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Old 12-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


I was planning on putting at least 4 recessed lighting fixtures in my room which is in the second floor that is attic accessible. I have a switch going to an outlet that works but I want to run the electric to the 4 lights with a dimmer AND have it work on that outlet still . Is it possible?

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Old 12-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Anythings possible given enough time and $...

So the switch now switches the outlet?

You don't ever want to have a dimmer on an outlet.

so, you could replace the existing box with a duplex (double box) or install a new box for the dimmer in a convenient location.

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Old 12-17-2012, 10:51 PM   #3
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


No no no. I want to replace my existing switch on my wall with a dimmer and wire it to 4 recessed lights in my ceiling. But currently, the switch it wired to an outlet about 2 feet away from it. I'm asking if I could rewire that switch to the recessed light fixtures and still keep the outlet running with electricity.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Ahhh, Gotcha!

No problem.

If the power is already in the switch box and you can get a wire from there to the attic (sounds like you can) then you are all set.

If the power originates at the receptacle (likely) then you would rewire the switch loop to bring power to the switch box. Again, easy to do.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #5
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton20 View Post
No no no. I want to replace my existing switch on my wall with a dimmer and wire it to 4 recessed lights in my ceiling. But currently, the switch it wired to an outlet about 2 feet away from it. I'm asking if I could rewire that switch to the recessed light fixtures and still keep the outlet running with electricity.
You want to use the switch box you have currently with a dimmer switch to controls your lights and the outlet to remain hot without the switch?
The odds are that the power is at the outlet and you have a switch loop.( just a blk and wht in the switch box).
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:12 PM   #6
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


So what am I to do? I'm confused at how I can keep the outlet hot without a switch and still get power to the switch and lights.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


From: Ken Depue - CodeElectric@worldnet.att.net
How many times have you needed to run a very small drill bit through a wall, ceiling, or floor in order to see where to drill a hole from the other side, but your small diameter drill bits aren't long enough? Take a wire coat hanger, and clip the straight bottom off of it. Cut it to the desired length by cutting one end at a 45-degree angle. Take your time drilling, and you'll find that this 'probe' will eventually drill through most building materials except masonry. The wires used to hang drop ceilings work pretty well for this, too, as long as they're straight, so pick up their scraps.

If you have any Tricks of the Trade you would like to add or if you have any comments please feel free to Email E.T.E..
Tricks of the trade

Drill up where the wall meets the ceiling, go up in the attic and find the coathanger, then just drill over 2" and you should be in the center of the top plate. usually you can see the nails where the vertical studs are attached so you know where the joist bays are.

Thought this might help.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton20 View Post
I was planning on putting at least 4 recessed lighting fixtures in my room which is in the second floor that is attic accessible. I have a switch going to an outlet that works but I want to run the electric to the 4 lights with a dimmer AND have it work on that outlet still . Is it possible?
Here are 3 diagrams in which the receptacle is always HOT and the switch controls the light/lights.
Anywhere you see a fan...imagine that is only the lite fixture. Your situation will be determined by where your power originates at.

I do not show ground wires for ease of drawing.

Does power originate at the outlet location? Diagram #1.

Does power originate at the switch location? Diagram #2.

Does power originate at the light location? Diagram #3.
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Last edited by hammerlane; 12-18-2012 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


That helps. Now, will I have to fish all this wire, there is a drywall there and such.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


What size/kind of romex to use as well??
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


And so the ground wire is in the "power in" romex right? I just have to connect them separately?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:12 PM   #12
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton20 View Post
What size/kind of romex to use as well??
Same size you currently have.
Most likely, 14/2.
Diagram #2 would require 14/3.
If you have one cable in the box ground gos to the switch/receptacle. More then one cable in a box grounds twisted together with one longer that attaches to the switch,receptacle, light.

Last edited by sublime2; 12-18-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:27 PM   #13
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Ok thanks
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:26 AM   #14
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


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That helps. Now, will I have to fish all this wire, there is a drywall there and such.
Unless you can think of another way to get cable behind the drywall
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:38 AM   #15
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How to wire a switch from an existing box to a ceiling light?


Check the circuit breaker that controls this circuit and see if it is a 15 or 20 amp.

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#2 - If you follow my advice and something bad happens see # 1
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