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Chris3Duke 05-06-2013 08:52 AM

Hot Neutral
I'm putting some flooring in my attic, and had to move a couple of wires that were run over joists. That required rewiring a junction box with a light underneath it.

I also wanted to tap into the box for power to an attic light I'm installing, so I added an extender to enlarge the junction box (it was already pretty tight in there).

Power goes light-switch-switch. There are a couple of other lights that get power from this fixture (they are on their own switches).

When I opened up the box, I took note of the existing wiring (to put it back together). Since it's fixture-switch-switch, the wire coming from the switch is 14/2. However, the black wire from the switch was joined to the fixture's black wire.

From everything I've read, this should have been the white wire connecting to the fixture's black , and the black lead from the switch should have tied directly into all the other blacks.

I switched it over, and put tape around the white to indicate (per what I've read about wiring 3-way switches).

The light works, as it did before. Did I have a hot neutral?

Chris3Duke 05-16-2013 11:28 AM

Since I saw a lot of views (and no responses), I figured I would follow up on this.

I asked the question in an electrical forum, and got several responses. Even some of the mods gave incorrect responses at first, but the eventual consensus was that No, I did not have a hot neutral, and the fixture was wired correctly.

Specifically, when wiring a 3-way switch where the power goes to the light first, the white and black wires coming from the switch are interchangeable. Both are hot, and either can be connected to the black power source, or black from the fixture. Just make sure to tape the white black to indicate it's no longer a neutral.

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