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Switch to control wall outlet (w/ double tap)

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  • will40
    NEC states the grounded conductor (neutral) can be white or grey but that doesn't confirm that your gray wire is terminated where it originates. I assume you have conduit with individual conductors or a marked up multiconductor cable to have two black wires at a switch?

    You will need a multimeter to confirm if it is a neutral to one of those black conductors. You can also check the receptacle to see if that neutral is also gray and perhaps see your switch box gray conductor in there as well.

    NEC now requires a neutral at all new switch locations (I believe it was adopted here in MA in 2020) because of electronic switches that require the neutral, so depending how old your house is it may be wired correctly anyway or you had a thoughtful electrician.

    Be careful and good luck on your findings

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  • drhtmal
    Originally posted by Tomgru View Post
    ...I know the WS200's don't need a neutral
    The WS200 absolutely needs a neutral wire. It is the Wx300 that does not need a neutral.

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  • Dweber85rc
    You would need to use a test light of some kind to see if it is neutral. Or an electrician should be able to come and trace it via toner etc.. if you wanted to be absolutely sure.

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  • Tomgru
    started a topic Switch to control wall outlet (w/ double tap)

    Switch to control wall outlet (w/ double tap)

    In all my years at this, surprised i haven't tried/needed this yet. House has a wall switch that controls an outlet that I want to automate. Never even considered the lack of a neutral in the wall as all the other locations (for nomal loads) had neutrals. Pull out existing dumb switch, and all i see is the two black wires going into the switch (line, load?), and some grey that is unused and capped. Could the grey actually be a neutral (v.s normal white wire)?

    The switch I bought (on sale... Zooz) needs neutral. I know the WS200's don't need a neutral, but i'm unsure if the way the load goes to the outlet matters in wiring (if tha makes sense).

    I guess what I'm asking is
    1. how can i know the unused grey in the box might be a neutral? will tying into it and trying anything hurt?
    2 Can the two black wires be treated like any normal switch controlling (that seems like a dumb question as i ask it, but ....)?

    Or any other ideas.