I am trying to wire a smart switch and wired it successfully for the other rooms but as having trouble in one of the rooms.

Can someone help me identify which wires are which as it seems to me by looking that white is being used as a hot wire maybe?

I know the red is the load and the bare one is the ground but I’m confused about the negative and/or neutral wires.

Any help would be appreciated.


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light fixture

  • Are both switches for different light fixtures or is one a ceiling fan?
    – Jon
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:28
  • So the right one is for the light switch and the left one I don’t know what that’s for as I do not have a fan in this room
    – Moon Man
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:29
  • The left one is broken as can be seen from the image but the right one which is the light switch runs fine
    – Moon Man
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:30
  • Mystery broken switch - perhaps they wired it for a future celling fan? I would look at the wiring in the light fixture to try to figure this one out. Please post pictures of the wiring in the light fixture.
    – Jon
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:34
  • 1
    There's got to be another junction box where you pick up the neutral and hot wires... find it and take a few pictures.
    – JACK
    Dec 14, 2020 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


This looks like a switch loop where the hot is the white wire the switched hot going back on the red and black. Very common to do this at the initial wire pull for a fan and a light. You can get a neutral to this location but it will require moving wires around and eliminating 1 switch (you loose the fan option to gain smart switch).

The white should have been reidentified as a hot usually with a black permanent marker or tape. This step is regularly overlooked and homeowners not knowing this causing miswires, it will again be a neutral so don’t fix it now.

With the breaker off.

The wiring would need to be changed in the ceiling from this cable. the white wire now connected to black would be moved to the other group of white wires now the white down in the switch box is neutral.

The black going to the light or not used goes to the black where the white was usually a black this goes Down in the switch box this is your hot or line now.

Place the red on the other side of the same switch the black wire is on, this is now the switched hot going back on the red to the black of the light (red wire to black of light).

Turn the power back on and it should work, just the 1 switch now convert it to your smart switch.

Get a double gang cover plate with one side blanked off or put the switch in knowing it is not connected to anything.

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