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How to Identify Hot and Neutral with this Wiring (Pic Attached)

How to Identify Hot and Neutral with this Wiring (Pic Attached)

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  #1  
Old 11-30-13, 12:51 PM
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How to Identify Hot and Neutral with this Wiring (Pic Attached)

So I have 3 lutron diva dimmer switches, and I am trying to replace the one hanging the lowest in this picture, putting in its place a honeywell programmable switch), which has a blue, black, and white (says neutral required on box).

I figured I would just take out the lutron diva switch and see where the hot and neutral was connected, but the lutron diva switch has both black wires, and it is connected to just black wires, so I do not know which is hot and which is neutral to install my new honeywell switch. Any ideas on what to do?

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  #2  
Old 11-30-13, 02:04 PM
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You need to separate the blue wire nut from the yellow one.
Don't disconnect anything just spread them apart.

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Will update pic when the wiring can be seen clearer.
 
  #3  
Old 11-30-13, 02:15 PM
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RED ALERT!!!

That is not a proper box for high voltage wiring, that is a low voltage ring. This is a major code violation and needs to be replaced ASAP!

Since it is a remodel box replacing it with a proper 3 gang remodel box shouldn't be a big deal. However I see what appears to be white thing (block?) which looks like it is limiting the depth. I'm guessing you have a 2" space from the face of the drywall to the face of the white thingy?
 
  #4  
Old 11-30-13, 03:57 PM
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Why is this against code? I noticed in my house, most of my outlets are old work-remodel plastic boxes. I didn't put them there but didn't know it was against code. I do not know about the white thing, I will have to open it up again to take a look. Regardless for right now, please help me with the wiring if possible, based on this closer picture to help identify where I need to plug the blue, white, and black on my new honeywell programmble switch. So therefore, I'm trying to figure out where the current hot is.

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  #5  
Old 11-30-13, 04:18 PM
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Why is this against code? I noticed in my house, most of my outlets are old work-remodel plastic boxes. I didn't put them there but didn't know it was against code.

The issue isn't whether it is made of plastic or not. What you have there now is not a box but a low voltage device ring. The low voltage rings have no back on them. A box is fully enclosed and rated for line voltage.
You need to replace the ring with a proper box.
 
  #6  
Old 11-30-13, 04:30 PM
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I don't think it is a low voltage box, but a line voltage box with the back cut out to accommodate the thin wall space. Low voltage boxes are often orange in color.

Jag, from what I can tell the black wires under the yellow cap on the right side of the picture, commingled with the blue one is the hot bunch. You can test it with a multimeter from neutral to the wires under that cap to be sure.

Your white wire will go to the neutral bundle in the back of the box. Wherever your manufacturer says to hook the hot lead, do that under the yellow cap, once you have assured yourself it is the hot bundle, then the blue wire will go to the fixture. Which switch are you replacing?
 
  #7  
Old 11-30-13, 04:53 PM
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Im replacing the switch that is the lowest in the picture. Its the furthest switch to the right in the picture.

Okay so on my new switch the blue wire needs to connect to the load, the black needs to go to the line, and the white needs go to the neutral.

So, I understand the white needs to go to the white wire neutral bundle in the back, now where should the blue and black wire go. Thanks for your help guys!
 
  #8  
Old 11-30-13, 05:36 PM
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Above this switch it appears the blue capped wires come from your switch and go back into the wall into oblivion somewhere. My bet would be that is LOAD. The wires in the yellow cap adjacent to it appear to feed all the switches, and would be the hot wire. You need to get a multimeter, check across neutral to the wires under the yellow cap. They are most likely hot. Once you have found the hot wire, connect your black wire there under that cap, once you have removed the wire to the defunct switch. The other wire from the defunct switch goes to the blue cap and should be load. Without testing with a multimeter, we are only guessing. You'll have to do that on your own.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 06:40 PM
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I don't think it is a low voltage box, but a line voltage box with the back cut out to accommodate the thin wall space. Low voltage boxes are often orange in color.
Chandler, is it possible this wall was framed with 2X2s instead of 2X4s? I've seen several houses with 2X2 interior partition walls built back in the '70s this way.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 06:44 PM
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Can you please separate the blue wire nut from the yellow one.

This wiring looks like a science experiment.
 
  #11  
Old 12-01-13, 12:41 PM
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I don't know if this will help at all, as yes this wiring really does look like a science experiment, but all thoughts would be appreciated.

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  #12  
Old 12-01-13, 01:10 PM
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I think I am seeing part of a metal box behind the blue ring or box. I am suspecting that a single or two gang ring was converted to a 3 gang using the blue "adapter".
 
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Old 12-01-13, 06:04 PM
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I believe you are correct PCboss. My is this a can of worms! I think Chandler is correct (Cut off remodel box) as I have never seen a 3 gang Low voltage remodel box in the big box store. I hope the OP has good insurance.
 
  #14  
Old 12-01-13, 06:25 PM
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Based on these newer pictures does anyone actually have an idea as to where the wires for my new switch should be connected. My new switch has a blue wire needs to connect to the load, the black needs to go to the line, and the white needs go to the neutral.

Otherwise, I guess I will unnecessarily have to pay an electrician to come in, but I can easily hook it up if I knew where the wires needed to go.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 06:56 PM
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Based on these newer pictures does anyone actually have an idea as to where the wires for my new switch should be connected. My new switch has a blue wire needs to connect to the load, the black needs to go to the line, and the white needs go to the neutral.

Otherwise, I guess I will unnecessarily have to pay an electrician to come in, but I can easily hook it up if I knew where the wires needed to go.
Chandler has advised you twice on how to hookup your switch .
 
  #16  
Old 12-01-13, 07:04 PM
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Yes, I just wasn't sure if anything changed based on the newer more detailed pictures. Sorry if I have been an annoyance
 
  #17  
Old 12-01-13, 07:16 PM
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No annoyance. Just hook it up and let us see the light! We're here. And we don't sleep.
 
  #18  
Old 12-01-13, 08:00 PM
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Thanks for your help everyone!!! Chandler your wiring advice was PERFECT. (Need to replace my cracked wall plate

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  #19  
Old 12-01-13, 08:30 PM
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Rock and roll .....................
 
  #20  
Old 12-01-13, 08:37 PM
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When you pick up a replacement plate get one in unbreakable nylon instead of the plastic one like you have there.
 
  #21  
Old 12-02-13, 07:50 AM
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I think I am seeing part of a metal box behind the blue ring or box. I am suspecting that a single or two gang ring was converted to a 3 gang using the blue "adapter".
I have to agree with pcboss on this. It appears there may be part of a metal box on the right side and that a PVC box extender has been used to create a half-fast 3 gang box with a piece of white material being inserted to create a back behind the extension. I am looking at the first picture in post #11 and see at the top left a white NM cable enters the enclosed area from above. There does not appear to be any kind of K.O. or opening for the cable to properly enter the box/enclosed area. Looks like a real hack job to me.
 
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