3 way light switch question

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-13-21, 08:49 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
3 way light switch question

I have a hallway light controlled by a 3 way that I want to put a smart switch in. I have the TP-link Kasa kit which only requires one of the switches to be smart if it can be connected to the line wire (which would allow the kit to replace two sets of 3 way switches instead of one!).
When I pull the switches this is what I see. I'll be figuring out which is line and load once my baby wakes up but my my question is - can I assume in the box with the black and white wire capped together that those are neutrals?
Every other box in the home had a neutral bundle stuffed into the back so this one is confusing me with the black and white capped together.
Thanks!



 
  #2  
Old 01-13-21, 09:21 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,719
Received 295 Votes on 254 Posts
You do NOT have a neutral in those switch boxes. You have a switch loop. The white is power into the switch and the black is switched power back to the lights.
If your switch requires a neutral you can't use it unless you pull new cables.
 
  #3  
Old 01-13-21, 10:43 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK thanks for the reply.

Do you know an alternative 3way no neutral smart switch that does NOT require an additional bridge or hub?
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-21, 11:07 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 988
Received 69 Votes on 59 Posts
Check at the other 3-way switch location. Since the switch you showed is connected to the light fixture (the black/white connection) the other switch has to have the power connection. If the power originates there then the neutral should be there also.

If the power originates at the fixture the neutral may end there and may not be in either switch box.

In a 3-way switch circuit the common screw of one switch is connected to the power and the common screw of the other connects to the fixture.

The sketch in Post #18 of this thread illustrates 3-way/4-way circuits and power at fixture.

 
  #5  
Old 01-13-21, 01:46 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I should clarify that the two pictures are of two DIFFERENT switch boxes in the 3 way circuit if that changes anything.
In one box is just 3 wires going directly to the switch.
In the other box are 3 wires going into the switch and two separate wires (black and white) capped together.
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-21, 02:17 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,719
Received 295 Votes on 254 Posts
It changes nothing. There is no neutral at either switch.
 
2john02458 voted this post useful.
  #7  
Old 01-13-21, 06:26 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,786
Received 1,324 Votes on 1,224 Posts
joed is correct.

The second switch is called a dead end 3w switch since there is only a 3 wire cable there.

There are a few smart switches.....actually smart dimmers..... that don't need a neutral.
They're in the link below. I do use the Lutron Caseta but it requires a Lutron hub.

Some smart switches not needing a neutral.
 
2john02458 voted this post useful.
 

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