Question: switch on neutral


  #1  
Old 05-03-21, 10:06 PM
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Question: switch on neutral

I'm trying to diagnose which switches in my kitchen are wired to the neutral and not the live.

When switch is off I get 120V from terminal 1 to ground and 0V from terminal 2 to ground. I get 120V between terminal 1 and 2. That's what I'd see if the switch were on the live side or neutral side, right?

When it's switched on (and the light is on), I get 0V between term1-term2, 0V between term1-ground, 0V between term2-ground.

Does this mean it's switched on the neutral side or can I not tell at the switch. I know I could check at the light fixture when it's off, but it's very hard to reach.

 
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Old 05-04-21, 12:08 AM
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Yes...... the switch is in the neutral line.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 10:21 AM
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How old is the wiring and how old is your house?

1960's and later, it's probably just miswired.
Earlier than that, could be miswired, or they could be doing weird things like a California 3-way or sharing neutrals in other weird ways. Electricians were quite creative back then to save some wire.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 10:59 AM
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I think it was done in the last 15 years when the panel was upgraded from 60A to 200A. The original house was wired in the 40s but I'm not seeing much, if any, wiring that looks older than 20 years.

Several of the switches seem to be on the neutral and I can't figure out why. The previous owner may have DIYed it and he was from the UK if that's relevant.

The odd thing is that the switched outlets, like the garbage disposal, seem to be wired properly; The hot is off when the switch is off. But the light fixtures all have 120V on the hot when the switch is off.
 
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Old 05-04-21, 05:05 PM
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But the light fixtures all have 120V on the hot when the switch is off.
To me that's the best indicator that the neutral is being switched.
 
 

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