Hot answers tagged

41

Electricity doesn't care about color. But electricians (both pros and amateurs) do. The color is meant to inform both you and any future worker which wires are hot (usually black or red, but occasionally other colors, such as blue), neutral (white or sometimes grey), ground (bare, green or green/yellow striped). If it is not bare, white or green, it is ...


14

Yes, the first switch in the circuit from the panel would be a three-way switch. The last switch in the circuit before the pump would also be a three-way switch. Then the other 10 switches would all be four-way switches.


11

Yes, you use 4-way switches. Here is an animation that shows how they work. You can have as many 4-way switches as you want, in the middle. http://users.wfu.edu/matthews/misc/switches/4WayAnimation.html Changing the switch causes the pump to change. If it was on, it will be off, or vice versa. The switch position will not tell the user whether it's on ...


10

"Switch Loop" is what you're asking about and very common. Mark the white wire with black tape to indicate it's a loop. No codes violated. If that's all you're asking about, then by all means do it. But please don't get creative and use a green wire for hot, blue for neutral and red for ground or something crazy like that. If you search this site for ...


9

It's probably just a broken switch. My guess would be that the switch contact is worn out to the point that it does not make contact, but jiggling it a bit (by turning off and on again) may solve the problem, at least for a little while. Replacing a light switch is a pretty simple matter for a DIYer. I recommend swapping it out and seeing if that solves ...


8

Congratulations! You just found a Carter 3-way! This configuration switches each "side" of the lamp between hot and neutral, as depicted in the illustration below: (source: Wtshymanski/Wikipedia) However, due to the switch in the neutral wire, it was possible for the shell of the lampholder to be hot even if it was switched off, leading to a shock ...


8

This is commonly used in industrial controls: I've drawn it as a ladder diagram because I think it's easier to see the individual circuits and the interactions between them. You can translate from that to the actual wiring. I'm using a second relay contact to power the load so that the control circuit only has to handle the relay, which is almost ...


7

To summarize what the NEC itself requires on this topic: The neutral (grounded conductor) must be white, gray, some non-green color with three white stripes, or white with some non-green stripe (this isn't listed in the NEC, but is technically allowed as it's how the second neutral in an x/2/2 cable is configured). Certain cables where colored insulation ...


7

Typically the metal screws in the face plate/trim of a home electrical device (outlet, light switch, etc.) attach to the electrical device itself. This, in turn, should be grounded. To address your question in general (the spirit of what you're after): If it only shocks you one time, which is to say if you touch it and it shocks you, but subsequent ...


7

Being red is fine. Code wise, anything that's not colored as a grounded (neutral) or grounding conductor, is an ungrounded (hot) conductor.


6

What you have there is a single pole switch that has been tapped to continue the permanent hot to another source. Perhaps an outlet or dishwasher. If you are installing a new dishwasher it will probably have significantly more amps. This could become an issue with the old practice of putting the disposal and dishwasher on the same circuit.


6

So, the box in the ceiling has two pair coming into it. Two black white pair. One comes from the power source. Think of that one as Line and Neutral. The other one runs to the light switch wherever that is. ( If you open the switch, you should find a black and white on the two screws. ) Therefore, the two black wires are connected and beep your ...


6

Yes. If you're getting rid of the receptacle, you should cap off the grounded (neutral) conductor in the switch box. Just make sure there's no exposed wire sticking out of the connector, and you use a twist-on wire connector rated for a single wire.


5

It's either a loose connection, a bad switch, or a poltergeist. Turn power off to the circuit. Verify power is off. Remove the cover plate from each switch. Remove the screws holding the switches to the box (should be two, one top, one bottom). Pull the switches out a bit. Inspect the wiring and connections, looking for loose wires, charred/burnt/melted ...


5

Short answer, the NEC does require identification by color coding or other means. The specifics depend on the size of the wire, and there are different rules for hots, neutrals, and grounds. The practice you describe, running a wire to use as a switch loop, is perfectly acceptable, safe, and code compliant in the past. You would mark the white with ...


5

For that many locations, I'd strongly consider one of the types of switches intended for home automation applications. One switch would actually control the pump, and the others would signal that switch to turn on or off. Some of them offer battery operated remotes that can be used without any permanent wiring, or you can mount a switch in a normal ...


5

My guess, since everything works fine still, is that the ground to this circuit is disconnected somewhere and the hot or possibly a loose "disconnected" hot from another circuit is touching the switch yoke or box. If your ground were in working order and connected properly to the box or device, the breaker would have long since tripped. I don't know what ...


4

Pressure Switch I've never seen a "safety cut-off" on a pressure system before, but typically the switching is done by a single box (known as a "pressure switch"). Pretty much all of them (at least from the last ~20 years) look something like this: The large nut is used to control the pressure (both cut-in, and cut-out) and the small one controls the ...


4

According to the instructions found here, you'll have to replace the other switch with a Retractive Press Switch when using a dimmer. Important notes - for two way and multi - way installation Read General Installation Safety Instructions before starting work. Any existing 2 Way or Intermediate switches MUST be replaced with Retractive Press ...


4

The switch/outlet combo you have could physically work, but as pointed out by @Speedy Petey, it would not be code complaint since all outlets in bathrooms need to be GFCI. Consider replacing it with a GFCI/switch combo such as this. The wiring you have should work. One of the cables (which consists of one black and one white wire) is from the mains, and ...


4

I'd get yourself a non-contact voltage tester: These will only light up when it's right near something hot. Test it to make sure it's working by putting it in an outlet: Make sure it's lighting when it should. Then, touch the screws with it. If the NCVT lights up (and stays lit) when you touch it to the screws, they're hot. If it flashes very ...


4

No, this will cause inductive heating if it passes through anything ferrous. Like a Romex clamp, locknut, MC cable, or steel conduit. It is called splitting a neutral and is really bad workmanship. Depending on the current load, it could become hot enough to start a fire. Change it as soon as possible.


4

Simply cap it with a twist-on wire connector, or other approved method.


4

Your problem is that you have looped/paralleled the neutral (white) wire both through and around the 3-way switches, which can be interpreted as a NEC 300.3(B)/310.10(H) violation. What I would do instead is run a 14/4 between the two 3-way switches, with black as the unswitched hot and red and blue as the travelers, then run a 14/3 from the 2nd switch box ...


3

It sounds like the two black wire with the pigtail are the incoming hot and a branch hot to another location, such as the outlet. The other black attached to the switch is probably the switched hot that goes to the fixture being controlled. You can verify this by turning the switch to off, making sure all the wires and terminals are clear and not touching ...


3

Yes, that is precisely correct. Though I prefer red tape, but that's a preference, not a requirement to go buy a roll. Nicer (IMHO) because you can easily mark switched hots whether they be black or white.


3

To make one outlet switched and one outlet on all the time, you need to break off that little brass tab on the outlet in between the where the black and red wires are screwed in. To make both outlets switched, you need to disconnect and cap the red wire that is screwed into the outlet and not break off that brass tab. Don't mess with the tab on the neutral ...


3

The first step is to read through the user's guide, and make sure it's not in a "test" mode. If after reading the manual it still wasn't working, I'd exchange it for a different unit. If the new unit didn't work, I'd either try a different brand/model, or forget about using an occupancy sensor.


3

That looks like a doorbell transformer. Those smaller wires should lead to your doorbell chime unit (assuming you have a doorbell). The junction box is there simply to provide power to the doorbell transformer. From the picture it looks like you have 12/3 and 14/2 in that box, but it is difficult to tell. How confident are you the larger wires are larger ...


3

There are half a dozen ways one could do this, but I would do it this way Purchase 2 Lutron RF Maestros. ( The RF part is important, as they sell none RF Maestros too) ( for non dimming use MRF2-6ANS ) One Pico wireless switch One Pico switch plate adapter One 2 gang decor plate Change both switches to the RF Maestro and put the Pico next to the ...



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