Neutral in Switch box


(Linda) #1

I purchased a timer switch that does not require neutral, but there is a neutral in the box. Do I need to connect the neutral to something? The switch is not working.


(Andrew Cockburn) #2

The answer is it depends (sorry!).

So you actually have 3 wires in there, Hot, Load and Neutral?

Was the Neutral connected to anything prior to you removing the previous switch? If so, make sure it is hooked back up. If it was just terminated with a wire nut you probably don’t need to do anything else with it.

For switches that don’t require neutral, they get their power through the load which needs to be in place and functioning correctly or the switch won’t get power.


(Linda) #3

There are actually 4 wires in the box: load, line, ground and neutral. The neutral is capped of. I’ve connected the others and switch is not working. (It has power according to voltmeter).


(Andrew Cockburn) #4

Sounds like you have it correct then - faulty device?


(Morgan) #5

@Lindy4444 what timer switch are you using?


(Paul) #6

What kind of load is connected to the switch? Usually those types of switches require incandescent loads to function. They won’t work with CFL or LED lights.


(Ray) #7

My guess is that your load is missing the return path. Just think of a light bulb with one side connected. Do you see a neutral wire in the same conduit as the black load wire? That white wire needs to be connected to the neutral. Since you have a meter handy. With the breaker off. Just measure the load and the neutral in ohm mode. You should have resistance and open when you remove the bulb. At least that will confirm the load side is OK.