I am not a diy person but I'm trying to replace a light switch.

I bought a non contact voltage tester and a new single pole switch.

When I took the plate off and pulled the switch out it appears the ground wire ( if I know what I'm looking at is going from one switch into the other. After looking at some YouTube videos I'm a bit confused with the setup. The switch I'm trying to replace is on the left side it operates only the light in my master bedroom The switch next to it is a three-way switch that operates a hall light.

Before I start to replace the switch is this setup correct?

I have a ceiling fan light that doesn't work with the remote or the switch I'm not even sure if a faulty switch would cause that issue but I thought I would start there. Using my non-contact voltage tester the switch is getting power. I've turned the power off at the breaker and I'm ready to replace the switch but I was a little bit confused when I saw the way it was wired is this normal?

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  • Grounds are simply a safety net, and are electrically not involved (except when a fault is happening, of course). Grounds are always, and only, green, yellow/green, bare, or the metal yokes of devices, or the metal shell of junction boxes and conduits. For instance in your case, your switches pick up ground from the metal box, via their mounting screws. You'll never need to wire a ground to a switch here! May 28, 2021 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


I do not see a ground wire although that is possible, a ground is normally a bare copper in residential wiring and it would be attached to a green screw that is normally part of the metal mounting yoke.

I believe I see a black with some white paint crossing from one switch to the other this should be a hot.

Since you have a red wire I would follow that back to the cable it enters the box in if there is a black wire in that cable it probably also goes to the fan I regularly wire rooms like that so a fan light combo can have 2 switches letting us know more about the wiring will provide better answers.

Ground to 2 switches totally normal green or bare copper is normal. A white coming to the switch that has power all the time this is called a switch leg the white is getting the power from the ceiling fixture and it is hot.

If you have a white hot all the time then the red and black should go back to the same fixture and they control the light or fan.

White is normally neutral but in a switch leg it is always hot required by code.

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