutral wires on the AC breaker will cause a potential shock hazard with the polarized electrical outlets and lighting fixtures connected to that breaker. It’s not a good thing. You will have short circuited the breaker to the neutral, which will trip the breaker immediately.

What if there are two black wires?

If it’s 120 volts between the two black wires…. You most likely have a hot and a neutral. Now check voltage between each black wire to ground. Hot to ground will show 120 volts, Neutral to ground should show zero (or close to zero – in a large building it’s not uncommon to have a few volts between ground and neutral).

Which wire is hot when both are same color?

In most modern fixtures the neutral wire will be white and the hot wire is red or black. In some types of fixtures, both wires will be the same color. In this case, the neutral wire is always identified by some means.

Where does the red wire go on a light switch?

Attach the white wire from the light fixture, which is now the hot wire, to the nut at the top right of the switch. Attach the red wire from the light fixture to the nut at the top left of the switch. Connect the bare copper wire to the green nut at the bottom left of the switch.

What happens if you wire a light switch wrong?

You could put the switch on the neutral wire and everything would work, but it would leave voltage potential to ground in the light when it is switched off. That makes it a bit hazardous for changing light bulbs. If you became an electrical path to ground through a wet floor or something you could get a shock.

What happens if you switch line and load wires?

Here’s what happens when somebody wires a GFCI receptacle with the load and line wires reversed: The GFCI will work, in the sense that you can plug in a hair dryer and the hair dryer will blow hot air. … If the load and line wiring gets messed up, a ground fault (radio in the tub) won’t trip the GFCI.