More switches, more wiring questions

Every time I open up a new switch, something new keeps coming up.

This one has white and black wire connected to the switch, not sure whats going on here. This one is just a simple single switch. The white one seems to be running hot.

This one is more confusing since this is a three way switch, only trouble is that is a black and white wire joined by a wire nut in the back. Also the white and the red wire connected to the switch seem to be running hot all the time.

Just by the looks of it the first picture doesn’t seem to be a standard wiring for a load controlled by a single switch. The second picture looks like a load that’s on a 3/4 way wiring. It’s will be easier to understand if you can post the wiring diagrams based on what your wiring is.

You can easily get false positives if the wires are close to each other and you are using the standard electrical testers (the active ones that make a noise when the wire is hot). There are the passive ones that have two leads, one of which you have to hold to ground, the other to “hot” (or whatever wire you want to test for voltage). Those testers don’t give false positives as easily. You can also use a voltmeter. Just make sure you don’t get shocked when using any of these devices.

I agree about the first picture.

The second wiring is seems to be like this

This is what I believe I have after reading a bit about three way switches and testing the configuration with the two switches.

how do i connect micro switch here?

number 1, the power is in the light fixture, and the switch is just switching the hot leg. I’m going to hope the electrician used the black as feeding power to the switch, but then he didn’t mark the white as being hot.

number 2 is just a 3 way, red is always hot, looks like the black and white on the right is going to the other 3 way, and the black and white on the left should be going to the fixture

I’d suggest an electrician, or someone that’s done house wiring before

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so i guess there is no way to connect a zwave micro switch to the number 1 switch as it does not have a neutral in the system.

What microswitch do you want to connect? Brand, model?
I have connected a lot of insteon switches in my house. You could not replace the single pole interrupter (first picture) with a standard insteon switch. Reason being that the Insteon switch needs power and neutral, then provides a switched wire to which you connect the load. In picture 1 you are missing the neutral wire. You would have to pull a new cable to install a powered device there.

I’ve never had a case where I couldn’t replace a 3-way switch situation. You have to look at both boxes that are part of your 3-way configuration. Usually in one of them you have a neutral, in the other a power line, or if you are lucky, you have power and neutral in both boxes.

It’s not rocket science, but it helps to have done electrical wiring before, and knowing the building codes to the extend necessary.

A couple of things bother me about picture 2. The black wire’s conductor is not neatly wrapped around the terminal screw. The red conductor seems too long (but hard to see). Looks like a beginner’s job to me, not a pro. The box is a metal box, but I see no pigtail and blank (ground) wire connected. The cable is romex, but I cannot see the ground (blank) wire. I think I can see one shimmering in the back of picture 1. Usually you either have armored cable (where the armor can serve as ground wire, used in the 50s and 60s), or you have romex with a blank wire. But I’ve never seen romex without a ground wire.

When you post pictures, make sure to give a good view of what’s going on inside the box. That’s as interesting as how the switches are wired.

If you have space/access to the lamp in the ceiling you could install the switch there. Take a look here.

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Am trying to connect an aeotec g2 micro switch with a touch panel.

The wiring throughout the house seems like a rushed job. I have been trying to understand the 3 way wiring and it is slowly making sense to me.

Wife wants touch panels throughout the house.

You can connect the aeon microswitches to a 3 way switch without any additional wires or mods. I am on my mobile now and i will post the wiring diagram when i get to my laptop.

thanks. looking forward to it.

what do you use for touch panels?

Currently I am only using aeotec touch panels. Not too many options

I have ordered a a standalone one from amazon and hope to use it with
vision dual switch to make them work. The supplier wasn’t sure but I think
should be compatible. Will post a guide if it works.

The touch panel is powered by 3.3vdc from aeon micro switch. Vision module has no 3.3vdc.

@rm65453 Here is th wiring diagram for using aeon microswitch in an nway configuration. When you include this in the zwave network make sure to set the parameter 120 to value 3

  1. n microswitch

Regarding Picture 1. This is a perfectly valid way of wiring a switch. Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words but I don’t have one handy so I hope the following makes sense.

When the circuit was roughed in the feed was put to the light fixture gang box. Another romex goes from that gang box to the switch gang box. The “feed” white goes to the neutral of the lamp socket. The “feed” black is connected to the white of the romex going to the switch. IOW, the white at the switch is always hot. the black in that romex returns the now switched power back to the light fixture gang box and is connected to the hot terminal of the lamp socket.

Since this is such a common configuration the electrical code, at least in Canada, did not require marking the white with black tape (don’t know if the rules have changed though).

You should probably spend some time learning basic electrical wiring and code if you find this confusing. I’m not trying to be mean or anything but there could be consequences for doing the wrong thing.

For instance, I’ve come across this case myself using Insteon switches and it’s tempting to connect the neutral of the Insteon to the box ground. This will definitely make it work but is absolutely against electrical code. Though unlikely what happens if the ground opens between the switch box and the light fixture box? The switch box including the faceplate screws would become hot enough to electrocute a user. You would be liable.

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Oh, and here’s a handy tip. I notice in picture 2 that the wall above the switch is now damaged. I’m guessing that happened when you removed the faceplate because the paint was stuck to it. Before removing a faceplate with a very sharp knife score the paint around it (lightly and angled slightly under the faceplate). It will still wreck the finish but only underneath where it doesn’t show.

thanks, that is unfortunately the previous owner. had no pride of ownership. you have no idea of the things I have to fix that were initially overlooked. Random outlets in the wall or even in the roof. did not even make an effort to align them. bothers me everyday, gonna probably just close them up the next time i have to paint the house.