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I’m working in a two gang box, currently has two switches (1 3way with a neutral wire, on old 2 pole switch)

I’m trying to replace the old 2 pole switch with a Dimmer Switch that requires a Neutral Wire.

The 3way switch next to it has a neutral wire.

All other neutrals are cut short and crimped.

Can I run a jump off the neutral wire on the 3way switch, for a neutral on the new dimmer switch?

Before I do something stupid, hoping for some feedback...

Thx David
 
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The neutral might be one of the two way switch wires if it is connected to L1 or L2 it definitely is a live switch wire hot neutral
 

Tony Reidy

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I’m working in a two gang box, currently has two switches (1 3way with a neutral wire, on old 2 pole switch)

I’m trying to replace the old 2 pole switch with a Dimmer Switch that requires a Neutral Wire.

The 3way switch next to it has a neutral wire.

All other neutrals are cut short and crimped.

Can I run a jump off the neutral wire on the 3way switch, for a neutral on the new dimmer switch?

Before I do something stupid, hoping for some feedback...

Thx David
As long as the neutral you using is on the same circuit
 

Charlie_

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Arms
The double pole switch I think is probably an intermediate switch?
The spare wire in the ‘3 way’ switch is maybe just a spare core from a twin hat wasn’t needed?
Have you got photographs?
 
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The neutral might be one of the two way switch wires if it is connected to L1 or L2 it definitely is a live switch wire hot neutral
Thats new to me...

I did use a non-contact voltage tester to identify my Hot wires on both switches in the 2 gang box.

Both switches in the 2gang box are on the same circuit breaker!

Hot wires to each switch in the two hang box are black.

If need be, how would I verify whether the one loose white wire running to the 3way switch is neutral!
 

Matthewd29

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Are they on the same circuit as if not the coup because problems if you have a split board. Crossing neutrals isn't good
 

Taylortwocities

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looks like your in USA.
Yes. The terms: 3-way and hot are giveaways.

I’m wondering how David knows the neutral is really a neutral. Do they bring the N to the switch in the US. it’s done here sometimes.
 

Lucien Nunes

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Yes and his location is a zipcode in CA. Beware OP: this is a UK forum and our codes are different in many details!

Agree with the other posters that you need to be sure it's a neutral, not just a white wire being used as a traveler (called a 'strapper' in the UK), and that it is part of the same circuit from the same breaker. If so, it should be OK to use it for the dimmer.

Attention UK posters: Important differences between UK and US practice re light switch colour coding. US often feeds via the switch but in a switch drop from a 3-plate, where we use the line / hot colour (brown) for permanent line, and the neutral colour (blue) for switched line, in the US it is the reverse. The neutral colour (white) is the feed and the line / hot colour (black) is the switched hot.

On a 3-way if the feed goes to one switch and the light to the other, the white wire should be the neutral all the way through, with red and black travelers. But, if the light is part way along between the switches, although the red traveler goes through, the white and black must change over there. At the switch with the feed the white is a neutral, red & black are hot travelers; at the far switch black is the switched hot and red and white are the travelers. So at this end (the switch without the feed) the white wire cannot be used for the dimmer as it is not a neutral.
 

telectrix

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hmmm. if he's got travellers over there, the question is irrelevant because all his cable will have been nicked and weighed in by the end of the week.
 

ChrisElectrical88

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Love Cids answer in post 2. Streight to the point with no idea.
 
I know but it's better than no pics......
Plus I like pretty colours.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
853C6D3E-7817-4BC7-8F95-8270EF1A4A16.jpeg 5CD9F8A2-2450-4F0E-BADD-71E5DDB8EAC9.jpeg AB292287-96EA-49A1-ADA9-D8750FCE642E.jpeg
Yes and his location is a zipcode in CA. Beware OP: this is a UK forum and our codes are different in many details!

Agree with the other posters that you need to be sure it's a neutral, not just a white wire being used as a traveler (called a 'strapper' in the UK), and that it is part of the same circuit from the same breaker. If so it should be OK to use it for the dimmer.

On a 3-way if the feed goes to one switch and the light to the other, the white wire should be the neutral all the way through, with red and black travelers. But, if the light is part way along between the switches, although the red traveler goes through, the white and black must change over there. At the switch with the feed the white is a neutral, red & black are hot travelers; at the far switch black is the switched hot and red and white are the travelers. So at this end (the switch without the feed) the white wire cannot be used for the dimmer as it is not a neutral.
Thx gentlemen,

I appreciate the difference in standard practice in the UK verses the US, and that there are multiple ways to wire the circuit, and how difficult it is to give feedback without hands on circuit testing... thanks for the efforts to help me despite my limited skills.

I’m outside my skills if I have to start pulling light fixtures in the house and testing circuits.

I know your electricians not magicians, but lemme try to answer the previous questions, add some additional information, and accompanying Pic’s to see if it make it easier to help me tease this question out.

Original wiring configuration; 2 pole Foyer light switch, and 3way porch light in a 2 gang box by the front door.

1) Yes; the Std 2 pole Foyer light switch and 3way porch light switch in the 2 gang is on the same breaker circuit.

2) The porch light appears the last light in the circuit is
A - ending in the last two 3way switches
- One 3way switch inside the foyer
- One 3way switch outside on the front of the house

3) Existing Std 2 pole Foyer light switch I’d like to replace with a dimmer (Photo 1)
A - Two black leads to the back of the original 2pole foyer light switch;
B - One black tested hot.
C - No white traveler.

4) Existing Std 3way switch to the porch light (Photo 2)
A - 1 black hot.
B - 1 red Lead (the only red lead in the gang box).
C - 1 white traveler.

4) Other Leads in the 2 gang Box (Photo 3)
A - 5 white leads in the box;
- 4 white leads capped off together using a push connector.
B - 1 while lead to 3way switch for porch light.
C - 5 copper (green) grounds tied together
- Grounded to the 2 gang box;
- Neither of the switches were tied to ground wires.

New Dimmer Switch Installation;
1) - I pulled the old 2 pole Foyer light switch
- I separated the wires and used my non-contact voltage detector to identify which of the two black leads were hot.

2) I installed the nee dimmer in place of the Std 2pole switch
A - I transferred the black hot lead from the original Std 2 pole switch to the new dimmer switch black hot screw.
B - I installed the second black lead (no voltage present per my voltage tester to the new dimmer switch red load screw / it Did Not power the switch LED indicator on
C - I switched the second black lead (no voltage present per my voltage tester) to the new dimmer switch white traveler screw / It powered the dimmer switch LED indicator on
- It’s not sending current to the foyer light.

- The Leviton dimmer instructions do not state explicitly that the dimmer requires a white traveler, however the blogs and video’s I researched suggest all smart switches require a white traveler to operate

3) When I turn the breaker back on;
A - The new dimmer LED indicator is powered
On / Not sending current to the foyer light
B - The last 3way switch in the box still sends current to the porch light.

Based on this; does it seem possible add a
jump from the The white traveler on the porch light 3way switch in the foyer, to the adjacent new dimmer switch?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
BB617D62-22A1-4CC2-8AF7-50508C9F6962.jpeg
Beware OP: this is a UK forum and our codes are different in many details!

Agree with the other posters that you need to be sure it's a neutral, not just a white wire being used as a traveler (called a 'strapper' in the UK),

and that it is part of the same circuit from the same breaker. If so, it should be OK to use it for the dimmer.

On a 3-way if the feed goes to one switch and the light to the other, the white wire should be the neutral all the way through, with red and black travelers.

But, if the light is part way along between the switches, although the red traveler goes through, the white and black must change over there. At the switch with the feed the white is a neutral, red & black are hot travelers; at the far switch black is the switched hot and red and white are the travelers. So at this end (the switch without the feed) the white wire cannot be used for the dimmer as it is not a neutral.
Thx for the reply Lucien,

It sounds like you know allot about the differences in UK and US wiring...

My initial Answer; yes both switches are part of the same circuit / breaker

Question; But you follow with some additional information that indicates where the 3way porch light switch is in to the circuit branch makes all the difference...
- The 3way Porch light I’d like to jup the white from for the dimmer is in the foyer.
- Yes; further down at the end of that circuit branch on the front of the house outside there is a second exterior porch light a switch (pictured).
- I don’t know whether that final exterior porch light on the front of the house is a 3 Way or two pole switch?

So it sounds like since there is a subsequent final switch at the end of that circuit branch on the front of the house, jumping off the 3way porch light switch in the foyer is not a viable option.

If you don’t mind looking at my last post with some additional answers and Pic’s I posted, I’d appreciate it.

It sounds like I’m getting closet to an answer...
 
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Tony Reidy

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Arms
View attachment 49123

Thx for the reply Lucien,

It sounds like you know allot about the differences in UK and US wiring...

My initial Answer; yes both switches are part of the same circuit / breaker

Question; But you follow with some additional information that indicates where the 3way porch light switch is in to the circuit branch makes all the difference...
- The 3way Porch light I’d like to jup the white from for the dimmer is in the foyer.
- Yes; further down at the end of that circuit branch on the front of the house outside there is a second exterior porch light a switch (pictured).
- I don’t know whether that final exterior porch light on the front of the house is a 3 Way or two pole switch?

So it sounds like since there is a subsequent final switch at the end of that circuit branch on the front of the house, jumping off the 3way porch light switch in the foyer is not a viable option.

If you don’t mind looking at my last post with some additional answers and Pic’s I posted, I’d appreciate it.

It sounds like I’m getting closet to an answer...
What a horrid looking bit of wiring
 

Charlie_

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Arms
I had a guy working for me last year who had been working in USA and OZ.
He said the standards are really poor, where he was working it was the done thing just to have a load of wires to be twisted together, hanging out of walls..
Apparently it wasn’t that they didn’t give a ----, it was just the norm
 
No disrespect to op here but everytime i see yanks electrics I'm shocked how dated it looks and amateurish. Them lot certainly are one of a kind. Even our DIY ers take more pride.
 

telectrix

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I know but it's better than no pics......
Plus I like pretty colours.
we used to have them.... red/yellow/blue/black. now we gone all gender neutral, all colours grey in the dark. i blame the eu and phony blair. we got rid of 1, now we just need brexit to activate and get rid of the other. God did not make the English Channel for nothing.
 
B

Bobster

Not all US wiring is bad, I can't comment on the domestic side of things as I've never worked in that field. However most of the industrial sites I've worked at is pretty good.
 

telectrix

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over here, that would be condemned on sight. the wiring at the Alamo was better.
 
B

Bobster

over here, that would be condemned on sight. the wiring at the Alamo was better.
Yes it's untidy but aside from the CPC not being in wagos and sleeved. Is it much better than a lot of the drivel we see on here from UK installs?

What UK reg would you condemn it on?
 

Tony Reidy

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Arms
I had a guy working for me last year who had been working in USA and OZ.
He said the standards are really poor, where he was working it was the done thing just to have a load of wires to be twisted together, hanging out of walls..
Apparently it wasn’t that they didn’t give a ****, it was just the norm
I had a guy working for me last year who had been working in USA and OZ.
He said the standards are really poor, where he was working it was the done thing just to have a load of wires to be twisted together, hanging out of walls..
Apparently it wasn’t that they didn’t give a ****, it was just the norm
Yes it's untidy but aside from the CPC not being in wagos and sleeved. Is it much better than a lot of the drivel we see on here from UK installs?

What UK reg would you condemn it on?
Most of them
 
we used to have them.... red/yellow/blue/black. now we gone all gender neutral, all colours grey in the dark. i blame the eu and phony blair. we got rid of 1, now we just need brexit to activate and get rid of the other. God did not make the English Channel for nothing.
Here here telectrix!

I was fortunate enough to be old enough to remember the good old days wen I were a lad saying.....red yellow blue just before housing them into a motor or isolator.......
Plus the two way intermediate strappers looked nicer back in day.
 
Not all US wiring is bad, I can't comment on the domestic side of things as I've never worked in that field. However most of the industrial sites I've worked at is pretty good.
I'm only speaking from clips on YouTube etc I've seen. Only been to Yankee land wen I was 8 in Florida what an amazing place that is btw....
Walt Disney......Cape kanavral......SWA world to name a few...
 

DPG

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Walt Disney......Cape kanavral......SWA world to name a few...
They've got an armoured cable theme park? Cool :);)
 

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