Trouble Identifying Wires (pics included)

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-28-11, 07:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Trouble Identifying Wires (pics included)

Below are 2 different light switches. 1 is larger and has an LED pad on it for lighting up when the switch is turned OFF. and the other switch is your basic single switch (came with the house).

all of the wires seem to be colored black and i can't figure out what goes where.

You'll also notice two wires on the older switch inserting themselves awefully close together. In actuality, 1 wire is wrapped around the screw - the other is inserted into a "push in, push out" type of device within the electrical socket.

Please help me identify them!











 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-28-11, 09:24 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
What is the brand and model of the new switch?

Do you have a wiring diagram for the new switch?

Or can you tell us what the instructions say to connect to which screw?

And can you post a picture of the other wires in that electrical box where the old switch is?
 
  #3  
Old 12-29-11, 03:37 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Looks to me the new switch is a 3 way switch, where you only need a spst switch to operate what you have with the old one. Like Bill said, let us know what the package says.
 
  #4  
Old 12-29-11, 04:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,269
Are the 3 bottom photos of the same switch? Does the new switch require a neutral wire to operate?

As a matter of observation, the close up photo of the old switch showing the wires connected under the screws reveals that the wires are "hooked" in the wrong direction. Hooks should be installed clock wise under the screw head.
 
  #5  
Old 12-29-11, 05:13 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Hope this helps.

I'm pretty sure I could install this easily myself if only the 3 black wires were NOT all black!













 
  #6  
Old 12-29-11, 05:21 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,507
Looks like you need to attach one of those neutrals in the box to your switch.
 
  #7  
Old 12-29-11, 05:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3
I would LOVE to do just that.

My dilemma(stated in the original post and each post thereafter) is that I can not tell which wire is neutral, which wire is hot, which wire is ground.
 
  #8  
Old 12-29-11, 05:51 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,507
The blacks are the hot, the neutrals are that bundle of whites and there looks to be some bare copper ground wire in there.

Given that the neutrals are all nutted together, I'd just run a pigtail to the switch.
 
  #9  
Old 12-29-11, 06:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,374
The two black wires that are connected together on the existing switch need connect to the "Hot" screw on the new switch (black screw), and the single black wire (other screw of existing switch) goes to the "Load" screw (gold screw). You will then need to pigtail a white/neutral wire with the white wires inside the box and connect this new wire to the "neutral" screw (silver screw) of the new switch. That's it. Note that you made need to pigtail the two black "hot" wires as well if the new switch does not have a hole and screw to connect to.
 
  #10  
Old 12-29-11, 06:54 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Turn off power before doing any work of course.

I would put the two black wires from the old switch (which are connected to same screw)... to the new switch on the left side black screw. (I am guessing that these are always hot and the second black wire goes to something else like an outlet in the area of that switch.)

It looks like you can loosen the screw on the new switch, then that metal plate comes up, then two wires (straight) would go under that metal piece. Then screw down screw pressing the plate against the wires.

And other black wire to load.

Connect a new short length white wire of the same size/gauge wire to the white wires in the electrical box, then to the neutral connection on the new switch.

And then bare ground to ground. Use a new length of ground wire to connect to the other grounds.

And I would clean out that mess of plaster in the bottom of that electrical box!

Use "wire nuts" for the new neutral and ground wire connections in the box. You may be able to get a 1 ft. length of 12 gauge or 14 gauge (or both) "romex" wire at a hardware store. Then cut it open and use the white wire and ground wire from that to make your connections.

I can't tell what size wire that is. Could be 12 or 14 gauge. Maybe someone else has better eyes?
 
  #11  
Old 12-29-11, 11:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Near Philly
Posts: 553
In post#5, the second to last picture of the box and wiring; it looks like there is a black with no insulation lying loose in the box. Is this another loose wire or from one of the switches?
Needs to be addressed.
 
  #12  
Old 12-29-11, 04:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 3,374
Ok, sorry,forgot to mention the ground wire. I would hope he can take it from here. No need to post redundant information
 
  #13  
Old 12-30-11, 06:40 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,349
The two blacks close together are a power in and a power hot to another part of the circuit. The black are the other screw of the switch is the switch controlled hot to the fixture.

Both are single pole switches. The new one just has dimming capabilities and the LED nightlight.
 
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
'