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Old 10-02-2008, 10:23 PM   #1
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Newbie looking for a little advice...

Alright... I'm completely new to the forums and have a project I want to do but I want to ensure what I would like to do would not only work but also would be the wisest choice given my current wiring.

These pictures are all made from digging around in the attic and opening up every dang switch and outlet in my room to document what wires are going in and out. The wiring is a bit strange and not like any of the "typical" examples I have seen on-line, but it seems to work (in theory) and based upon my limited ability to see through walls, lol

In my current setup I have two 3-way switches controlling 2 outlets (or so I believe) but only the top plug-in for each one. As you can see the first outlet looks like it was bypassed and the 4th outlet only has 14/2 wire to it.

What I really want to do is make my outlets always hot (or on, whatever the lingo is) and instead of having my two 5 bulb lamps... move to six recessed lights that will be controlled by my current switches. Will it work? Would I be better off running a new 14/2 from my attic to outlet one so it’s not rigged around the switch?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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Before you do this you need to know if the circuit has capacity for the additional load.

What else is on the circuit?

Can you run a new circuit?

Is the existing circuit properly grounded?


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Old 10-02-2008, 10:50 PM   #3
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The circuit has…
6 outlets total (60” TV, computer, 2 lamps (10 - 100w bulbs) etc... typical living room stuff plugged in)
4 light fixtures (two are single bulb, one has 3 bulbs, the other has 4 bulbs + fan, all 75 watts)

I would have hoped removing the 2 lamps (10 - 100w bulbs) from the outlets and replacing them with 6 lights @75watts would not have a negative impact on the overall load… am I misunderstanding how this works?

I assume I probably could run another circuit, however, I was hoping to reuse as much of the current wiring as possible. It looks like it would be a PitA to get another circuit up into the attic since the box is on the outside wall of the house and the roof prevents me from getting over that way without extreme discomfort and hazardous nails.

The little “circuit tester” I borrowed seemed to check out ok on all the outlets. All the ground wires in the switches and circuits seem properly grounded given the information I have found online. Is there a better way to check this?
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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What I really want to do is make my outlets always hot

Remove and replace the switched outlets. Don't attach the switch legs (probably the red wires) to the new outlets. Wire nut them together instead. Cap off the end one.

If you want to save one dollar, install a jumper to replace the tab that had been taken out on the hot side of the outlet, between the screws.

To add your lights.... If you can get from one of the switched outlets, use the existing switch leg (and neutral/white) to feed your new recessed lights.

If you have to come from the switch, you are usually limited as to which switch you can come from. It must have the switch leg and neutral in it's jbox.

Last edited by 220/221; 10-03-2008 at 04:25 PM.
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