Old house, no neutral wire

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Old 04-09-16, 08:26 PM
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Old house, no neutral wire

So I have a two switch box on the wall, one controls an outlet inside and one controls a porch light. Each switch just connects to a black and white wire, I assume leading back to each load. I would like to change the outlet to always on, and somehow give the other switch a neutral so I can hook up one of the new Z-Wave controllers. I have very basic electrical knowledge, but I was thinking I could possibly bypass the switch that I want always on by directly connecting the black and white for that load, and then use that as a neutral for the other switch. I could be totally wrong, and it may be much more involved than that, but I wanted to know if there was anyway I can use this current setup for my desired setup. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-09-16, 09:29 PM
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At the receptacle you probably have a white wire connected to a black wire. If standard wiring convention is followed. The cable whose black wire is connected to white is the power in. And the cable whose white wire is connected to the black is the switch loop.

So what you want to do is change the switch loop cable to power in at the switch box.

At the light you have a similar switch loop. Here you want to cap off (not use) the power in cable. At the switch box you would use the former switch loop to carry power to the light.

In other words you change the cable from the receptacle to power in and the cable to the light to power out.

It has to be done this way because you can't just grab a neutral from another circuit to use.

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Note: If you do not have a ceiling light in the room with the switched receptacle it may be a code violation to make the receptacle always hot.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-09-16 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 04-10-16, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the response! So I think my setup is a bit different than what you're showing. The bottom left box which you labeled as the power source in my case is actually where the switches are. The power in must be in the receptacles themselves, which I don't want to change, I just want to change it at the switch box itself. So I have the X10 switch, which I want always on (bypass the switch and connect the black and white directly), and I need a neutral (so load, line and neutral, where I currently only have a 2 conductor cable) for the other switch which currently connects to that light. And according to your note, I don't have any other lights besides those controlled by the outlet, so I may be breaking code. It sounds like this may not be possible w/the current setup?
 
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Old 04-10-16, 12:13 PM
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I may be breaking code. It sounds like this may not be possible w/the current setup?
That is correct. You need to change the 2-conductor cable from the light to a three conductor cable or second option would be bring power from a nearby receptacle to the switch box and abandon the power in cable at the light.
 
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