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wengang1 08-21-2010 09:23 PM

first circuit wiring, please take a look
I'm ready to wire the lights in the kitchen.
I have two sets of 3 recessed lights on a double switch box (so that I can turn on 3 or 6 lights) and 1 chandalier on a third, separate switch.

I'm including a diagram showing how I intend to wire all of this on one circuit, but it's my first one, and I want to make sure it's correct.

Looking at this diagram (which I designed based on the B&D Wiring book), the main thing I have a problem with is how to run the sheathed wire. I see how I can easily use a section of wire between any two recessed lights, but then from the lights to the switches and to the wire nuts, the hot, neutral, and ground wires are different in number and distance, so will I have single pieces of ground wire running those distances outside the sheath. For example, the hot wires and ground wires run from the subpanel to the nut and then to the respective switches, then to the lights, but the neutral wires go straight to the lights. So what does that look like? Do I have just a piece of the white neutral wire running, or do I run a whole piece of 14/2 and only connect the white wires?
Also, the book showed additional ground wires going to the switch housings, but I read somewhere that if the box isn't metal that is not necessary. If I do use metal, again, would I just run the additional piece of raw copper? and, as you can see in the diagram, on the chandalier, I ran the ground from the chandalier to the switch and then back to the nut. Is that ok, or does a separate ground need to run from each one back to the nut?

other suggestions etc as you see them.

frenchelectrican 08-21-2010 10:04 PM

I will make it simple real quick.,

Bring the power to the first double gang box first { you will see why in a min } and mark that one is incomming power then take that power lead and run to the other switch box that also incomming power as well then set it aside for a moment.

Now take the 2.5mm˛ twinner { 14-2 NM } cable from the double switch box to the first row of luminaires and hook them up in parallel format black to blacks white to whites and bare/ green to bare / green do the same thing with other row of luminaires.

at the double gang switch box tie all white together and set it back next step is bare conductor you can use the red wirenut and make 2 bare pigtails for ground connection on switch { green colour screws } then next step is first thing is get the first incomming and outgoing to other switch box the black to black but make a two pig tails as well use red wirenut as well { don't bother use the yellow one due the numbers of conductors in there }

Then last part at two gang switch box two indivual black conductors each one will be used with single pole toggle or rocker switch just make a sheperd hook and hook them up in clockwise and tighten them down.

Now go to the single gang box as you see incoming cable and outgoing to the luminaire now the white just wirenut together { yellow one } next the bare wirenut together and leave a pigtail { you can use green one on this one otherwise yellow will work just fine as well }
Then each black one go to the switch and other one to switch.

The reason why I rather run the netural at the swtich box due in future you may have a timer or other gimzo it may required a netural in the switch box and it will be ready for ya.

and all the 2.5mm˛ { 14 AWG } are on 15 amp breaker.

If have more question just holler.

BTW make sure you get deepwell switch box I know it cost little more but it will really worth it due it have more room to work around.


wengang1 08-24-2010 05:33 PM

hey thanks for replying.
i'm not following what you're saying very well.

First, running the power to the double switch box, does this mean connecting the hot wire to one of the right screws on one of the switches? What about the white and bare wires from that incoming power line?
Second, running this line then to the other switch, does that mean just connecting black from one of the switches in the double to the single switch? again, what about the white and bare copper?
Third, tying all the white together at the double switch box, does that mean three whites (the orginal incoming power and the two whites that went out to each set of luminaries)?

frenchelectrican 08-24-2010 08:31 PM

Let moi ask one person in this forum he can make a drawing and he is good at it.


TimPa 08-25-2010 08:54 AM

electrically your circuit looks fine. realize that wire nut colors relate to their wire "size and quantity" capacity, look for this info on the box. a green nut for grounds has a hole in the end allowing one of the wires being connected to extend beyond the wire nut to attach to the switch or box. yes, metal boxes require grounding as do the light fixtures.

are all 3 switches in one box? or 2 and 1?

wengang1 08-27-2010 08:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
hey all.
thanks for the replies.
i didn't realize there were more responses.
I've drawn a better diagram. i get confused looking at individual wires rather than the whole sheathed wire.
does this look ok?
i see what you mean about the ground nut. One wire coming through would be more efficient than all the multi-coupling.

Jim F 08-27-2010 09:12 PM

That does look more coherent. I have to go back and read whenever I do wiring. It's always very confusing to me. I was able to follow Marc's reply pretty well though, broken English and all. I encountered what he was talking about with the white neutral wire recently when I went to put in a timer switch. Toggle switches don't use them but timers require their own power so they need it. Plus it makes much more sense to keep the neutral wire going through with the black and ground wires. Your second diagram does make more sense.

Is a 15 amp circuit adequate for those pot lights? I don't know much about them, but do want to install some in the future.

Speedy Petey 08-28-2010 06:30 AM

I agree with Marc. WHY the junction box after the panel? Just bring your feed into, and out of, one of the switch boxes.

No offense, but I cannot understand DIYers obsession with unnecessary junction boxes. :huh:

Jim Port 08-28-2010 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 492295)
No offense, but I cannot understand DIYers obsession with unnecessary junction boxes. :huh:

What is worse, too many JBs or open splices in the wall?

wengang1 08-28-2010 09:27 PM

Hey all.
I connected everything today.
and I'm happy to say the lights are on (even if nobody's home)!

Jim & Jim,
The diagram can't reflect this, but the panel and the double gang are on one wall, and the single is on an opposite wall, opposite corner from the other switches. Without the junction box, the double back would be 20+ feet more wire. I just figured this would "look neater", even though I guess I'll never be up in the attic admiring it.

Thanks again all.

frenchelectrican 08-29-2010 03:50 AM


Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 492295)
I agree with Marc. WHY the junction box after the panel? Just bring your feed into, and out of, one of the switch boxes.

No offense, but I cannot understand DIYers obsession with unnecessary junction boxes. :huh:

That one reason why I try to encourge the DIY's to keep it simple and less numbers of connections and boxes that can go wrong the fewer it get more easier to troubleshoot down the road.

Yeah DO not bury the juction boxes at all.

I know one electrician on diffrent fourm he did posted one good example why you can NOT buried the box in the wall but I will ask his permission to post it here if he say ok I will post it.


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