Neutral line?


Active Member
Hey guys,

I was looking at some of the different X-10 switches and a bunch of 'em require a white neutral line.

So here's my question, my wiring has a black line, a white line, and an uninsulated ground line. Is that the right kind of wiring for these switches or do I need to go with the 2 line models?
By your description you have the right wiring. Black=Hot , White=Neutral, uninsulated=ground. That's the way it is in the USA as far as I know,

you are good to go, I am pretty sure that's how my house wiring is too, and I use 3wire switches.
How/why is it that "hard-wired" switches so often require a 3-wire configuration, but modules work anywhere?

I haven't pulled any outlets or switches where I live now, but should I assume that since I have polarized, three-prong outlets that I have the black-white-bare wire configuration like Micah?

If you mean the "plug-in" modules, they are using the neutral wire when they get plugged into the outlet (not sure if this is what you mean)

What happens is that the electricians sometimes cut corners to save a few cents. The neutral wire is needed for all house wiring these days. Sometimes the electricians cheap out and don't run the wires to the switches. In any case, there will still be a neutral wire in the outlets.
Thanks Martin, I thought it might have something to do with corner-cutting. I'm considering getting some switches when I get to San Antonio this summer, since they're pretty easy to install and the "return on investment" so to say, is good even though I'll have to remove them in a year or so when I move again. I guess I'll have to do some peaking behind coverplates when I'm apartment hunting.