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Old 01-07-2013, 02:23 AM   #1
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


A couple questions before I stick this light up. I don't think I have any issues here, but might as well ask before I run electricity through it and create a potential fire hazard. The switch should be wired in line with the white wire, correct? Does it make any difference which way the switch is wired up? I'm guessing no. One side of the switch has an "RL" on it and the other has an "S," but those look like unrelated logos. The switch type is - 3A250VAC 6A125VAC 3A125VL See any problems? Here are a few pics of what I've done so far -

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 AM   #2
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Sorry for the lack of formatting, can't figure out why the board did that.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Switchs are not polerized !
So it does not matter which way it is wired,
Or which one is "in" or "out".
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:47 AM   #4
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Thanks. No other problems? I'm sure I'm being overly cautious.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyRay View Post
The switch should be wired in line with the white wire, correct?
NO...The white is the neutral. You switch the black wire. Also, Who added that blue crimp connection and why? It looks like a neutral is tied to a Green ground wire (can't realy tell with my colorblindness)

Last edited by danpik; 01-07-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:40 AM   #6
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


A switch wired in line with the white neutral wire will work - i.e. it will turn the light on and off, but it is not considered safe. That's because even with the switch turned off, there is positive voltage at the fixture even though the current is stopped. That means someone could get shocked when touching the light or working on it because they think the power is off. Technically it's advised to always turn off the breaker when working on a circuit fixture, but still it's a bad idea. Always wire the switch in line with the black hot wire.

I don't get that red wire connected to the white wire either - figure out that that's doing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


I put the red wire on the white wire. I'll move it to the black wire. It's an extension so I can wire up the switch. Red is the color I have. It's interesting that black is power for AC.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


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Originally Posted by JeremyRay View Post
I put the red wire on the white wire. I'll move it to the black wire. It's an extension so I can wire up the switch. Red is the color I have. It's interesting that black is power for AC.
Please don't do anything dangerous - you are worrying me. I would definitely not invent colors to use. Keep it consistent.....
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


If that red wire is car wire (primary wire) you should not be using it.

As an example, the primary wire sold by Southwire is type GPT. Its insulation is rated at 60 volts DC, or 25 volts AC.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


I'm asking questions to avoid doing anything dangerous. Let's go back to the beginning then. Is there anything wrong with extending the black wire to meet the switch, with the correct black wire, then back to the center of the fixture with more of the correct black wire? Is there anything wrong with the switch? What is the correct black wire to use? What is the correct way to join the wires together?
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:41 AM   #11
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Normally a regular one-way on-off switch like that should be wired with only black wire, or if one of the wires is white it should be wrapped with some black tape to show that it's hot. If you use Romex cable, then you can take out individual wires if you need to, or ideally run the whole insulated cable to where it needs to be. Romex cable is the stuff that basically all houses are wired with.

http://tinyurl.com/bcbnggq

It's still hard to see exactly where the wires are coming from. You can connect the Romex cable wires to the stranded switch wires with wire nuts of the correct size. Assuming the Romex is 24ga and the switch wires are 18ga, you can use wire nuts like these.

http://tinyurl.com/b93rjex

(Box of 100, of course you can get them cheaper for fewer)
Pay attention to the minimum and maximum wire gauges for any wire nuts you buy.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:06 AM   #12
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How come no crimps? Just askin'
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:11 AM   #13
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


While crimps work fine on stranded wire, they will not work at all on solid wire. Small temp changes will cause the crimp to loosen over time. I do not know of a code restriction for using them in stranded wire. It is not commonly done and most consider that type of connection to be amaturish. It also make dissassembly of the connection for troubleshooting more difficult.

Twisted wires under a wire nut is the industry acceptable way of doing this type of wiring. (some will argue the whole twist-vs-non twist thing)
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #14
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Adding a switch to a bathroom vanity light


Thanks. I'll see what I can dig up in the next few days. I may already have the wire and wire nuts.

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