Asked by: Candance Olascuaga
hobbies and interests jewelry making

Do pilot light switches require a neutral?

Last Updated: 15th June, 2020

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Note: Pilot light switches require a neutral wire; Illuminated switches do not require a neutral wire. Note: Pilot light switches require a neutral wire; Illuminated switches do not require a neutral wire.

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People also ask, what if I don't have a neutral wire?

Option 1 - Run a Neutral Wire If you want to use smart switches and don't have a neutral wire in your switch box, you can hire an electrician to run a neutral wire between the light fixture and the switch. You can also have an electrician rewire the switch and light fixture, which is potentially more expensive.

One may also ask, what is a switch with pilot light? Pilot light electrical devices for switch wall plates in residential and commercial locations. These illuminated switches are useful in situations where you want to be alerted that a device or load is on. Note that pilot switches are lighted when ON.

Moreover, do all light switches have a neutral wire?

The most common requirement of any hardwired automated light switch is a neutral wire. The black “hot” connection is broken to turn the light on/off, the white “neutral” connection completes the circuit. The bare (hopefully) solid copper wire is the ground.

Why does my light switch not have a neutral wire?

There's a reason why almost every smart switch needs a neutral wire attached: it needs to stay powered all the time. This is because the neutral wire for the circuit is actually in the junction box that holds the light fixture, and the two wires coming down to the switch are the "hot" leg that will power the light.

Related Question Answers

Betuel Funfschilling

Professional

Does neutral wire carry current?

To sum up, a live wire carries the full load current, while a neutral wire carries some current, only when the loads are not balanced. The neutral wire is at approximately 0V but to be safe you must NEVER touch this wire either. If the wiring is faulty it may be carrying the same electricity as the live wire.

Delicias Brodermanns

Explainer

What do I do with the neutral wire?

With a regular 120-volt AC circuit, the neutral wire provides a return path to earth ground. If the neutral wire disconnects, it would stop the flow of the electricity and break the circuit. The role of the neutral wire is to provide this path to the electrical panel to complete the circuit.

Surjit Velert

Explainer

Can I use ground as neutral?

Yes, the ground wire will function as a neutral wire and the ground wire and neutral wire are bonded together at the panelboard. So since the ground and neutral wires are essentially the same and bonded together, why would you not use the ground wire as a neutral? Because it causes the potential for electrical shock.

Alvara Arboli

Explainer

Are neutral wires required by code?

The National Electrical Code (NEC) refers to this neutral wire not as “neutral” but as the “grounded conductor”. It would work just fine to have neither of these wires be grounded, to just have two hot wires. It wasn't until 1913 that the system was required to be grounded — that a “neutralwire was required.

Manolita Goncharuk

Pundit

How do I test if a wire is live?

You can use either a current tester or a voltage meter to determine if an electrical cable is hot. Keep in mind that it is possible for more than one wire to be live. Touch the tip of the meter or tester to the screw where the wires are attached. Go slowly and keep your eyes and ears open.

Mata Eichwurzel

Pundit

Why does my neutral wire have voltage?

Because the resistance of the copper neutral wire is usually very near zero, this also keeps the voltage low. However, if the neutral wire is damaged or has a high impedance fault like a corroded connection, the voltage in the neutral can increase to a dangerous level at some point out in the branch circuit.

Ruyi Thaden

Pundit

What happens if the neutral wire is not connected?

For ground-connected neutral wires, in the case of a line-ground faults, you will generally get less severe fault currents but more severe voltage unbalance than if the neutral were present. An unbalanced load will generally cause greater voltage unbalance when ground-connected neutral wire is absent.

Evelin Tikhonin

Pundit

Can I connect all neutral wires together?

All of the neutral wires that are connected together should belong to a single circuit. You can generally tell if it is a single circuit if you only have to turn off 1 breaker. If this is the case, then you should keep all the neutrals together.

Adjou Massey

Pundit

Does it matter which wire goes where on a light switch?

If your switch has a “LINE” marking, the always hot wire goes to this. The other connection will be “LOAD” where the load (ie light fixture) is wired. The load wire may have red electrical tape on it to differentiate.

Embarka Hetterig

Teacher

Does the hot wire go on the top or bottom of a switch?

The white (neutral) wire connects to the silver screw, or you place it in the back wire hole on the same side of the device as the silver screw. The black (hot) wire goes to the brass screw or into the hole in the back of the device on the same side as the brass screw. This wire is sometimes red.

Dimitre Isidore

Teacher

What happens if live and neutral wires touch?

The neutral wire completes the circuit and carries current away at low/zero voltage. The earth can carry current safely into the ground if a fault develops in a metal framed appliance. The earth wire creates a safe route for the current to flow through if the live wire touches the casing.

Nelli Taquet

Teacher

How do I know which wire is hot and neutral?

The Neutral Wire Is the One With the Markings
The wire with the ribbing or stripe is the neutral wire, and the other one is hot. If you don't see any markings on the wires, and the plug has two prongs of equal size, the cord is not polarized.

Ibana Rebuhr

Supporter

How do you wire a 3 way light switch?

Either way, complete these five steps for 3 way light switch wiring:
  1. Turn off the correct circuit at your electrical panel.
  2. Add an electrical box for the second three-way switch in the basement.
  3. Feed a length of 14-3 type NM cable (or 12-3, if you're connecting to 12-gauge wire) between the two boxes.

Dusan Altshuler

Beginner

How does a lighted 3 way switch work?

"3-way" is the electrician's designation for a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch. The switches must create a complete circuit for current to flow and the bulb to light. When both switches are up, the circuit is complete (top right). When both switches are down, the circuit is complete (bottom right).

Gherghina Prucker

Beginner

How do you wire a 240v switch?

How to Wire a 240V Switch
  1. Go to your home's circuit panel and turn off the circuit for the room with the outlet you need to wire.
  2. Take the outlet cover off by removing the single screw with the screwdriver.
  3. Disconnect the wires from the screw terminals on the switch.
  4. Attach the green wire to the ground screw on the 240-volt switch.

Abdelati Benjumea

Beginner

What are three types of pilot switches?

Pilot devices are not limited to just these three types of switches. There are many different types of switches: rocker switches, toggle switches, and rotary switches to name a few. All operate on the same principle; operator interface to open or close a contact to transfer information and process change.

Emel Gopalakrishnan

Beginner

What purpose are pilot light switches commonly used?

Pilot light electrical devices for switch wall plates in residential and commercial locations. These illuminated switches are useful in situations where you want to be alerted that a device or load is on. You'll find pilot lighted rocker switches, Despard switches, toggle switches, single pole and 3 way switches.

Jesper Gandarias

Beginner

What is an illuminated light switch?

A illuminated light switch has an internal light source (either a neon lamp or an LED) which allows the user to locate the switch in the dark. The internal light source in a single pole illuminated switch derives its power when the switch is OFF from current passing through the external light bulb.

Ezzahraa Buchle

Beginner

Where is the pilot light on my gas furnace?

Go to the furnace and find the pilot valve. The pilot valve body is a box-shaped device into which the main gas line will run; it is located near the gas burners. It will usually have a gas cock or valve knob that reads ON, PILOT, and OFF. Locate this gas cock or knob.