switch problem


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Old 01-30-09, 09:59 AM
C
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Cool switch problem

I just hung a chandelier in a room where there was no existing overhead light. I ran a romex (NM) wire from the fixture down through the wall, and added a switch next to an existing 3-way switch that controls a half-hot outlet. I stole the hot wire from the 3-way switch.
My problem is that the house is wired using conduit instead of romex, so it is wired a little differently than I am used to. There are 4 wires in the conduit to the 3-way switch, 2 orange, a black and a grey. The black and 2 orange wires all go to the switch. The grey wire is just capped and is unused. I connected my new switch to the black existing wire by using a pigtail. However, I cannot seem to locate a neutral wire. I have tried both orange wires and even the non-used grey, but nothing seems to work. My thought is that the neutral wire bypassed the switch and went directly to the outlet. If that is the case, where do I get the neutral wire for my new switch?
 
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Old 01-30-09, 01:04 PM
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Using an analog multimeter or test light check for voltage between the wire to the odd colored screw on the switch and the gray wire. Check it with the other switch in both positions. I doubt you can do what you are trying but it is a possibility.
 
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Old 01-30-09, 03:54 PM
J
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The gray wire should be the neutral, but, as Ray implied, it's possible that none of the other three wires are unswitched hot. Conduct the two tests Ray suggested. The "odd colored" screw should be the one the black wire connects to.

Here's some unsolicited advice. If you don't know that an orange wire cannot possibly be a neutral, then you haven't studied enough to do this project safely. Please, for your sake and the sake of your family, read a few books on home wiring before continuing.
 
 

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