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Old 07-31-2015, 05:50 PM   #1
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Hot Wire Help


Alright so since my last post on electricity I have done some research with electrical wiring and I have a very basic understanding of how this stuff works.

So looking at this light switch I can see that I have a switched loop indicated by the black tape that was left by the last electrician.



So now that I know that I want to know exactly how I can wire a 3-way switch (I'm only going to be using it as a single pole) that has a travel (not going to use that), a hot, a load, and a neutral screw.


What I assume I should do is put the yellow wire with the black tape into the hot or load screw and the other yellow wire into the neutral.

The only problem is I have NO possible clue what the difference between the hot and the load screw are because to my understanding both hot and load carry the electricity into the switch.

Can anyone please straighten this out for me?

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Old 07-31-2015, 06:10 PM   #2
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Actually a 3 way switch has a common terminal, 2 traveler terminals and often a ground screw.


Why you are using s 3 way in place of a single pole is puzzling but Basically, you put one of the yellows on the brass colored screw and the other yellow on on of then black screws.

If those colors are not present then one yellow on the odd colored screw and one on one of the screws that there are two of being the same color.

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Old 07-31-2015, 06:31 PM   #3
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I am using a 3 way switch because the only cheap z-wave switches are 3 way and since I it's not required to have the extra switch I can save money by just using it as a single pole.

Also I don't really understand your explination. Where would I put the yellow wire with the black tape and the yellow wire without the black tape?

Here are pictures of the switch that I am using.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:47 PM   #4
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You'll need a voltmeter to see which wire is hot. I usually use the white wire as the hot as per code. So if you're feeling saucy and don't have a voltage tester try that first and see if it works. Sounds like you might have bigger problems though. If someone ran a switch loop there probably isn't a neutral in the box and your z-wave most likely work w/o it. Best of luck
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:18 PM   #5
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I understand that but where would the "hot" wire go?

This is my main concern. Would it go in the screw labled "hot" or the screw labled "load"?

Also what is the difference between hot and load? To my knowledge they are both "hot"
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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The "hot" end of a switch supplies voltage to the "load" side of a switch when the cicuit is closed. In other words, the load side goes directly to the light(s) and the hot side comes from the circuits place of origin (usually a circuit breaker).
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:49 PM   #7
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That is not a standard 3 way switch. Without looking at it more I don't know what kind of switch it is
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:28 PM   #8
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Load is the switched hot wire.
Hot is the always powered hot wire.

That switch needs a neutral to function. You do not have a neutral with a switch loop.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:21 AM   #9
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Nap, it is a "Z-wave" switch, meant for home automation.

6010fd12: If that is the ZW-15S, it requires a four wire connection to function. You only have two of the wires. You are missing the common and the ground. The only easy way would be to replace the 2 wire drop with a 14/3 w ground cable. You will also require different wiring connections at the light.

If the power ran to the switch and then to the light, instead of being a switch drop, the wiring change required would be easy. This assumes that a ground was available.

It appears you are in over your head. You need to call in an electrician to correct the wiring so the switch will function in that location.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6010fd12 View Post

Also what is the difference between hot and load? To my knowledge they are both "hot"
Hot is power/voltage supply to the switch. Load is the device after the switch that will use the electric..
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:09 AM   #11
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The neutral bundle is right there in the four-square below the handy box.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtech View Post
Nap, it is a "Z-wave" switch, meant for home automation.

6010fd12: If that is the ZW-15S, it requires a four wire connection to function. You only have two of the wires. You are missing the common and the ground. The only easy way would be to replace the 2 wire drop with a 14/3 w ground cable. You will also require different wiring connections at the light.

If the power ran to the switch and then to the light, instead of being a switch drop, the wiring change required would be easy. This assumes that a ground was available.

It appears you are in over your head. You need to call in an electrician to correct the wiring so the switch will function in that location.
ya, I see thst. Would have been nice info in the original post
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
The neutral bundle is right there in the four-square below the handy box.
Where did you find that image? The only ones I see are the two in post #3.

It is possible that RequestPolicy is blocking an image - but it normally inserts a red flag into the text when it does so.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtech View Post
Where did you find that image? The only ones I see are the two in post #3.

It is possible that RequestPolicy is blocking an image - but it normally inserts a red flag into the text when it does so.
Post #1. Neutrals connected by a red wire nut in the four-square.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:13 PM   #15
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Hm. I have unblocked everything that I am willing to unblock. This site sure has a lot of tracking and advertising links.

Can you mouse over the image and tell where it is hosted?

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