Help installing a single pole pilot light switch

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Old 11-28-11, 08:16 AM
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Help installing a single pole pilot light switch

I am replaing a single pole light switch with another one that has a pilot light (for garage). Electrical box only has one set of wires (1 black, 1 white and a ground). The switch has 2 black screws on left, and 1 brass and 1 silver on the right. Followed diagram on the wiring, but can only either get the pilot light to illuminate or the garage light to come on, but not both. No diagram for wiring with only 1 black and 1 white can seem to be found anywhere.... Please help Thanks....
 
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Old 11-28-11, 09:16 AM
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and 1 silver on the right
That silver is for a neutral.
Electrical box only has one set of wires (1 black, 1 white and a ground)
Which means you have a switch loop and no neutral. That white wire is not a neutral and should have been re-designated black, or red or any color but green, gray, or white. You need to buy a switch that does not use neutral.

Note pilot light switches with out a neutral are best used with incandescent lights only.
 
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Old 11-28-11, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I will return this switch then. My garage lights are fluorescent... Will that cause a problem?
 
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Old 11-28-11, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave N. View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I will return this switch then. My garage lights are fluorescent... Will that cause a problem?
It will shorten the life of the ballast, the bulbs may glow dimly or flicker when off. Since this is a garage I would suggest instead of returning the switch you replace the 12-2 cable to the switch with 12-3. That way you will have the needed neutral.
 
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