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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-30-2017
Accepted Solution

Switch installation problem

Trying to install a wemo switch this morning.  From the videos and packaging I was expecting two black wires.  I only have a white, a black and a ground.  The white is the "live" wire according to my tester and the black has no current (unless switch is on of course).  the screw attached to the white wire has a + on it and the black wire's screw has a - on it.  So where do I go from here?  (left side of image is top) The switch controls a fan/light in a bedroom.  Thanks!  

20170130_113908.jpg

WEMO Maker Inventor
Posts: 1,271
Registered: ‎06-14-2014

Re: Switch installation problem


Samurai315 wrote:

  So where do I go from here? 


Back to the store Smiley Happy.

 

You have a "power through fixture" circuit.  It can be made to work, but you need to know what you're doing and it WILL be a code violation.  If the light is incandescent you could try wemo black to white, wemo black to black, wemo ground to circuit ground.  Double check the fixture and box is properly grounded! This is very important!  Then, in violation of the electrical code, wemo white to ground may allow the wemo to work.

Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-28-2017

Re: Switch installation problem

From what you've shown in the photo, that switch is a code violation even before you connect the WeMo.  Fortunately, there is (was) a way to make it legal.

 

I must emphasize that I have not read the National Electric Code in many many years so I AM NOT CERTAIN that this solution is still valid.   However, at one time, it was legal to tape the white wire for the first inch with any other color EXCEPT GREEN.  Then, you need to go to the other end of the white wire and do the same thing there.  That effectively changes the color of the white wire to whatever color tape that you used.  Again, DO NOT USE GREEN.

 

If any doubt, contact a licensed electrician.

Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-28-2017

Re: Switch installation problem


MikeP wrote:
Then, in violation of the electrical code, wemo white to ground may allow the wemo to work.

Not only is it a Code violation, it's a sufficiently major violation that the homeowner's insurance may well be void in the event of an electrical fire.