How to wire my light switch

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JamesLibrary
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:01 pm

How to wire my light switch

Post by JamesLibrary » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:08 pm

Hi Shannon,

I had an electrician install new wiring in my basement to all new outlets and recessed lights. Now that drywall and paint are done, I'm ready to connect the outlets and switches. One light will be controlled by a switch that is supposed to go in an electrical box which currently has standard 14/2 wire in it (a black wire, a white wire, and a bare copper wire). How do I wire the switch into these wires?

Edit: My multimeter says the white wire = 120v, and the black wire = 0.

Thanks,

JL

JamesLibrary
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:01 pm

Re: How to wire my light switch

Post by JamesLibrary » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:28 pm

I tested all the outlet boxes, and in every one, testing black to ground reads 120v, and white to ground reads 0v.

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Shannon
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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
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Re: How to wire my light switch

Post by Shannon » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:43 pm

Yes this light circuit is very common. The power is going through the lights first and coming back to the switch . The white wire in this case is hot as long as the breaker is on and when the switch is turned on power flows from the white wire through the open switch into the black wire and back to the lights which then turn on. So first make sure the breaker is off , mark the white wire with a bit of black tape to indicate to anyone who messes with this down the road that the white is indeed the hot wire. Next, while holding the switch and looking at it from the front rotate it so that the pair of brass screws are to the right. Place the white wire on the bottom brass screw and the black wire on the top screw. If the switch has a ground screw attach the bare copper wire to the electrical box and the ground screw.Turn on the breaker and your light should work using the switch.
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