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How To Know Neutral Wire in Your Light Switch Box?

We will give you a walkthrough of finding a light switch and neutral wire.

Let’s dive in!

Find Neutral Wire in Light Switch Box?

To know whether your light switch box possesses a neutral wire, you can LOOK at it. However, there are some hints to get certain:

  • The structure of your house was built in the mid-1980s or after it, and then there is likely possibility that the neutral wires will be present in your house
  • Check for an outlet near the light switch which means it should have the neutral wire
  • Often light switches band together like present right next to each other is possible to have a neutral wire.

How to Explain Neutral Wire?

Consider or compare the circuit to a giant loop. The electricity should be kept flowing around to supply power—interruption to loop, whether, in any sort will stop the flow of the electricity. A neutral wire fills the gap to provide electricity back to the power supply to keep the power running.

This serves the prime goal of a neutral wire to act as a bridge between a source and its receiver. Plus, the majority of the circuits have neutral wires, such as hot wires and ground wires. The number of hot wires is two, while, one ground wire.

These two hot wires work as conduits between a power source and the load. Then the neutral wire completes the act by supplying the electricity back to the power source. On the other hand, the ground wire has been used for only a single purpose: SAFETY. Because in any circumstances of the negative or abnormal surge of electricity, the ground wire would help avert it by sending the chargeback to the earth.

adding a neutral wire to a light switch
adding a neutral wire to a light switch

Hot Wires – Neutral Wire in Light Switch

We know the neutral wire works as a back-and-forth kind of wire which carries electricity from the load to the power source. Meanwhile, the definition of the load can be anything from using electricity to drawing power. Often, in homes, the hot wires contain 120 volts, making them 240 volts due to the two hot wires.

As we noted above, in the face of fluctuation of two hot wires, the neutral wire comes to carry the weight to the final line, in this case, the power supply. Take, for example, two hot wires; one carries the load of 12.5 amps, while the other is 15 amps. The remaining gap of these two hot wires, i.e., 2.5 amps, will be carried back to the power supply. Hence, competing for the process of the circuit.

But how come when a single hot wire is taking 12.5 amp current by itself?

In this case, the equal amount to the current will be carried by the neutral wire back to the power supply to complete the circuit.

But if, say, dual hot wires carry the same amount of current. The neutral wire will hold none of the current to the power source because the two hot wires completed the power supply to the circuit.

To conclude, hot wires typically carry the electricity to the load from the power source. Meanwhile, the neutral wires took the same electricity and put it back to the source in case of fluctuation.

Neutral Wire in Light Switch: Ground Wire

Ground wires are the possible next alternative source for electricity to flow in case of failure of both hot and neutral wires. They usually take the electricity or divert far into within earth. Thus, ground wires do not possess any whatsoever current under standard situations. The only circumstance they used was in case of a ground fault.

Take, for example, a harsh light struck your house. This means you will indeed have the problem of the ground fault. So, the ground wire would carry the abnormal surge of current caused by lightning and send it deep into the earth. The importance of the ground wir3e can be gauged from the fact that your home’s appliance could blow up without it.


In this guide of How to Know Neutral Wire in Your Light Switch Box, we have explained easy-to-understand steps to know where to find them.