Neutral wire in switch box runs through?

Hi All

First post…I am trying to replace an existing switch with a smart switch in an electrical box where I see the white neutral wire running but it’s not capped or anything. There are the usual hot wires & ground connected to the switch.

Is it OK to cut/split the neutral wire and add a short piece of wire to power up the smart switch?


Yikes… if you really have an uncapped hot neutral wire I would worry about what else you have in your home that isn’t to code. Might want to have an electrician check out your house. But… to your original question, yes if this is a neutral line you can use it to power your smart switch.


Thanks for the quick response. Sorry about the vague thread title. I have tried fixing it but not sure if it still makes sense.
The neutral is not capped but instead just runs through the box. I have attached couple of pics. Is it possible/safe to somehow add a wire to this existing neutral/white wire to power the smart switch?

Yes, the white wire is more than likely going straight to the fixture.

It will be tight trying to bundle three whites together so might be best to cut it, extend the two and then bundle to include the pigtail for the Smart Switch…

At the lamp connect a new neutral wire to the existing white neutral. Carefully pull the white wire back from the lamp to the switch box (pull the wire in the switch box back). Then you have new neutral from the lamp to the switch box and the old white wire at the switch box can be cut to 4" (inch) or so.
Then connect them both to the Neutral terminal on your new smart switch.

Grtn Ben


Thanks for the suggestion. I will try and see how it goes. I hope it’s safe and per the NEC (?) code.


Thanks for your suggestion. The lamp/light is a swimming pool light. I will try another poster’s suggestion. If that doesn’t work, I may have to call an electrician :slight_smile:

Let me guess: the light fixture is at the middle of the swimming pool :swimming_man:!? You need a boat to reach it.

That is correct. I am trying to automate the pool light…have nothing better to do :grin::grin:

Hi @NotSoSmart7,

From the looks of your photo of the neutral wire, you should be able to cut the wire and connect it with a wire nut or its equivalent.
I use these now. Make life working with electrical easier: (Use 16 Gage wire for pigtail.)

And as for the pull light issue, you should watch this YouTube video of a guy installing a Vision zwave relay to control his pool lights. I use the same relay in my switch box and still keep the original dumb switch. Please check it out.

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These are like Sharkbites in plumbing…I knew of them but was so use to soldering that I just kept on doing what I was good at. One day, my pipe busted in a super inconvenient spot and then I tried one…Wow! 1, 2, 3 and Bam job was done!

Those little buggers that you posted, I have been seeing as well. Seems super simple and would work really good for the OP.

I am picking up the bundle you posted to have in my box! Especially the 5 wire ones. When I get up to that many wires, I typically pigtail to another red wire nut to break up the bundle.

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That is correct. the main wires are as the video described. and the two remaining wires can just be wired in with out any ill effects. I wired one of these relays into my kids room dumb switch to control the light; since my wife and the kid were flicking the switch and cilling the automation on the 4 Cree Connected smart bulbs. Now even if the switch is off, no problem. The relay activated the circuit and the bulbs change to the desired lighting levels.

And those wire nuts I referred too are Great! Take up less space than the traditional wire nuts.

Enjoy the project @rontalley . Hope I helped even a little.


Thanks for the link and the video. I will read through these and hopefully this weekend will have my smart pool lights working!

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Hi @NotSoSmart7,

Use the fluke tester and a recommend that you try and paint the inside of the electric box with some Rust-O-Lium paint. Looks like you have moisture coming in there. Good luck and have fun. It shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. The wire diagram in the packaging is accurate. Use diagram 1 as I see your wiring is same.

Hi All

I was able to get the switch up and running. Just cut the neutral wire and added a pigtail to the existing. I bought something similar to the lever nut as suggested by Imosneko from a local hardware store. It’s a great option but in my case due to limited length of the wire (and it being a solid wire) it didn’t quite work out.I just had to twist the wires together and used electrical insulation tape to put them together.

I just wanted to thank you all for your suggestions.

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PLEASE tell me you also used a wire nut.

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Yes, I used insulation tape and wire nut. The box had very limited space and the wire length was also a limitation so couldn’t use lever nut as suggested by one of the posters.

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