j Xynn

07:23AM | 11/30/02
Member Since: 11/29/02
6 lifetime posts
My girlfriend hired, against my advice, a fly by night contractor to upgrade a cellar room.

Sure enouih, the job's unfinished, the jerk is gon., and who gets to fix!

So I go to attach wall sconces (lamps) to the two switched wall lamps. Expecting the black hot, and white cold, I find that the switchable options are black hot, white cold, or both black and white hot???

Is this a real screw-up? Or is it ok? Seems wrong, and bizarre to me. Though of course the light will be off when both legs are hot, but I never thought the white was supposed to be hot, except in a three way switch?

Can someone set me straight on this?



02:37PM | 11/30/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If this is a switch loop the white should hot going to the switch and black switched hot coming back from the switch to the light.
How many cables are in the light box and what is connected to what. Do you know which cable is the always hot line.

j Xynn

09:55AM | 12/01/02
Member Since: 11/29/02
6 lifetime posts
Thanks Joe...

There is one 14/2 w grnd cable coming in to the light recepticle, and two switch positions at the wall switch. When the switch is one way the black wire is hot, white cold, and when the switch is switched, both black and white are carrying 120V. Is this configuration ever correct?


03:14AM | 12/04/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
It sounds like the neutral wire is being switched. Can you tell me what are the connections in the switch box? There should only be black wires on the switch in this situation.


03:21AM | 12/04/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
It may be that the "contractor" simply used the wrong color wires, and white isn't neutral at all. Better check everything carefully to see what they really did.


06:58AM | 12/04/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If there are only 2 wires/1 cable at the light when the switch is off NO voltage should be present on any wires. If you are using a high impedance DVM you might be getting false readings.
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