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Trouble finding a neutral wire in electrical box for overhead light

Trouble finding a neutral wire in electrical box for overhead light

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  #1  
Old 08-23-15, 05:46 PM
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Question Trouble finding a neutral wire in electrical box for overhead light

Hello, sorry, I wish I knew more about electrical, I'm not sure how to approach this:

I'm installing Insteon switches in my house which require connection to a neutral wire.

I've got one switch so far that's giving me troubles.

Of course it's a switch installed into a little hole in the granite of my bar that's hard for me to assess. It's for overhead lights at that bar.

In the electrical box, there is only a single sheath of wires, which has a copper wire (ground), and a black and white wire (I can go test if I need, I assume one is the hot wire and the other goes to the lights). All connected to the switch.

There are no other wires I can see in this box and I can't get the box out to look behind or around it. And I'm not getting much slack to pull the sheath all the way out of the box.

All other boxes I've opened essentially have two of these sheaths per switch with the black wires being lines/loads connected to the switches and then the whites are neutral and all bundled in the back of the box.

Is there a logic to this one box?

1. Like, if I get a dremel or something and cut this box out, do you think there's another bundle of wires back there? But, if I do that, is there a hazard since I won't be able to get an enclosed box back into it?

2. Or, if I can pull this sheath out further and strip the plastic, you think there should be a 4th wire in the bundle just clipped off and I can't see it?

3. Or did someone do something weird and there's just NOT going to be a neutral wire in this box? Which is what I'm thinking because the builders did all kinds of corner cutting on this house...

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-23-15, 05:54 PM
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Is there a logic to this one box?
Yes, you have a switch loop. There is no neutral in the box.

1) No.

2) No.

3) Yes, but this is not cutting corners. Switch loops have been done for many, many years and has only just recently been changed in the code for the exact reason you are finding. Manufactures are coming out with these "smart" switches that need their own power to operate so Code now requires a neutral in each box.

Your only options are to run a new cable to get a neutral into the box some how, or find another switch.
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-15, 06:15 PM
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I see. Thanks.

I don't think there is any way for me to run something into this. I'll have to think about this one... Again, thanks for the very clear answer.

Addendum:

I think this will work here:

SWITCHLINC 2-WIRE DIMMER - INSTEON 2474DWH REMOTE CONTROL DIMMER (RF)
 

Last edited by DrGerm; 08-23-15 at 06:42 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-23-15, 06:58 PM
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Yes, it appears that switch will work.
 
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