Does black or white go to switch?

In the first switch box (the box where the power comes in), you’ll see eight wires. Two white (neutral wires) will be connected and covered with a wire nut. A black wire will be connected to a black or copper screw terminal—this is the “common” wire—and you must distinguish it from the other wires.

Does it matter how you wire a light switch?

In the case of a single-pole switch, these wires are interchangeable—it doesn’t make any difference which wire is attached to which screw terminal. Inside the switch is a metal pathway that closes when the switch is in the ON position and opens to interrupt the flow of power when the switch is turned OFF.

What do you do with the white wire on a light switch?

The white or neutral wire bypasses the switch and goes straight to your lights. This wire is needed to complete the circuit. The ground wire (sometimes in a green jacket) should be connected to your switch and to your lights.

What happens if you wire a switch wrong?

If you damage the wires during installation, you could break the switch, or the wires could come loose. Loose wires present a danger when changing the light switch. Thirdly, you could create a short circuit in the switch. A short circuit can cause the breaker or fuse to pop.

Would the circuit still work if you used the white wire for power and black for neutral?

Although neutral, these wires still may carry a current, especially an unbalanced load, so handle with caution. If you see a white wire marked with black or red (or a piece of black or red electrical tape at its ends), that means it’s acting as a hot wire and is no longer neutral.

How do I wire a red black and white wire to a light switch?

Quote from the video:
Quote from Youtube video: You connect the remaining wire that goes to the light to the red wire on the. Control. Finally connect the white wire to the neutral wires in your wall.

Where does the black wire go on a light switch?

Wrap your black wire clockwise around one of the brass screws. By wrapping clockwise (the same direction the screw turns), you ensure the wire’s connection will tighten when the screw is tightened.

What is the black wire in a light switch?


The black wire is the “hot” wire, it carries the electricity from the breaker panel into the switch or light source. The white wire is the “neutral” wire, it takes any unused electricity and current and sends it back to the breaker panel.

Does positive and negative matter on a light switch?

The circuit works the same no matter where you put the switch. Part of the electrical code (for house wiring) says that the switch should always go between the hot conductor and the load. This is for safety.

Does it matter if you wire a light switch backwards?

The outlet will still work if you connect the circuit wires to the wrong terminals, but the polarity will be backward. When this happens, a lamp will have its bulb sleeve energized instead of the small tab inside the sockets.

Can wiring a light switch wrong cause a fire?

Usually, a broken or failing light switch isn’t a fire hazard itself, but it can overheat if the contacts or the switch wear down. Sometimes a bad light switch can cause other components on the circuit, such as a bulb, to become a fire hazard by causing an intermittent current.

What happens if the live and neutral wires are swapped?

There would be a shock hazard, and some devices might not work correctly. Depending on where exactly the wires are flipped, ground fault detecting circuit breakers may become ineffective. All around, this is a bad idea.

What happens if white and black wires are reversed?

If your outlet’s polarity is reversed, it means that the neutral wire is connected to where the hot wire is supposed to be. This may not sound like a terrible thing, but it is. There is always electricity flowing out of an outlet with reversed polarity, even if an appliance is supposed to be off. Why is it dangerous?

Can you use a neutral wire as a hot wire?

Furthermore, neutral wires can be used as a hot wire if both ends are clearly marked with colored electrical tape (black or red) that corresponds to its repurposed function. In either case, handle them the same way you would a hot wire, and take the same safety precautions.

Can a white wire be used as a black wire?

While white wiring is permitted— only when clearly marked with black or white tape—using any other color for a wire carrying current is strongly discouraged. This may pose a serious safety hazard that could result in death.

What happens if black and white wires touch?

A short circuit happens when a “hot” wire (black) touches another hot wire or touches a “neutral” wire (white) in one of your outlets. When these two wires touch, a large amount of current flows, creating more heat than the circuit can handle, so it shuts off.

Can you use white wire as hot?

Even though you are permitted to use a white wire as a hot wire by marking it with electrical tape, the opposite is not recommended or allowed. In other words, do not use a black wire as a neutral or ground wire, or for any purpose other than for carrying live electrical loads.

Do you need a neutral wire for a light switch?

In the case of smart light switches, they typically require a neutral wire because they need to be powered all the time. The neutral wire allows the circuit to be completed and the switch to be powered on. This is true even when you have a smart light switch in the “off” position.

Can I use a neutral from another circuit?

No, you can’t steal a neutral wire from another circuit. Each neutral wire is the return for the corresponding hot. If you “steal” a neutral from another circuit you run the risk of overloading that neutral wire (overheat, fire risk). Another issue might arise if the circuit later becomes a GFCI.

Is neutral wire necessary?

In terms of a home’s power flow, the neutral wire provides a return path for currents essential to most modern U.S. electrical codes. Combined with a power source and ground wire, you have the makeup of a contemporary light switch, but earlier switches operate without the neutral.