I wanted yesterday to replace my dining room light switch. However, when I looked at it I found 4 wires : - Black (Hot) - White (Neutral) - Copper (Ground) - PINK ???????

The light switch I had bought at Home Depot only could accomodate the Black, White and Ground wire ? Do I need to buy a special light switch ? Should I cap the pink wire as my dining room lamp is not a ceiling fan any more ?


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  • 1
    Pink is commonly fan power, is it capped off in the ceiling box?
    – Hart CO
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 16:16
  • Great question, I have replaced the fan by a light fixture 2 months ago and don't remember if I capped off the pink wire (or if it as already capped off), I will take the fixture apart and let you know
    – Frederic
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 16:19
  • I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will weigh in, but I'd assume you'd just cap it off on both ends and wire the switch without it.
    – Hart CO
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 16:23
  • That sounds very probable. However, I found the same pink wire for a kitchen switch that didn't have a fan. (But its possible that the previous owner had removed a fan)
    – Frederic
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 16:27
  • 2
    It's probably just an old red insulator that has faded to pink. I would leave it capped for now. If everything still has power, you're all set. if one or more devices is no longer powered, it was probably that conductor that was supplying them - reconnect it to the hot (black) supply in that box.
    – CactusCake
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


Sounds like this is a three-way switch, or at least wired for a three-way at some point in time.

You will need a different switch, specifically a three-way switch, and it should be wired in the same way as the existing switch.

You should locate the other switch that controls that fixture to confirm its existence. If it doesn't exist, then the pink wire was probably used as power to the fan, but in that case I would expect this would be in a double-gang box.

  • I also thought it could be a three-way switch but then it doesn't make sense that the same "pink" wire is in the master bedroom switch ( a 3 way switch in the bedroom, really ?), in the kitchen switches....
    – Frederic
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:55
  • There have been times I have used 14-3 wire when I thought someone might want to add a fan. In the case where I put it in as a spare it was capped in a single gang box. If the "pink" was wired to the switch it is probably a 3 way.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 19:33
  • Thanks, I have located the other switch. For the other switches where I saw a pink wire as well, it turns out that they don't have a "white" wire (the color white), hence I guess, the pink means "white". Thanks!
    – Frederic
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:41

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