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Old 10-24-2008, 11:53 PM   #1
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little help please


I have a small room with 3 receptacles and a light switch. the switch controls half of each receptacle. I want to wire the switch to 4 can lights and make all the receptacles hot all the time. I expected to find two 14-2 wires connected to the switch ( one from panel and one to the receptacles )but there is only one , why? and what do I do now?

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Old 10-25-2008, 12:28 AM   #2
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little help please


The single 14-2 comes from one of the receptacles. It is a 2-wire loop. Open receptacles until you find it. When you do, you will find that one wire in the 14-2 will be wired to the hot circuit of the receptacle, and the other wil come back from the switch and wire to the switched side.

You will have to rewire that receptacle in order to get a neutral over to your light switch. Usually, the switch is at the end of the run since it is a 2-wire loop. So, you probably have a 14-2 from the switch and a 14-3 to the rest of the receptacles in that box. Wire the red and black from the 14-3 to the black from the 14-2, and the brass screw on the receptacle. Wire the whites together and the silver screw on the receptacle. Now the 14-2 at the switch will be hot and neutral. You just get your can light wire down and wire white to white and the blacks on the switch.

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Old 10-25-2008, 12:37 AM   #3
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little help please


How is the switch wired?

Its most likely wired like this

(When you break the tab, it "splits" the outlet.)
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:11 AM   #4
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little help please


So basically you are saying there is a 14-3 where essentially the blacks are going through the top receptalcles (always hot) .from the last one a 14-2 is going to the switch black on top, white on bottom back to the last receptcle where the white is powering the bottom and then the red wire is going through the bottom receptacles which will now be hot when the switch makes a connection in the on position.

now I am replacing all the receptacles and the switch so I should be able to just find which is the first receptacle on the circuit, eliminate the red wire and wire all the receptacles with the standard 2 wire setup. using the 14-2 in the switch box to power the lights and just run another wire from the switch to the lights. i have 12-2 wire that i was going to use for the lights, and there is a second bedroom on the same circuit with four receptacles where I will be doing the same thing and adding 4 lights as well. I won't be trying to draw too many amps off the breaker will I and If so do I up the breaker size, which makes me wonder if the 14-2 is too small for a larger breaker. Only planning on doing one room now because have baby on way and need to get it done.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:29 AM   #5
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little help please


With 14 awg you can only get 15 amps, no 20 amp. Even if its a run to a light, all has to be 12 or larger for 20, and 14 or larger for 15.
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