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Old 11-28-2007, 04:03 PM   #1
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electrically challeged


I'm installing two separate ceiling lights in my den and need two separate switches, one for each light. I plan on using an existing light switch that powers my ceiling fan/light by using a three gang box. My question is, how do you wire the power between the existing switch and the other two?
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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electrically challeged


You'd run a 2-wire from the switch to one light, and another 2-wire from the other switch to the other light. Or, you could run a 3-wire from the switches to the 1st light, and a 2 wire from the 1st light to the second light.

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:54 PM   #3
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electrically challeged


Before you run any new cables you need to determine if you have the correct wires in the switch box or just a switch loop.

If you only have 2 wires connected to the switch, 1 black and 1 white, you do not have a neutral for the new part of the circuit.
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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electrically challeged


You need to tell us what you have in the existing box (how many wires and what colors).
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:45 AM   #5
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electrically challeged


Sorry it took so long to reply to your posts. All of you are asking the right questions. The switch box I was going to tie to only has a black and a white, no neutral. I guess I will have to run a new wire to the new three gang box and then split the feed to each switch separately. But how do you do that? I've seen switches that have 3 connects and some that have four. Is that what I need?
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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electrically challeged


No. Those are two-way, three-way switches (for switching one light from multiple locations, like in a hallway). Once you run power into your switch box, you connect the hot to each new switch. Run 2-wire cable from each ceiling fixture to the switch box. Hook the whites to the white of the supply cable. Connect the blacks to each switch. Tie all the bare grounds together.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:20 AM   #7
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electrically challeged


looks like you have a "switch loop" situation, so you need to obtain the hot/neutral/ground wire from somewhere else other than your existing switch, it will be at your lighting device in this case... but that means you need to do wire fishing...
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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electrically challeged


Based on your questions, you should pick up a book from Home Depot or Lowe's - "Basic Wiring." Very comprehensive and fully illustrated.

You need to install boxes, cans and wiring in "old work" and 3 switches and a feed. This is more involved than just hanging a chandiler.
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Old 11-29-2007, 03:09 PM   #9
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electrically challeged


1. Change the 1 gang sw box to 3 gang plastic.

2. hook up the existing swith as it was. The white will be hot, the lack will be the sw leg.

3. Run a new 2 wire cable to the sw box from a 120 volt source.Bring it into the top of the box toward the left.

4. Run 2 seperate switch legs to your new fixtures and identify them by putting them thru the box knockout above their respective positions.

5. Tie all of your grounds (bare) together leaving pigtails for your switches/dimmers. Tie all your neutrals (white) together. Cut 2 pigtails and tie them to the hot wire.


You will end up with:

A) the original switch hooked to the original black/white.
B) two hot pigtails and two black switch legs, one hot one sw leg on each switch.


All the switch does is mechanically connect/disconnect the hot wire to the switch leg .

TIGHTEN you wire nuts and DON'T leave more than 1" of sheathing in the box and don't cut you wire too short.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:04 PM   #10
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electrically challeged


Ok wonderful! Thanks for all the help guys. I think I have it all figured out.

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