I am trying to replace a single pole switch with one that has a built in night light. The new switch requires a neutral for the night light to function.

Based on the previous wiring, it seems pretty clear the line / load, and I'd have to assume the bundle in the back is neutral, given it is not used by either of the switches.

The coloring is kind of confusing to me though, since it is a combo of black and white spliced together. The line appears to be white as well. enter image description hereIs my understanding correct?

Here's a closer look

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Photos where wires enter:

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  • 5
    Just because you need neutral, doesn't mean it's there. Half of all switches are wired as "switch loops" - if you see white to a plain switch it's probably a switch loop and no neutral is available. This wiring looks very strange. It may have been miswired. Feb 8 at 20:15
  • What is the right hand thing with all the black tape around it? Wiring almost makes some sense if it is an outlet. Not much more sense.
    – crip659
    Feb 8 at 20:26
  • Both black boxes in the picture are switches. If this is a switch loop it would be strange because these switches control the light and fan in a very small bathroom; there would be no need for a 3 way. Is there a way to test? There is an outlet close by so perhaps that's where the unused bundle leads.
    – GBa
    Feb 8 at 20:34
  • That might be neutral, but neutral cannot be black, can only be white(or grey). To do it right some wires will need to be switched around at both ends(light and switch). The whites carrying power will need black/red tape/marking on them. This is just a guess so do not go switching wires till you know what is what.
    – crip659
    Feb 8 at 20:47
  • 1
    Or maybe they did a switched neutral? Could I use a multimeter to figure it out?
    – GBa
    Feb 8 at 20:49


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