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dc4nomore 12-16-2008 11:37 AM

Is this allowed??
 
1 Attachment(s)
I really need to finish my kitchen lighting project today, but have never wired up anything with a light switch. I just need some confirmation that the below drawing will be ok. I know there will be a lot of wires in the box, so I was going to put it in a double gang box with an expander piece, to make it double depth as well.

It is a little hard to tell what is what because my scanner won't scan in color, but the two pigtails on the bottom and right are the hot wires. The pigtail in the middle is the neutrals. And the pigtail on the top middle represents the grounds. And another thing, there will be 7 ground wires total, is that ok?

Please help me out here, I would really appreciate it.

Dave

Billy_Bob 12-16-2008 11:44 AM

If you run the power to the light fixtures and fan or to a junction box in the attic/basement, then you can have only one wire going to each switch!

Light fixtures just cover the box and don't go into the box like a switch does (taking up room in the box), so there is more room in a light fixture electrical box for wiring connections.

jogr 12-16-2008 11:50 AM

Dave,
That looks right.

If your lights are close together or somewhat along the same "path" you could just run one romex from the switch box to the first light and one romex from the first light to the second light.

If you use a plastic switch box you could eliminate the one ground pigtail that goes to the box.

jamiedolan 12-16-2008 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dc4nomore (Post 198801)
I really need to finish my kitchen lighting project today, but have never wired up anything with a light switch. I just need some confirmation that the below drawing will be ok. I know there will be a lot of wires in the box, so I was going to put it in a double gang box with an expander piece, to make it double depth as well.

It is a little hard to tell what is what because my scanner won't scan in color, but the two pigtails on the bottom and right are the hot wires. The pigtail in the middle is the neutrals. And the pigtail on the top middle represents the grounds. And another thing, there will be 7 ground wires total, is that ok?

Please help me out here, I would really appreciate it.

Dave

Why do you have 2 seperate cables going up to the lights?

Get a wire nut or crimp on connector for the grounds that is rated for 7 wires or pigtail them and use 2 connectors.

Jamie

dc4nomore 12-16-2008 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billy_Bob (Post 198805)
If you run the power to the light fixtures and fan or to a junction box in the attic/basement, then you can have only one wire going to each switch!

Light fixtures just cover the box and don't go into the box like a switch does (taking up room in the box), so there is more room in a light fixture electrical box for wiring connections.

Do you mean having the switches at the end of the run? I'm kind of unsure how to do that. Isn't that where you mark the neutral as a hot?

The light fixture boxes I'm using are very small pancake style (only 6 cu. in.) so that's why I didn't just take the power from one light to the next. I have to use the pancake style because they're being mounted on the bottom of a header and I don't want to have to add an inch and a half of wood to make it flush with a larger box - the pancake style is the same thickness as the drywall.

I could add a junction box in between the two lights and the light switch rather easily. That would clear up the light switch box a little.

Also, the incoming power line in the pic would actually be coming from another light switch, not directly from the service panel. So if I put the switches at the end of the line, I'd somehow still have to pickup that first light switch and lights.

jamiedolan 12-16-2008 12:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dc4nomore (Post 198810)
Do you mean having the switches at the end of the run? I'm kind of unsure how to do that. Isn't that where you mark the neutral as a hot?

The light fixture boxes I'm using are very small pancake style (only 6 cu. in.) so that's why I didn't just take the power from one light to the next. I have to use the pancake style because they're being mounted on the bottom of a header and I don't want to have to add an inch and a half of wood to make it flush with a larger box - the pancake style is the same thickness as the drywall.

I could add a junction box in between the two lights and the light switch rather easily. That would clear up the light switch box a little.

Also, the incoming power line in the pic would actually be coming from another light switch, not directly from the service panel. So if I put the switches at the end of the line, I'd somehow still have to pickup that first light switch and lights.

You have power at the switch box right?

Very messy drawing done in paint, but I think you will understand.
Attachment 6559



Jamie

dc4nomore 12-16-2008 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 198809)
Why do you have 2 seperate cables going up to the lights?

Get a wire nut or crimp on connector for the grounds that is rated for 7 wires or pigtail them and use 2 connectors.

Jamie


Sorry you guys responded before I could answer that one....see above post. The pancake box for the light fixtures is barely large enough for one piece of 14/2 coming in, let alone a 2nd one going to the other light. It is only 6 cu. in.

What do you mean Jamie by pigtailing and using 2 connectors? Like twist together 3 separately and then the other 4 separately and then connect both of those to the box?

I think I will do as Jogr suggested and use a plastic box, that will help eliminate one more wire from the box.

Thanks guys! Keep it coming!

jamiedolan 12-16-2008 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dc4nomore (Post 198815)
Sorry you guys responded before I could answer that one....see above post. The pancake box for the light fixtures is barely large enough for one piece of 14/2 coming in, let alone a 2nd one going to the other light. It is only 6 cu. in.

What do you mean Jamie by pigtailing and using 2 connectors? Like twist together 3 separately and then the other 4 separately and then connect both of those to the box?

I think I will do as Jogr suggested and use a plastic box, that will help eliminate one more wire from the box.

Thanks guys! Keep it coming!

Yes, you can do it the other way if you can't go light to light with the connections. That is a small box. Most of the time you can fix that connection in lights, this is a very very common setup I have shown. But it works either way.

You can use a plastic box and then you don't have to bond the ground to it. Yes you are correct in my description of pig tails.

jamie

dc4nomore 12-16-2008 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 198813)
You have power at the switch box right?

Very messy drawing done in paint, but I think you will understand.
Attachment 6559

Jamie

Thanks for the drawing Jamie. I do understand what you mean. But what about the limited cu. in. issue with the pancake light fixtures? The wires would be dropping down through a header I just installed. I purposely left a 1" void in the plywood in the middle of the header directly where each light would be, so the wire could drop down from the attic. But the pancake would be mounted to the bottom of the header, flush with drywall. A larger box would require that I "extend" the header downward to be flush with the box, plus then we would lose headroom on our bar (directly below the header).

Thanks!

jogr 12-16-2008 12:12 PM

Dave, you have done your homework and have a better understanding of box fill requirements than most DIYers. Given your constraints with the beam I'd go with your plan.

Billy_Bob 12-16-2008 12:17 PM

If you can run just one wire to a switch (by using junction boxes in attic/basement) or running power to fixture (can't do in your case), the switches look like this (no craming)...

(I know - there should be a ground...)

http://www.electrical-online.com/Lig...s/image001.gif

Billy_Bob 12-16-2008 12:20 PM

P.S. Running just one wire to each switch box comes in VERY handy when you have a 4 or 6 gang switch box! (4 or 6 switches all in the same box.)

jamiedolan 12-16-2008 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dc4nomore (Post 198820)
Thanks for the drawing Jamie. I do understand what you mean. But what about the limited cu. in. issue with the pancake light fixtures? The wires would be dropping down through a header I just installed. I purposely left a 1" void in the plywood in the middle of the header directly where each light would be, so the wire could drop down from the attic. But the pancake would be mounted to the bottom of the header, flush with drywall. A larger box would require that I "extend" the header downward to be flush with the box, plus then we would lose headroom on our bar (directly below the header).

Thanks!

The way your planing is just fine in your situation. It just saves a run of wire when you can connect them the way it is shown in my drawing.

Given your situation I would probably wire them the same way you are with 2 feeds from the switch box. If your going with plastic, they make extra deep boxes for a couple extra dollars, they make it really easy to work with. I think your fixture boxes are even smaller than I was picturing at first, so go with your plan.

I only wish my kitchen lighting was going to be so easy. I'll have way over 50 connections by the time I am done with just the lighting.

Jamie

dc4nomore 12-16-2008 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billy_Bob (Post 198824)
If you can run just one wire to a switch (by using junction boxes in attic/basement) or running power to fixture (can't do in your case), the switches look like this (no craming)..

I know what you mean there with the one wire to each switch...that would make it MUCH more simplified. I was almost tempted to wire each thing on it's own circuit to simplify things, but I didn't want to waste the wire or the space in my service panel.

I think I may add a junction box in between the switch box and the 2 lights to slightly simplify it. But I don't think I can feed the power from the attic to the switch box, because there is another switch box not shown that the power is actually coming from.

Thanks a lot for the help!

dc4nomore 12-16-2008 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamiedolan (Post 198827)
The way your planing is just fine in your situation. It just saves a run of wire when you can connect them the way it is shown in my drawing.

Given your situation I would probably wire them the same way you are with 2 feeds from the switch box. If your going with plastic, they make extra deep boxes for a couple extra dollars, they make it really easy to work with. I think your fixture boxes are even smaller than I was picturing at first, so go with your plan.

I only wish my kitchen lighting was going to be so easy. I'll have way over 50 connections by the time I am done with just the lighting.

Jamie

I think I will get the deep plastic box you are talking about. Thanks.

Haha my lighting circuit probably isn't as complicated as yours, but this isn't all of it! There are 4 more can lights and possibly some undercabinet lights as well.


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