Single pole switch-which wire goes where (white/black/ground)?

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Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2016
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I am replacing an older single pole switch that is dirty and yellowed with a brand new one. I believe the power source is at the fixture in the ceiling, because there are only two wires plus the ground wire connected to the switch (the wall box where the switch goes has a black wire, a white wire and a ground wire). On the new switch, there are two brass terminal screws, both on the same side (to the right when the switch is in the correct position-off-down, on-up). The new switch does not have the terminals labeled as hot or neutral/common, so I am unsure which goes where. Does the black (hot) wire go at the top or the bottom of the switch (again, with the switch oriented in off-down, on-up position).

Thanks for your help!
A switch is just an interrupter in the hot line. Theoretically both wires should be black (or the white wire should be labeled black). Since both wires are "hot", it doesn't matter which screw they get connected to.
In this case the white wire is not a neutral. You can connect the black to one screw and the white to the other and the ground wire to the green ground screw and you are good to go. Does not matter on which of the two screws what color wire goes on it in this particular case.
As Slownsteady said you should taked a piece of black tape and just wrap a small piece around the white wire by the screw. This indicates that the white wire is being used as a hot wire.