The light switch only controls a ceiling fixture. But, the cable powering the switch also powers 2 grounded outlets. The neutral wire on the switch is live/hot. The black wire is not. Right now all the 3 white wires are wire nutted together, thus making the white wires live on the two outlets and the light fixture. What to do?

  • 1
    Some photos, or a diagram of the wiring would be helpful.
    – Tester101
    Jul 28, 2014 at 12:53
  • How do you know the white wire is hot? Jul 29, 2014 at 16:12
  • I know I've confused you. I've confused myself. Here it goes. The switch box contains 3 14/2 cables. The incoming cable that is the power supply has an energized white wire. I have used a voltage tester to determine that. I also used a multitester I have spliced all three whites together. I have connected the black from the power supply to the lower screw on switch. The top screw on switch black wire is connected to the light fixture. A black jumper connects to power the 1st outlet. Since the power supply white wire is energized, so is the white at the fixture and at the two outlets. Now what?
    – SLK
    Jul 29, 2014 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


It's confusing when you say "The neutral wire on the switch is live/hot.", since typically there are no "neutral" wires connected to switches. Is it possible that the white wire from the cable is used as a switched "hot"? Wire color does not dictate purpose, how it's connected does.

If this is not the case. You'll have to locate the point in the circuit where the "hot" and "neutral" are swapped, and correct the problem. You'll then have to inspect the entire circuit, and insure it's wired properly.

  • 2
    +1 And if the white wire is used as a switched hot, mark it as hot by putting a black stripe on it using a marker, or wrap a small black piece of tape around it, to avoid future confusion.
    – bib
    Jul 28, 2014 at 13:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.