Single pole light switch

Old 01-20-23, 02:54 PM
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Single pole light switch

Hello. I replaced a switch. The original worked fine it was just dirty and painted on. The new switch failed to work. Replaced it the same as the old one. I took it off to check power. Black has power but for some reason the white wire and only the white wire ,when touching the box turns the lights on. This only happens when the box is grounded. Once the ground is removed , the white no longer does this. I'm not understanding the issue. I checked all other connections in the lights and receptacles and it is all good. What is happening here. I would really appreciate some feed back. thanks
Old 01-21-23, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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The original worked fine it was just dirty and painted on.
How old is the house and wiring?

It is possible that the neutral is being switched. This could happen if the original wiring is knob-and-tube or if someone mis-wired the switch leg of the circuit.

If only two wires in the box for the switch, the white should be power from the light fixture box to the switch and the black should be the switched power back to the light. If more than 2 wires in the box, we would need more information.

If your white was power, touching it to ground would trip the breaker.

Lighting the fixture by touching the white wire to ground duplicates the neutral-ground bonding that takes place at the panel and is unsafe and not to code.
PJmax voted this post useful.

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