no neutral in switch


Old 11-02-08, 07:40 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ottawa
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no neutral in switch


I recently moved into a 100 year old house in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. No knob n tube, but in investigating an old "24 hour timer" for the front light, it appears there is no neutral wire present in the box for the front light.

The wire that comes into the switch is a really fat wire casing, 3/4inch think or so, and it appears as there is only ONE copper wire within it. It goes into this old canadian tire "timer" thing i can't figure out, so i wanted to replace it. However, it seems this likely can't happen as the neutral likely goes straight to the light and bypasses the switch box - was this common in the past (or now for that matter)?

I got a new digital timer switch, but it wants power/neutral/ground. I guess this won't work without significant re-wiring Let me know if you have thoughts, thanks,

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Old 11-02-08, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA
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In the U.S., at least, it is common to run only the hot wire to the switch, and then run a switch leg to the fixture. The neutral should not be switched.

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