Wiring Questions

I know this topic is covered a ton but I really want to confirm things before spending more time with trial and error.

I have a brand new construction home, there is a 3 switch box where I am trying to change a single switch to use the Leviton VRS-1LZ. The switch I’m replacing is a single pole. The switch itself has two black wires connected on one side and a ground (copper wire). In the box there are bunch of other wires but one thing I see is a few white wires nutted together. I assume this is the neutral.

Of the two black wires how do distinguish line vs. load? I tried following the wires but things are pretty tangled.

For the neutral wires do I need to find a specific neutral or will any work?


The line or hot wire is energized even when the switch is off. Most people use a multimeter or voltage detector to find the live(line) wire. The load wire can then be deduced, or it can be positively identified with a continuity test. Do not attempt a continuity test on a live circuit and make sure you know what you are doing. A mistaken touch of the wrong(live) wire can kill you! Even if it doesn’t kill you, it f#*&!^g hurts!

Yes, the bundled whites are all neutrals. It is very rare that you need to use a specific neutral. In the case of this Leviton switch, you simply need to connect the white from the switch to the bundle of neutrals.

Ok so normally a new wire would be used to connect the switch to neutral bundle rather than pulling one of the wires out of the bundle (makes sense to me just want to verify).

That is correct.

Do not pull any wires out of the bundle. Add the white wire from your switch to the bundle of white neutral wires.

Another follow-up. The switch didn’t come with any wires so I assume I am adding a new wire to the mix, any specific type/gauge needed?

14 gauge solid copper wire is typically used for 15amp circuits in the U.S. (See 14/2 Romex.)