Hot White Wire?

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-29-05, 08:43 AM
leobob
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hot White Wire?

I am changing a old light switch (50-60 years) with the old copper wire covered with fabric. I tested the wires before turning off the circuit and the white wire was hot not the black. It's an old Bryant switch with two screws in the front not the sides with the white wire fastened to the left screw (from the perspective of looking at the front of the switch). Have not seen this elsewhere in the house so far. What should I do?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-29-05, 08:44 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Nothing. In a switch loop of normal NM or UF cable the white wire should be always hot, and the black wire is switched hot.
 
  #3  
Old 11-29-05, 09:06 AM
leobob
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Then how should I hook up the new switch? The black wire to the brass screw or the hot white wire to the brass screw?

Also as a general question, if you miss wire a switch. Does it just not work or can you do damage? Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 11-29-05, 09:23 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
A regular 2 way (on/off) toggle switch has two screws for the wires plus a ground screw. The ground screw is green and is usually visually connected to the metal frame of the switch. The other two screws are black, silver, brass, or whatever, but NOT green. On these switches it makes no difference which way you connect the always hot and switched hot wires.
 
  #5  
Old 11-29-05, 09:25 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
In almost all electrical replacement projects, connecting the new thing exactly as the old thing was connected is the correct strategy. This usually works even if you don't understand anything about how or why the old thing was connected, and whatever the "thing" is. Lots of people get into trouble when they think they see a "problem", or when they think they have a "better" idea. The general adage is that if you don't understand something, leave it alone!

So the answer to your question is yes.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'