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Old 02-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


I have a florescent tube fixture that I want to put on the ceiling over my workshop and want to make sure I have the wiring down right.

I have an terminal outlet behind my work bench that I will be using for the power. That outlet has a 14-3 romex going into it with an outlet. I want to have my above florescent fixture have a switch. The florescent fixture has a Black and White wire. My switch is a single pole switch. My requirements and questions.

Requirements:
- Outlet must remain hot at all times
- Switch to only work with lighting fixture

Questions:
- Should the switch exists AFTER the outlet or BEFORE?
- Should I use the terminated RED hot for the switch to the outlet? Or pass the BLACK through the outlet?

My thoughts are to use the terminated red line (not in use), pass it through to the switch box. Wire nut the Red to the black (from the light), wire nut the white to the white (from the light), put a tail on both to connect it to the switch. (see shotty paint drawing)

That should work, right?
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


The white does not connect to the switch. Only the incoming and outgoing hot connect to the switch. Ground wires all spliced and to all devices.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


But the florescent lighting has a black and white wire... I would need to do something with that white wire...correct?
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:47 PM   #4
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


It appears that receptacle might have two separate hot feeds to it. It will probably take two breakers or a double pole breaker to turn it completely off.

To connect your new switched light fixture, take the white wire and feed it directly through to the new fixture. no connection to the switch.
Take either the black or red wire and run a feed to the switch. Take the black wire from your new fixture and connect that to the other terminal on the switch.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by draconius
I have a florescent tube fixture that I want to put on the ceiling over my workshop and want to make sure I have the wiring down right.

I have an terminal outlet behind my work bench that I will be using for the power. That outlet has a 14-3 romex going into it with an outlet. I want to have my above florescent fixture have a switch. The florescent fixture has a Black and White wire. My switch is a single pole switch. My requirements and questions.

Requirements:
- Outlet must remain hot at all times
- Switch to only work with lighting fixture

Questions:
- Should the switch exists AFTER the outlet or BEFORE?
- Should I use the terminated RED hot for the switch to the outlet? Or pass the BLACK through the outlet?

My thoughts are to use the terminated red line (not in use), pass it through to the switch box. Wire nut the Red to the black (from the light), wire nut the white to the white (from the light), put a tail on both to connect it to the switch. (see shotty paint drawing)

That should work, right?
Ok. There are a few issues here so to speak. #14 wire is only for 15 amp load, so it's normally only used for lighting. This means that your black and red wire should have a 2-pole, 15 amp breaker. The reason there is a red wire is that either: one color (black or red) is for one set of lights and the other can control another set (2 switches) or, one color is for outlet (s) and one is for the lights, or one is switched and one is constant power after a switch. Clear as mud?

The switch can go wherever you want it to be. If I'm not mistaken, the most recent code requires you to pull a neutral to the switch box--but don't use it unless for the switch--just pull it through the box. If you ever want to move the switch or branch off it for a device you have a neutral to work with.

Red wires are commonly used as switched legs (being after the switch) to contrast with the black which would have constant power, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Red can also be run for a second circuit and share the neutral. This is often done in kitchen circuits, that way 1 wire is pulled in but it provides 2 circuits.
More if needed-

Last edited by Biarski; 02-23-2013 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:58 AM   #6
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by draconius View Post
Requirements:
- Outlet must remain hot at all times
- Switch to only work with lighting fixture

Questions:
- Should the switch exists AFTER the outlet or BEFORE?
- Should I use the terminated RED hot for the switch to the outlet? Or pass the BLACK through the outlet?
diagram below shows switch after the outlet and using the black as the feed to the switch/light. Also the diagram assumes that each half of the outlet has different source power.

Like joed suggested that the receptacle may have "two feeds to it". which means it is part of a multi-wire branch circuit. Can you confirm that the tab is broken on the hot side of the outlet and that top and bottom half of the outlet have different power sources?
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Adding a light fixture wiring question-incom-out-sw-1-2-out-hot-2-2.jpg   Adding a light fixture wiring question-duplex-showing-tab.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Here is one with the switch "before" the outlet.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:20 AM   #8
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


with your diagram, the light will always be ON even when the switch is in the OFF position.

But when you flip the switch to the ON position you would create a "short" and the breaker would trip because you show a neutral attached to the switch
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Adding a light fixture wiring question-lighting-20fixture.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-24-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
diagram below shows switch after the outlet and using the black as the feed to the switch/light. Also the diagram assumes that each half of the outlet has different source power.

Like joed suggested that the receptacle may have "two feeds to it". which means it is part of a multi-wire branch circuit. Can you confirm that the tab is broken on the hot side of the outlet and that top and bottom half of the outlet have different power sources?
The red is absent from the outlet. It is only the black. Here are pictures.

Right side (hot side), the tab is still in tact and has one black wire leading to the top of the outlet. The left side (neutral) has one white wire leading to the bottom of the outlet. The red is terminated in the box and not connected to anything.
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Adding a light fixture wiring question-electric2.jpg   Adding a light fixture wiring question-electric3.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by draconius View Post
The red is absent from the outlet.....The red is terminated in the box and not connected to anything.
Does the red wire have power at it?? Meaning if you test across it and the white(neutral) do you show about 115V??
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #11
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Also you may need more room so you will have to get rid of that handy box and use a 4" square box with a rasied duplex cover. You could also get a cover with a combination duplex/switch configuration if you want to add the switch at the same location as the outlet.

Photo on the top left shows a combination GFCI/switch configuration. You would need the cover at the bottom left(combination duplex/switch? if you want to add the switch at the outlet location.
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Adding a light fixture wiring question-1013121813.jpg   Adding a light fixture wiring question-imagerequest.jpg   Adding a light fixture wiring question-raised-20dup-20cover.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:22 AM   #12
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Does the red wire have power at it?? Meaning if you test across it and the white(neutral) do you show about 115V??
My experience with all the other red wires in this house, is that they both carry 120v. However, I just ran a test...and the red is NOT carrying a load...

So I only have the black and white coming into the box. So does that mean that I can attach the black and white (pig tailed of course) from the switch to the outlet? Leaving the white unconnected to the switch?
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #13
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


I think this is what you are suggesting.

The below diagram will have the receptacle always HOT and the switch will power the light.

no ground wires shown for ease of drawing
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Adding a light fixture wiring question-incom-20out-20to-20sw-201-2-20out-20hot-2-202.jpg  
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #14
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Adding a light fixture wiring question


Are you placing the switch in the same location/box as your current receptacle kind of like this:
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Last edited by hammerlane; 02-24-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:02 PM   #15
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No, I'll be doing a separate box that I already bought. Though I do like the look of one box...

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