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Old 03-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #1
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Hi and thanks,
We are turning a closet into a wine area and I am adding some recessed lights.

Upon tearing out the drywall I realized there was a capped "hot" romex line in the cieling .. dont know why but it is there ...

I would like to use this line to feed the new recessed lights ..

Here is where the question comes in..

I need to drop a line down the wall for the actual switch .. Do I need to run 2 seperate lines so the switch can have a black at each screw ...

Or

Can I run one line (White Black Ground) and use the white as the hot to the switch and the black going to the lights ...

Obviously this solution involves pairing a white and black together in the cieling for power but if they are labled right is this OK?

Or should I run the 2 romex lines into the switch box and tie the whites together leaving 2 blacks for the switch..

Thanks in advance.

In southern california if that matters.

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Old 03-27-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Quote:
Originally Posted by beachfront71 View Post

Can I run one line (White Black Ground) and use the white as the hot to the switch and the black going to the lights ...

Obviously this solution involves pairing a white and black together in the cieling for power but if they are labled right is this OK?

What you suggest is totally proper. It is called a switch loop. Just make sure to reidentify the white conductor partially with either black tape or black marker at its ends.

Also the way you suggest to do it, white supplying power to the switch is the right way. Meaning do not use the white from the cable as the return power to the light, the white conductor can only be used as power to the switch.
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Last edited by hammerlane; 03-27-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


A few more photos of reidentfying the white conductor:
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??-p_scw_208_11.jpg   adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??-white-20wires-20taped-20black.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Some newer codes require a neutral at all outlets. Running 12-3 or 14-3 depending on what you already have now would make it easier later and give you the option of using some of the new timers or having a receptacle on the wall.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Thanks for the info!

With regards to having a nuetral at the outlet using 14/3 .. Not to sound like the novice I am but I am assuming 14/3 is the RED WHITE BLACK GROUND romex...

Would I then:

1. Use the red and black for the power to the switch and to the light (which one needs to be the hot feed into the switch and which one goes to the black of the light?)

2. Cap the nuetral line in the switch box?

This is actually a better idea as we tend to use a lot of smarthome/dimmer products that would require a nuetral in future use ..

Thanks aagain for the info..

Last edited by beachfront71; 03-27-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Correct the red and black would be the 2 hots. The white would just be capped in the box until needed.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


i have used both of these methods, either one will get the job done
using 14/3 or 12/3 is the best choice IMO.

on a personal note, #12 is the lowest i would go for any device.
good rule of thumb to go one higher than code on wiring, i think
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Why would you think that?
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


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Why would you think that?
why use 12 instead of 14 ?? 14 limits options for appliances, and i simply dont trust it to be heavy enough guage.
as i said, this is only my opinion. nothing wrong with "code", but better is better either way you look at it

a neighbors' house burned down after a licensed electrician wired according to code. im sure there were other reasons, probably over loaded circuits by the homeowners misuse... i dont know the whole story behind their tragic misfortune, except that it was electrical
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:21 AM   #10
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


An overloaded circuit is still an overloaded circuit and should be protected by an appropriate OCD, but to each their own.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:37 AM   #11
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Quote:
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i have used both of these methods, either one will get the job done
using 14/3 or 12/3 is the best choice IMO.

on a personal note, #12 is the lowest i would go for any device.
good rule of thumb to go one higher than code on wiring, i think
So do you pull #10s for 20amp circuits then.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:54 AM   #12
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


I actually had a guy yesterday want me to straighten out his garage. Someone had wired the garage years ago and ran a bunch of 14-2 on 20 amp breakers. I said best fix would be to just bring the breakers down to 15 amps and leave the rest be. He seems dead set on replacing all wire by running 10-2 wire. Some hardware big box store guru told him that's what he would run. I said no way would I work with that all day then he started talking about how good the UF wire looked and I walked/ran away mumbling I really don't have time for this kind of work.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:52 AM   #13
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


All.

Thanks for the advice.
All is well and appreciate the forum here.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


Quote:
Originally Posted by rrolleston
I actually had a guy yesterday want me to straighten out his garage. Someone had wired the garage years ago and ran a bunch of 14-2 on 20 amp breakers. I said best fix would be to just bring the breakers down to 15 amps and leave the rest be. He seems dead set on replacing all wire by running 10-2 wire. Some hardware big box store guru told him that's what he would run. I said no way would I work with that all day then he started talking about how good the UF wire looked and I walked/ran away mumbling I really don't have time for this kind of work.
Good lord #10 uf cable would make me become a plumber
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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adding a light and switch .. using a switch loop??


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So do you pull #10s for 20amp circuits then.
haha, no. just generally speaking, i dont use #14.
besides, for me it's easier to buy 12/2 and 12/3 in bulk
rather than 14/2, 14/3, 12/2, and 12/3

as i stated, code is fine. it's there to protect people.
so long as peeps dont put 20amps thru 14 as rrolleston encountered

maybe im wrong, but to me it makes sense to just run #12,
if in the future you wanna add a 20amp appliance there would be no need to change the wire.

LOL, perhaps this should be another thread for discussion:D

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