Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.

Hot answers tagged

21

Removing the cover to look at the switch is safe IF you first turn off power to the circuit at the breaker panel. If you aren't completely sure which circuit it is, then either turn them all off, or double-check with a multimeter or non-contact voltage detector. However, most likely you will not be able to see what's wrong with the switch because the ...


16

This should definitely be redone with a standard 14/3 NM-B cable Whoever installed this lightswitch used the first thing they could get their hands on, apparently SPT-2 parallel cordage of some sort, instead of NM cable. As a result, there is no ground in this box at the moment, nor is their a neutral, which is now a requirement to provide at switch ...


16

This is what happens when you randomly tear stuff off the wall without taking pix first. I'm guessing you assume the wire colors are meaningful in some way; colors mean less than than you think, and less than nothing at all in 3-way circuits. That stinks, so get some yellow electrical tape; we need to make colors meaningful. Looking at the 3-way switch ...


12

The bare copper wires are the ground (grounds are either green or bare wires). You need to add the green wire from the dimmer to this bundle in the wirenut. The white wires are probably the neutral, providing a return from the lamp to your electrical panel. If you had a smart switch that needed a neutral connection, you would connect there. Note: this ...


11

Here's a quick diagram. Switch 1 in the first box has 3 wires, and so does switch 2. In this diagram sw1 is "up" and sw2 is "down" so no current flows left to right. Just join the "down" wire on sw2 (the one you don't want) with the wire that proceeds to the light (or from power), disconnect or remove the other "up" wire, and then sw1 is in complete ...


10

You can transition wiring methods at a junction box. Use the EMT wiring method up to the junction box (whole nine yards with fittings and clamps). Then use the NM wiring method beyond it. The junction box must remain accessible without screws, nails or demolition (other than the ones on the junction box lid, of course). If you don't like the aesthetics ...


9

Yes, the correct way to deal with this is to wirenut (or otherwise join in a listed manner) those two wires and a short pigtail together, then connect the pigtail to the new switch.


9

DON'T try random stuff when you get stuck Trying to replace actual knowledge with "throw things at the wall and see what sticks" is a fatal error when dealing with electrical equipment. Why? The entire strategy is based on stopping when you find "the" combination that works. Actually, many combinations will work and also kill you. The only way to avoid ...


9

So your existing fixture (assuming standard US wiring, you'll have to verify) has a hot (black), neutral (white), and ground (bare) and has constant power. The additional lights will need 4 wires - constant hot to travel to the switch (black), a neutral (white) and a switched power that will come back from the switch (red). The existing wire (assuming 14G ...


8

Yes, aside from checking with a tester to make sure the circuit is actually off... there are several subtle issues that frequently catch novices. Don't remove screws all the way - they are captive. After some distance they will start getting stiff. Stop there, don't force them. There's your tab. This $1 outlet was ruined, by soldering (!) and removing ...


7

Not really. You can do that if you only turn on the pump when you're consuming water. You don't want the pump running if no water is moving. You'll wear it out. The point of a pressure switch is to prevent just that, and the point of the pressure tank is to reduce the frequency of pump startups (along with stabilizing pressure during usage).


7

These new smart switches are active devices, and power themselves between supply (their black) and neutral (their white obviously). Therefore they care about the difference between supply (their black) and switched/lamp power (their red). Your old switches didn't care about that. You need the smart-switch black (supply) to go to the bundle of black ...


7

Switches that do something more than just "switch", often require neutral - timers, sensors, smart switches, etc. Ordinary switches do not require neutral. You actually have the opposite of the usual problem - someone who needs neutral but doesn't have it because it was not always required to be available. So your problem is easy to fix! Cap the neutral ...


7

It's your ground wires. They're on top. They're biffing onto a neutral or hot terminal. Also, you need to use the #10-32 screw in the steel box and put a pigtail on that, and join that to the ground wires. Alternately you could use ground clips to attach to the sides of the box. The key here, however, is to push the grounds into the back of the box ...


6

First, a cautionary note: I don't know if there is any code regarding "disposal switch next to light switch". Obviously you have that right now. But two smaller switches is even more "a bit close for comfort". Personally, I am used to the only switch right near a sink being for the disposal. I would be concerned that having two switches next to each other ...


6

Wire nuts are color coded by size. A yellow nut would be fine for 3 wires, but at 5, you'll want to go to a red nut. If it won't stay together without tape, that is bad technique that will cause arcing and fire - fix the technique, don't tape it. That "gray" wire you are seeing is actually black that is poorly tinted or faded. Actual Gray is a middle 50%...


6

Safety First Always: It is very important that anything permanently installed - lights, receptacles, switches, etc. - be properly listed for your area. In the USA, this normally means UL listing. Beware of other marks - CE and many other marks (if legitimate!) do not actually mean the device was tested to meet verify that it meets safety requirements. ...


6

To answer your questions, connect the black and red wires to the switch screws. Do not use the backstabs. Cap the white wire as it's not needed for a regular switch. Connect the ground wire to the green screw terminal on the switch since you have a nonmetal box. Enjoy the simple switch.


5

Recommendation - Replace the Switch A light switch is a very simple, but also inexpensive, item. So (a) they shouldn't go bad very often, but (b) replacement is pretty simple. It is actually quite possible that the problem is not the inside of the switch but rather one of the wires. The wires may be connected via screws (preferred) or through "back-stab" ...


5

It looks like someone has used lamp cord here. It should be pulled out, and redone with Romex, or whatever is legal where you live.


5

These switches are on separate circuits. They must never touch or cross. To really get the picture, it would be nice if there was a divider in that box. It is not possible to put a receptacle on the lamp circuit because it is a switch loop. What else is on the circuit with the disposal? If the hardwired loads on the disposal circuit total 50% or ...


5

The leftmost switch is completely separate, and its wires (including neutrals) need to be kept completely separate. In this case, power comes into the box on one cable, and onward to the lamp on the other cable. Hook that up as you found it, and maintain a "hard wall" (virtual or physical; they make physical partitions for boxes) between those two cables ...


5

Wires that are green, yellow/green stripe, or bare, are always and only Protective Earth aka Equipment Safety Ground*. They must only be connected to each other and never anything else. That makes the green-white splice WRONG, and it should be removed immediately and attached to real ground where it belongs. Protective Earth is always a safety shield, ...


4

Oh no, send that cheap Cheese piece of junk back to Alibaba. Note: The dimming feature not workable for the LED and engergy [sic] saving bulb That is terrible English. They didn't even bother falsifying a mark from a reputable testing lab, they just faked FCC cert (most do) and CE mark (which is only a manufacturer's promise anyway, and falls short of ...


4

I think you hooked up neutral correctly. Stay away from the 3-way switch. Your assumption that cable 2 comes from the panel may be incorrect. Mechanical switches are direction agnostic, they don't care which is supply-hot and which is switched-hot. Smart switches do. The switch needs supply hot on its (presumably) black. Then, it will power up even ...


4

Looking at that old cloth insulation I would guess a short in the box developed when you pushed everything back in, it worked so you know you wired it correctly. With the breaker off, pull the switch back out, you can wrap the cloth with electrical tape but I prefer heat shrink tubing, I usually carry it to make repairs for cases like this, slip it on and ...


4

I cannot answer your questions regarding the wiring and why the lights do not switch on and off. But clearly there is something misunderstood regarding what wires have to hook to what in order to allow this to switch correctly. With that said there are a few things that do require comment here. After removal of the timer box from the wall you just have the ...


4

No listing for UL, ETL or CSA listing just the meaningless CE , I also did not see an FCC certification when trying to look up there noise emmision / band with certification, these things should not be any place other than China.


4

It's not neutral. Neutral wires must be white, but not the other way round. A white wire can be hot if it's in cable. So think about the meaning of this. If you see a bundle wire-nutted together, and even one wire is non-white, what does it mean about the whites in that bundle? It means they cannot possibly be neutral. They are hot. "Hot" includes ...


4

Hard to tell for sure, but what it sounds like you have is: A common hot wire going to both switches. That is not always the case, because you could have two different circuits, one for each switch. But more typical is what you have - power for the 2 switches coming in together (possibly chained to the GFCI outlet you mentioned, but can't tell for sure - ...


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