Wiring Question

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-04-18, 07:44 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wiring Question

I have a fan switch that has a green ground wire, a red wire stuck into the back, a red wire wrapped around a screw, a black wire stuck into the back and a black wire wrapped around a screw. I'm trying to replace it with a smart switch. I bought a switch but it didn't have enough holes in the back to accommodate all the wires so I returned it. Am I correct that this switch is in the middle of a circuit? All the switches say that I need a neutral wire. I don't think I have one. Also, they all require a single pole, whatever that is. Does anyone know of a smart switch that would work with my configuration? Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 07-04-18, 09:18 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,550
Received 92 Votes on 80 Posts
That is a bit strange setup.
Is this just a fan or fan and light? What kind of switch is it?
A picture will be very helpful.

As for the neutral, do you see a set of white wires in the junction box tied together? If so, that is the neutral.
Green wire from the smart switch is ground, which is connected to a barewire.
 
  #3  
Old 07-07-18, 10:16 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi. On closer inspection it looks like there is a ground, there is a black on one of the brass screws, there is a black stuck into the back (I tried pulling it out; doesn't budge. Not sure what is holding it in there.). There is a red stuck in the back and another black with white paint on the other brass screw. Also, this is only a fan. No light. Like I said, the smart switch that I bought only had four holes, one black, one white, one green and one red, if memory serves. Not enough holes. I have a picture of the switch here:


Name:  Switch_x.jpg
Views: 145
Size:  94.0 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-07-18 at 02:07 PM. Reason: labeled picture
  #4  
Old 07-07-18, 11:45 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
Received 103 Votes on 89 Posts
The holes are electrically the same as the screws, just less reliable .

You should only have one wire under a screw head.

A piece of spring material is holding the wire in the back. There is a slot below the hole to release the wire.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 07-07-18 at 12:03 PM. Reason: corectted typo
  #5  
Old 07-07-18, 02:10 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
I labeled your picture. The two hot wires need to be combined to go to the black wire of a smart switch. The red and black load wires get combined and go to the red/load wire of the smart switch. The neutral is that bundle of white wires with the yellow wire nut.
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-18, 01:30 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks. So basically I just remove the two black wires, add a third wire, wire nut them all together and then attach that third wire to the black smart switch slot Then do the same with the red and black. Isn't the ground the unshielded wire that is attached to the silver screw on the switch? Can I go to HD and buy a foot of wire? Which gauge should I look for? Thanks again.
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-18, 07:46 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
That is #14 solid wire. Most home improvement stores have stranded wiring on bulk reels. You can use stranded but it's a little more difficult. They may have cutoffs you can buy for peanuts. You could get a piece of 14-2 romex and strip out the black.

Yes.... the ground is the bare copper wire.
 
  #8  
Old 07-08-18, 08:38 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,550
Received 92 Votes on 80 Posts
two black wires, add a third wire, wire nut them all together and then attach that third wire to the black smart switch slot Then do the same with the red and black.
Basically, yes. But what I am finding strange is there are 2 wires on the load side.
It is possible it was wired for fan/light, but since you don't have both fan and light, both are just connected to the load. Do both wires come from same cable? (Same bundle)
If not, it is also possible you have an outlet that is controlled by the switch as well.

You can buy a foot of 14 AWG THHN solid black wire and 2 wires nuts (yellow one will do) for pigtails. No need to buy whole cable. But, if you have some laying around you can just strip and use black wire out of it.

HD usually have some left over or wrong cuts for sale, but still will charge about as much as buying it per foot and will be cheaper to buy just what you need.
 
  #9  
Old 07-14-18, 11:49 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi everyone. I received the smart switch today and installed it. Works great. Thanks for everyone's help!
 
  #10  
Old 07-14-18, 11:54 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
Good job. Thanks for letting us know how you made out.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: