Help installing new switch


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Old 11-17-16, 08:41 AM
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Help installing new switch

I'm trying to install a new "smart" light switch. The new switch has two black wires, a white neutral wire (mandatory), and a green ground wire (optional). I pulled out the old standard rocker switch and it is connected by three wires (2 black and 1 white-ish wire in the wall). The two black wires are "bundled" together and screwed together into one screw of the old switch, and the white-ish wire is screwed into the other screw of the old switch. Based on this setup, what do these wires in the wall represent and how can I connect my new switch? I am thinking common sense dictates that the two black wires will now connect (separately) to the two black wires of the new switch and the white-ish wire will now connect to the white ground wire of the new switch. Any thoughts? I'm just confused as to the two black wires being bundled together.

Edit: to clarify, this switch is not controlling a light fixture in the ceiling. It is controlling an outlet that is powering two desk lamps.
 
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Old 11-17-16, 08:58 AM
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You switch was incorrectly wired with two wires under one screw head. They should have pigtailed the wires.

You do not have a neutral at the switch location. The smart switch will not work with your setup.
 
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Old 11-17-16, 09:20 AM
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Is this a safety concern that I should fix? I have no idea what pigtailing is, but I will learn, if necessary. Also, any easy way to add a neutral?
 
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Old 11-17-16, 09:43 AM
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If you have a cable and there are two black wires there would be two white wires. Check inside the box again.
 
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Old 11-17-16, 11:08 AM
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I'll check tonight but I don't think so. In any event, why would there be two white wires and only one connected to the switch? If there are two white wires, does that help me connecting this new switch?
 
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Old 11-17-16, 11:16 AM
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Let's start with what you actually have available to you. I don't want to answer your question and further confuse you by talking about things like switch loops.
 
 

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