enter image description hereI'm trying to install a Brilliant smart switch and it requires a neutral. This particular circuit has two boxes on it, the switch in the picture, as well as a powder room light switch on the other side of the wall

  • Can you get us a model number for that smart switch please? Sep 18, 2021 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


TL;DR The 3 white wires on the left in the red wire nut are neutral wires.

White is usually neutral. That is almost always the case when there is a bundle of 2-or-more white wires together with no non-white wires included.

But in this case it is definitely neutral, as long as everything was installed correctly.

When cables are used (commonly referred to by the specific brand Romex), they normally include black/white or black/red/white. In those cases, most of the time white is neutral, but there are exceptions due to switch loops, 240V circuits 3-way switches and possible other special situations.

However, you have conduit. That is clear because you have orange and yellow wires. You won't find those in normal US cables, so therefore you must be using conduit. Once you are in conduit, white can only be used as neutral, at least for typical 15A and 20A circuits.

In case you don't know (there is some confusion out there), all the wires currently in that wire nut are in use. To make use of the neutral, you add a new white wire - i.e., remove the wire nut, add a 4th white wire and put the wire nut back on. Really tightly. If your new switch has wires, you're all set. If your new switch has screw terminals then you will need to get a piece of white wire, 12 AWG if it is a 20A circuit, 12 AWG or 14 AWG if it is a 15A circuit.

  • Thanks! Just looked at the install guide more carefully and they’re also wanting a ground… it doesn’t appear that I have one of those?
    – Jeff
    Sep 17, 2021 at 17:59
  • 2
    You're in luck on ground - since you have conduit, the conduit itself is the ground. Your switch should be able to ground through contact to the metal mud ring visible in the picture. Just make sure you remove any paper screw holders that would interfere with metal to metal contact. If your switch can't ground through its mounting ears for some reason, you can add a grounding jumper from a screw mounted in the metal box itself to the switch.
    – kg333
    Sep 17, 2021 at 18:04

The bundle of white wires are presumably neutrals.

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