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Thread: A question for electricians

  1. #1
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    A question for electricians

    I was putting a new light switch in my house and I have found things in other places that are not like they should be and I wonder if this switch is correct. It had the 2 white wires tied together and the 2 black ones wired to the switch with the ground screwed to the box. I installed the new one the same but should it be different? I have not turned on the power yet, I need to hang a new light and they did not use a box for the old light but I installed one but now I need to do some sheetrock work before I install the light. It is a singular switch, not a 3 way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    I don't; but, it is magic
    "The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jermanator's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    I think that is right-- the switch is supposed to be on the hot side (black) not the neutral (white).
    Вернём Америке былое величие

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    Senior Member zorba's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    Sounds right to me.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"
    "Religion can't be allowed the coercive power of government,
    government can't be allowed the 'moral' justification of religion."

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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    If the light comes on when you turn the switch on, and off when you turn it off...correct.
    People who say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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    Senior Member zorba's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post
    If the light comes on when you turn the switch on, and off when you turn it off...correct.
    If the circuit breaker trips - not so much.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"
    "Religion can't be allowed the coercive power of government,
    government can't be allowed the 'moral' justification of religion."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Varmintmist's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    To run the light, you need a power and a return. 2 wires. If you hooked them up to the light from the source, say an outlet, the light would be ON all of the time just like plugging it into the outlet. How do you make the light go OFF? You break the circuit somewhere. If you break only one side of the ckt what happens? There is no path for electricity to flow. So the power starts on the black, runs from the source to switch, from the switch to the light, back to the source on the tied together white. You flip the switch from off to on, you complete the circuit by closing the open you made on the black.
    Sometimes you just have to draw a little picture in you head. Its all power to ground.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.

  8. #8

    Re: A question for electricians

    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post
    If the light comes on when you turn the switch on, and off when you turn it off...correct.
    And if it turns off other lights that were not on that switch before.... BONUS!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov

  9. #9
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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    Re: A question for electricians

    Thanks guys, well some of you were helpful. Chief the diagram you posted shows grounding the switch and mine is not but it has worked for 50 years so I guess it is good the way it is.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: A question for electricians

    Just an safety feature added over the years. For if things go wrong to prevent shock/damage. You may have a grounded metal box that older houses used by running a ground wire through the walls to the back of the box you can't see connected to a metal clamp which is OK if they make a good connections throughout the house.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU4mqf-ohlg


    This is a good explanation of modern house wiring.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n8CiU_6KqE
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!

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