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The switch has 2 hot wires red and pink, need help where to connect the cables.

  • 1
    Plain switches don't have neutral. Where did you find this white wire? How was the switch wired before? Sometimes in switch circuits, white wires are used as hot wires (not neutral). Dec 4 '21 at 1:10
  • Hello, I edited the question and put a picture with how the switch is connected
    – Jaime2823
    Dec 4 '21 at 1:34
  • 1
    Are you sure that's a white wire? It looks like yellow, orange, red, which would make more sense. The "rainbow" is very typical of THHN individual wires, which is an excellent industrial-tier wiring method, you're lucky to have it. Novices will find it annoying because it's not the Romex they see on all the Youtube videos, but this is better. Dec 4 '21 at 1:55
  • 1
    It is a yellow wire
    – Jaime2823
    Dec 4 '21 at 1:59

Yellow is a "hot" color, as is red and orange. This switch does not have neutral.

Your original switch was a 50 cent cheapie. It had both screw terminals and backstabs. In your photo, the orange backstab is internally connected to the yellow screw. So the installer is using the dual connections to splice together yellow and orange, as well as connect them to that leg of the switch.

Assuming your "status quo ante" picture is accurate, and you only have one light, I gather yellow and orange are both "always-hot" or "Line". One coming from supply and the other going onward to other outlets or switches. They need to both be connected to the same terminal, as they are now.

That means Red is "switched-hot" or "Load" and will be alone on a screw.

If you read your device's instructions (as required by NEC 110.3), it will discuss how to attach 2 wires to one screw on this particular device.

If you managed to confuse the wires, and yellow-orange aren't meant to go together..... normally blind experimentation can create very dangerous "seems to work but kills you" combinations. But in this case, with switches, there's no real risk. You can try all 3 combinations until you find the winner.

I gather the box is metal, and the switch will pick up safety ground via the mounting screws. Switches are able to do that (As are $3-tier "spec grade" receptacles).

  • Actually the yellow is not hot, which is what is throwing me off, when I checked the cables with my volt checker , the red and the orange are always hot. I found it weird that the orange would be backstabbed to the yellow which is not hot.
    – Jaime2823
    Dec 4 '21 at 2:23
  • 2
    @Jaime By "hot" I mean "intended to be hot at least sometimes". All wires to a plain switch meet this description. Dec 4 '21 at 2:32

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