Electrical Wiring


Active Member
I've been doing some work in my partially unfinished basement (read: ripping out all the crap that was put up before) and I'm finding some funkiness in the electrical wiring.

I've never seen this before, but is it up to code to use the neutral wire in a bundle as a hot return for a switch? I.E. Instead of running 2 2-14 romex bundles and using the two hots to control the fixture, they ran a single 2-14 bundle and used the neutral as another hot. Other than being on the back of the switch, it's not labelled or tagged as a hot.

I haven't looked but I'm assuming that the supply line is actually inside the light fixtuture and instead of running it to the switch first, they just extended it to the switch via this single 2-14 cable.

I'll probably be ripping all the electrical out anyhow as it's just a complete mess of splices, randomness and crap going all over the place but I was curious about this particular setup as I hadn't seen anyone do this before.
I imagine that is up to code as I have seen it in several places including my own. Normally though they wrap some black tape or something around the white neutral to indicate it is hot.
Yes that is definitely legal and pretty common. The white wire is supposed to be marked with black tape or otherwise labeled as Hot but electricians rarely ever do that.