I am a DIYer and have a single pole switch which I’m swapping out for a smart single pole switch.

Since the previous one was a dumb switch it doesn’t connect a neutral as it has no need for a circuit but has What looks like 3 neutral wires spliced together and capped.

Would it be ok and up to code to unsplice and take any of those neutral wires to use for the switch recapping the remaining two? enter image description here

  • 3
    You should also replace that box. It's a code violation to just make your own hole in the side of a plastic box like that to shove a wire in. The box is designed to contain sparks and a fire (should one start), and that huge hole won't do that. Also, the edges are very jagged and could easily damage the cable jacket. Not blaming you for this issue, just pointing it out, as you're obviously new to electrical work.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 12 at 18:43
  • Yeah, that’s as it was when I discovered it, unfortunately. I’m finding a lot of unusual things from electrical to water work that look questionable.
    – Bee
    Commented Jun 12 at 19:16
  • 10
    Those are not spare neutral wires waiting for you. Those neutrals are doing important work completing the circuit/returning current used by the lamp and other loads. You can add to it, but don't separate them or you'll break stuff. Commented Jun 13 at 1:27
  • 2
    Did you record which of the wires on the dumb switch were the line and load?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 13 at 11:52
  • @Huesmannn Yes.
    – Bee
    Commented Jun 13 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


All those neutrals should stay tied together.

What you can do is add a short piece of white wire (the same gauge as the other neutrals) and connect it to the smart switch and the existing neutral bundle. (This is know as a "pigtail".) With 4 neutral wires, you may need a larger red wire nut.

  • I see, thanks. Is the existing bundle setup common? I.e. it’s a regular on:off switch connecting to a fan light - wondering why I would be seeing 3 neutrals and three cable bundles connecting to the box.
    – Bee
    Commented Jun 12 at 17:51
  • 5
    If you have 3 cables you have 3 neutrals. Neutrals all get tied together that is common.
    – RMDman
    Commented Jun 12 at 17:53
  • 1
    It might be worth using a different connector instead of trying to get four wires of various ages into a wire nut. A latching connector like a vago might be better.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 13 at 3:13
  • 3
    Or even a "Wago", @Criggie! :D
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 13 at 11:40
  • 1
    So far (on two switches) using the smart switch’s pre-attached neutral, with a comparable gauge in the existing (or a slightly larger) wire nut has secured tightly.
    – Bee
    Commented Jun 13 at 12:19

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