How to replace light switch: wiring question

Dear all:

I just got a GE z-wave dimmable switch.

When I took apart my original switch, I got a bit confused: the original switch only got TWO wires hooked up, and one wire “preserved” and doesn’t seems to be hooked to anything:

All the instructions says I suppose to find a black wire (load), a green and or bare copper wire as ground, white is neutral which I needed for this GE device.

but both “A” and “B” (see photo) are black… which one is which?

can I assume that the one didn’t get hooked up is a neutral wire I need? I am trying to replace regular light switch with a GE Z-wave dimmer switch, which neutral wire is a must… is that unused wire neutral wire?

If it’s only got two black wires it’s probably using a fairly ‘normal’, switched live system, so there won’t be a neutral wire. You probably need to get an electrician in to take a look at it.

Black is hot, Ground is usually green or bare and neutral is normally white.

By the looks of your picture the one not used is neutral because it looks as though ground is being run outside of the box.

*Disclaimer - I am not an electrician, but I have been to known to burn stuff up on occasion, sometimes just for fun.

there is an extra wire not being used (look at the one which labelled “C”). could it be neutral wire?

how do i differentiate the two black wires? the instruction says there are up to 5 wires per switch. the old switch didn’t say anything bout which black wire is which thus i can’t tell.

in GE switch’s manual, there are up to 5 wires:

  • ground
  • load
  • line
  • traveler
  • neutral

i am going to assume one black wire is “load.”

my question is, what should by my other black wire go? Line? does it matter which black wire is load and which wire is line?

Traveler is for 3 way switches (usually red in residential) ignore
white is neutral
black (from box) is line
black (to light) is load
green/bare is (usually) ground

If you are asking these kinds of questions I would highly suggest that you get someone who knows something about electrical installations. the cost of screwing up could be you dead from electrical shock or your family dead due to fire.

really…don’t touch it…