3 way common white wire

grandmumNovember 26, 2013

I had to replace a 3 way switch. It had 2 red wires as the travelers. The common though was a white wire. That was the wire power was coming into the switch.

Is this miswired? I put a strip of black electrical tape on the white wire to redesignate it as hot but I am unsure if this was proper to begin with?

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black tape or a sharpie will suffice. If it was in conduit, white shouldn't have been used but it will work fine. White can only be used to feed a switch when it is part of a cable like 12/3 romex.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 5:45PM
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Yes I used black tape.

It was in conduit. Probably ran 40 years ago. Would that have been a rule then?

I checked the light fixtures thinking maybe it was reversed polarity but the middle tab is live and the screw threads are not.

Could this miswiring be harmful?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 6:20PM
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One other thing... there were other switches in the box. If someone miswired a long time ago....

what would happen if that white live wire was the line for one of the other switches?

Then the 3 ways wouldnt work correct?

I followed the wires in the pipe though, the white and 2 red use the same conduit. The other live wires for the other switches go elsewhere.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 6:24PM
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