32 votes
Accepted

What could be causing changes to a smart bulb to affect a regular bulb on the same circuit?

You're looking at the problem upside down. You are thinking the smart bulbs are causing it. Actually, the Lutron Caseta dimmer is causing it. The smart bulbs are behaving normally, however their ...
20 votes

Can a 12 gauge wire be clamped onto a light switch using the side screw?

Using the hole(s) in the back is called a "back stab", and, while technically code-legal, they're frowned upon because they can come loose and cause arcing and, if left alone long enough, ...
  • 34.6k
19 votes
Accepted

How can I install an on/off indicator for a lighting circuit?

It sounds like you have light bulbs or fixtures directly controlled by Alexa/Google Home. A better solution, though sometimes a bit more work to install, is a smart switch. With a smart switch, the ...
15 votes

Can a 14 AWG pigtail be used with a smart switch with a 20 amp breaker?

but when it comes to smart switches, manufacturers don't seem to follow this code. No. They follow UL standards, which are what apply to equipment design, and take into account design considerations ...
12 votes

Rewiring a switch to bring in neutral

First make sure the breaker is 15A. If it is 20A you must use 12/3 cable. The most elegant way to do this is to use the /3 cable as you plan. The wires will be assigned as follows: White = actual ...
12 votes
Accepted

Can a 14 AWG pigtail be used with a smart switch with a 20 amp breaker?

It is not that the 14 AWG wire will zap you. Properly insulated (just the original insulation, no need for extra tape) will protect you from being zapped. The concern is heat, because heat leads to ...
10 votes
Accepted

Odd wiring setup in light switch

Someone ran out of white wire It appears the previous installers ran out of white wire to use for running neutrals, so they grabbed the spool of green wire off the back of the truck to keep the job ...
10 votes

Can a 12 gauge wire be clamped onto a light switch using the side screw?

Yes, I see several problems. Wire just stuck under a screw, and not using a proper shepherd's hook with a more than 180 degree bend (i.e. squeezing it together after forming it. Watch a Youtube ...
9 votes
Accepted

Can I connect the neutral wire ends via a single switch terminal (without a pigtail)?

"Never" is a bit strong. This is not a plain "screw terminal" where that would be true. This is a "screw and clamp" and appears to be designed to correctly hold 2 wires, ...
  • 158k
9 votes

Running neutral wire between two circuits

The reason this trips the breaker isn't really relevant, since you're not allowed to do this thing. You can't steal neutrals from other boxes NEC 300.3 all related wires must be together in the same ...
9 votes

When installing a smart switch, can I pigtail off of the neutral from the existent outlet in the same box on the same circuit?

Yes, that's the correct neutral. Hot goes to inside receptacle and then to switch. Which means the receptacle controlled by the switch, and any smart switch itself, must use the same neutral as the ...
9 votes

Why are there three sets of wires for two switches, and how to wire up the neutral?

To clarify a little, your setup is one of two common setups: (Ignoring ground - everything should have ground, all grounds always go together.) One incoming cable from the circuit breaker (may stop ...
9 votes

Should my smart switch be connected to the neutral wire from another cable?

You can't take neutral from other cables. NEC 300.3. Neutral can only be taken from cables that already have wires going to the switch. This is a big problem on the far end of a 3-way, where neutral ...
8 votes

Is there a way to remotely control gas valve?

Yes, there are electronically controlled gas valves. A better idea might be to install a "grill timer". It's like a kitchen timer that you twist to set the time, but instead of ringing a ...
  • 20.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Alternatives to running a single Neutral wire?

My plan: I can get 10' of 14/3 (it's the cheapest thing by the foot that I can find available at my hardware store... I could get 12/3 for a little more Hold on there, you need to go find your ...
7 votes
Accepted

Box too small for TP link Kasa smart switch

This is a common problem. I had a similar problem simply replacing a ~ 60-year-old 2-wire duplex receptacle with a new (but nothing fancy, not GFCI) 3-wire grounded duplex receptacle. The solution: A ...
7 votes

How Can I Install 3 Way Smart Switches That Require Neutral

Switch 1-3 are part of an old fashioned switch loop. Switch 2-4 is a "lamp in the middle" sort of deal. How to do it, though. Things are made more difficult by the system being powered ...
6 votes

Trying to install smart switches - came across something that looks wrong

The nut of the problem is the ground wire joining the neutrals in drawing 1. This is a bootlegged attempt to fix a fundamental problem of bringing 5 wires: 2 travelers, always-hot, neutral and ...
6 votes

Why do these LED light bulbs flicker when my remote control has turned them off?

The remote you use to turn the light on and off is not compatible with LED bulbs. One reason people love LED bulbs is because they use so little power. Unfortunately, some devices in the past used ...
  • 27k
6 votes

Odd wiring setup in light switch

As you know, "green = ground" and "white = neutral". As you probably also know, ground and neutral should only be connected in one place (main panel) and not in individual switches or other devices. ...
6 votes

Live wire spliced in a switch to provide power to other parts of the room!

Your analysis of the current situation is correct and quite normal. The fact that this type of switch allows two wires to be attached under the switch makes it that much easier to do, as opposed to ...
  • 10.8k
6 votes

Running neutral wire between two circuits

You are NOT allowed to do that, for several reasons: If both circuits happen to be on the same leg/phase of your utility service, you can overload the neutral back to the panel by a factor of two, ...
  • 4,206
6 votes
Accepted

Which Circuit Does this Switchbox Common Wire Belong To?

There is no such thing as "common" in AC mains wiring. Each circuit is wired in a full loop. If you do automotive wiring, you tend to think of the metal vehicle chassis as the "common&...
6 votes
Accepted

Why are there three sets of wires for two switches, and how to wire up the neutral?

Note the updated diagram at the bottom with some additional labeling. Why are there only three black wires, and not four? I'd expect each switch to have two black wires, one load and one line. You ...
  • 34.6k
6 votes

Is it possible to have a smart switch control a wired switch

The easiest solution is to use a smart wired switch with a wireless remote. For example, with Lutron Caseta, you can use a Pico remote to control. Since it is battery powered/wireless, you can mount ...
6 votes

Can a 14 AWG pigtail be used with a smart switch with a 20 amp breaker?

Other answers here are correct. Considerable thought and testing and experience leads us to the knowledge that your switch with its #16 wire will not set your house on fire but if people use #16 wire ...
  • 23.8k
6 votes

Lutron Diva smart dimmer, won't work in a 5-way without accessory switches?

Here is how 3-way wiring works. There are 2 travelers. One is hot and one is not. Any 3-way switch simply swaps which one is hot. Here's how a 4-way works. It's exactly the same thing, except an ...
5 votes
Accepted

Confused by wiring in box

It's simply a splice. They are using the screw and the backstab to accomplish what they could do with a pigtail. In particular, they are grabbing "always-hot" because this is the first switch. ...
5 votes

Odd wiring setup in light switch

Mark that green wire white That green wire behaves at both ends like a neutral. I think it is one. I would get some white tape and spiral wrap it around that green wire, to mark it most of the ...
5 votes

Do metal outlet boxes act as grounds?

Switches (only) can ground through the mounting screws No need to run a ground wire to the switch. Presuming the switch has a metal yoke, it will ground via the grounding screws to the metal box (...

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible