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Old 04-25-2007, 05:52 PM   #1
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installing a single pole switch


I presently have lights in the basement that you turn on and off by pulling the chain.

I would like to add a switch, so that I can turn them on and off with it.
(Eventually, I will add a fixture, when basement is done.)

I bought a single pole switch, that has only two brass screws.

How would I install this to the light (with the chain) so that it will work.

I have checked the light (with the chain) and it has a back and white wire attached to the two silver screws that are there.

Is this the correct switch to use, and how would I hook it up?

Thanks very much.

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Old 04-25-2007, 06:05 PM   #2
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installing a single pole switch


Just need a switch "leg" /wire running from the light switch box over to the pull chain light fixture box.

The black and white hook on the light fixture on the appropriate terminals. Black wire on the darker screw, white wire on the silver screw.

In your switch box, cut the black wire coming in from the power and hook it onto one terminal of your switch. The black wire from your switch "leg" goes on the other switch screw.

Neutrals/whites are all wire nutted together as they are only passing thru the box. The hot/black is the only wire you need to switch.

Grounds get wire nutted together by themselves also.

[power off while doing this please and lockout/tagout]

Dont forget to set the pull chain to the "on" positon when testing.

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Old 04-25-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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installing a single pole switch


Run a two wire cable from your existing light to the switch location.
At the light.
Disconnect the black wire from the light and connect it to the new white wire.
Connect the new black wire to the screw where you just removed the black wire.
Connect all the ground wires together.

At the switch connect the black and white wires to the switch side screws. If it has one connect the ground wire to the green screw.

Mark the new white wire black with a marker at both ends.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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installing a single pole switch


With the pull chain device left in place you will have on/off both at the switch and pull chain. Or you could just leave the pull chain in the on position and on/ off at the switch.

You need to drop what is called a switch loop from the pull chain fixture to the switch. This is just a romex (nm-b) cable with a black wire, white wire and bare ground wire in it. It should be the same awg gauge as you have existing at the light fixture. Probably 14 awg or 12 awg...it will say on the outer jacket. Turn the circuit breaker off. Disconnect the black wire from the fixture screw, if this wire is fastened in a wire nut remove it from the wire nut. Take the white wire in the cable you ran to the switch and connect it to the black wire/or black wires that were connected to the fixture screw where you removed the black wire. Take a black magic marker and color about 2 inches of the end of the white wire that goes into the wire nut to identify it as a black hot wire. At the switch connect it to one of the screws and color it black like mentioned. Now at the switch take the black wire and connect it to the switches remaining screw. At the light connect it to the screw of the fixture.... this is your switched hot. Connect the ground wire in the new cable to the other ground wire/wires at the fixture and box. If the switch box is metal you need to attach a ground to it also and to the bare ground in the romex cable and to the green screw of the new switch. You dont have to do anything with the white wire/wires connected at the fixture.






edit: I see I'm a little late......

If you have conduit post back.

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 04-25-2007 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:50 AM   #5
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installing a single pole switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
Run a two wire cable from your existing light to the switch location.
At the light.
Disconnect the black wire from the light and connect it to the new white wire.
Connect the new black wire to the screw where you just removed the black wire.
Connect all the ground wires together.

At the switch connect the black and white wires to the switch side screws. If it has one connect the ground wire to the green screw.

Mark the new white wire black with a marker at both ends.



Thanks to everyone for all the information.

Joed:

Let's see if I have this correct:

At my switch I also have a ground, but no green screw on the switch, but there are two green screws in the back of the plastic box, so I assume I connect it there.


The new white wire (from the switch) that will be connected to the black wire at the light, will be marked black at both ends and have a wire nut around them. Correct?


The new black wire will be hooked up to the screw where I just removed the old black wire?

The grounds I will connect all together with a wire nut.

Also, there are receptacles that run from this light, is that a problem?
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:12 PM   #6
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installing a single pole switch


Yes you have it correct. If you just work with the wire at the light as specified you will not affect the receptacles.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #7
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installing a single pole switch


Thank you so much for your very simple easy to understand (I'm a newbie, in more ways than one) explanation.

I just have one other question.

The black wire that is on the light right now, is a pigtail. I think that is what it is called, according to my extensive reading on home wiring.
(It's a short piece of black wire (about 4 inches long) that is attached to the screw of the light plate and the other black wire from the source).

This is still ok?
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:19 PM   #8
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installing a single pole switch


Hi Yummy

Joe seems to be off line at the moment.

If it is just under a screw on the light fixture and the other end in a wire nut just remove it and discard it. The black wire from the switch will takes its place but it will not go to the wirenut with the other blacks just the light fixture. Remember the white to the switch will go in that wirenut (power source). You do not want a connection from the power source hot to the light screw. You want the power source to go to the switch first on that white wire then back to the light on the black.


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Last edited by Stubbie; 04-26-2007 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:05 AM   #9
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installing a single pole switch


Thanks for the information, Stubbie.

I will disgard the piece of black wire that is there now, and
hook up the white to the black power source with a wire nut, and mark it back at both ends.

The new black wire from the switch will go to the screw on the light fixture.

So, I am not going to do anything to the white wire that is already at the light fixture in the other screw, is that correct?


Thanks Stubbie, I appreciate your help.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:10 PM   #10
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installing a single pole switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Thanks for the information, Stubbie.

I will disgard the piece of black wire that is there now, and
hook up the white to the black power source with a wire nut, and mark it back at both ends.

The new black wire from the switch will go to the screw on the light fixture.

So, I am not going to do anything to the white wire that is already at the light fixture in the other screw, is that correct?


Thanks Stubbie, I appreciate your help.
YM -

One other small tip that frustrates a few people, when you are curving the wire to go around the screw, make sure you curve it in the direction that the screw tightens, clockwise, otherwise, thightening the screw tends to push the wire away.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:09 PM   #11
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installing a single pole switch


Thanks for the tip, J187.

I have been doing that for my receptacles.

I always make sure that the wire is completely around the screw, and then tighten.
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:34 PM   #12
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installing a single pole switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by yummy mummy View Post
Thanks for the tip, J187.

I have been doing that for my receptacles.

I always make sure that the wire is completely around the screw, and then tighten.

Oh, right, HOW could I forget the receptacles...
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:58 PM   #13
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installing a single pole switch


OH, YES, THOSE RECEPTACLES.........

(When I'm done, I'm inviting him over for beer.................)
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:22 PM   #14
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installing a single pole switch


don't know if this is already mentioned above... but rather than putting the wire around the screw and tightened it... there is a small hole on the back of the switch one besides each screw... you can insert the wire directly into the hole.... those wire once inserted cannot be pulled out without using a small screw driver to insert into a switch below it... I discovered this after opening up one of the switch installed by the builder...I think this is the easiest and fastest way of doing it... don't worry about it not being safe... it is very safe and I did all mine like that...
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:31 PM   #15
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installing a single pole switch


Not all receptacles or switches are "back wireable" as you describe. Even so, it is pretty widely accepted, at least among the pros that I know, that the prefered method is to still use the old fashioned screw terminals.

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