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Wiring smart switch, confused about mishmash of wires in box

Wiring smart switch, confused about mishmash of wires in box

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  #1  
Old 09-21-20, 04:04 PM
J
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Wiring smart switch, confused about mishmash of wires in box

Hey all! I'm trying to install a smart switch to control my 3 outdoor lights. 2 wall lights and a lamp in the yard. The house was built in 53, so I assumed there wouldn't be a neutral in the box, so I picked up a GE switch that doesn't require one. The switch shares a box with another that controls the hall light. Upon opening it up I found something more complicated than expected. The left switch, which controls the outdoor lights has 3 black wires coming in and bundled down to one black wire into the switch. There is then a second black wire coming from the outdoor switch that attaches to the right hand switch that controls the hall light, and then that switch has a red wire AND a black wire coming in. To top it all off, there are 4 white wires taped off in the back of the box. Are those neutral? I'd like to replace the hall light switch as well, but I think I'll need to get a different kind of switch as I only bought a single pole paddle switch. I'll attach photos and a diagram below of the setup. Can anyone help me make sense of what I need to do to change the two switches?




 

Last edited by PJmax; 09-21-20 at 04:48 PM. Reason: resizesd/labeled pics
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  #2  
Old 09-21-20, 04:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You've got the ideal set of conductors there for what you want to do. The problem is #1 that box is too small to get two wifi switches in and #2 those wires are cloth covered and the insulation will crack and fall off if you move them more than a little bit.

Those white wires are neutral. Those splice are soldered and can't be opened.
I added labels to your picture denoting wire function.
 
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Old 09-21-20, 06:49 PM
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Hey Pete. Thanks! I only want to replace the left switch with a smart switch. The hall light switch was going to just a regular rocker switch so they share the same look.

With the understanding that I’ll have to have it rewired if I damage the insulation, and assuming the two switches will fit, can I just peel off one of the neutral wires for the smart switch, or do I need to do similar to the spliced wire and combine the 3 coming from the outside lights to one and use that?
 
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Old 09-21-20, 07:16 PM
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You need to keep all white wires combined and attach the white wires from the smart switches if they have one.
 
  #5  
Old 09-22-20, 03:41 PM
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If you still have those old switches can you send them my way? I love those old switches back when things were made with quality and pride in workmen ship I can pay shipping if you need me to
Thanks Those are old Arrow Hart switches
 
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Old 09-22-20, 04:35 PM
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Arrow Hart products..... at one time.... proudly made in the USA.
 
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Old 09-22-20, 05:26 PM
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Yep that is why I want them for my collection of vintage quality electrical wiring devices. I can't even count how many times electrical wiring products have changed hands merged or got bought out there are only a few left
Leviton
Acurity Brands
Eaton
Schnider Electric
feel free to chime in if I forgot some
 
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