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Old 07-20-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Installing a Switch into a hardwired fixture ... PROBLEM! =(


I have an outside light that obviously at some point had a switch installed just inside the front door. It is now hardwired together with 2 grouped wires each containing a white and a black wire. They are simply taped together and covered with a piece of paneling. To turn off the light you have to remove the light or cut the breaker which goes to more than one source. The switch has a + and - screw and the ground screw. How would I wire this up? Any help is appreciated, Thanks.

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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Installing a Switch into a hardwired fixture ... PROBLEM! =(


Switches don't have "+" and "-" screws. The switch interrupts the hot feed to the device, so if one of the blacks is hot and the other goes to the light, the switch would be inserted between the two black wires.

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Installing a Switch into a hardwired fixture ... PROBLEM! =(


So feed the hot thru the switch and the other keep hardwired? And is it ok if there is no ground? Thanks for the help, newbie electrician here. hehe.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
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Installing a Switch into a hardwired fixture ... PROBLEM! =(


The black wire would be cut and attached to the switch terminals. The new switch on the wall has to be in a junction box so you will need to cut the white wire also to get the cable ends into the box, then reconnect the two white ends.

Simply twisting and taping wires together is not good enough. You would need to point both wires in the same direction to twist togehter, then get wire nuts to twist over the twisted ends.

It is possible you don't have enough slack in the cable to get the ends into the box and connected up. Should this be the case you would have to install two boxes, both open to the outside of the wall. Insert one cable end into each box and get a short length of cable to go between the boxes. Match up colors, black to black and white to white.

If you don't have a ground, it will still work.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
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Installing a Switch into a hardwired fixture ... PROBLEM! =(


Thanks! This helps a lot. Thankfully there is already a box, but I'll go back and wire nut the white wires. Appreciate everyone's help.
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