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3 way common white wire

Posted by grandmum (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 16:20

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 3 way common white wire

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.

RE: 3 way common white wire

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?

RE: 3 way common white wire

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.

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