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Old 01-08-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


Hello, got a small basement remodel going on and wasn't sure why a circuit was wired a certain way. I've got 14/2 wire coming out of the box tied into several light fixtures, the simple porcelain style on an unfinished ceiling. The wire runs from one fixture to another, to another, and onto another - a total of four fixtures. On the 4th fixture, the farthest from the breaker box, the 14/2 wire comes out and runs upstairs energizing a single outlet. There is also a 12/3 wire I believe it is - one black, one red, a white, plus ground - coming out of it which runs to a double gang box at the bottom of the stairs.

Two switches in this box, one works with another switch at the top of the stairs making a two way connection for another light fixture not previously mentioned, while the second switch turns on and off the 4th fixture ONLY, which I noted in the above paragraph. My question is....why is a 12/3 wire being used from the second switch to the 4th light fixture ??

And second of all, I want to have a switch turn on and off the 3rd fixture only, and another switch to turn on and off the 1st and 2nd fixture, do all the circuits require a 12/3 wire be run to them ?? If so, how are the 3 wires plus ground connected to the fixture which has 14/2 wiring ??

Also, can 14/2 wire be used in a circuit of 6 outlets which will have a computer and entertainment center, (TV, DVR, DVD, possible radio) hooked into it ?? I assume 12/2 would be best but I hot an unopened 100' box of 14/2 laying around. Thanks in advance for your time.

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Old 01-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


I would also add that the 4th fixture, sporting a 14/2 in, another 14/2 out, and the 12/3 (possibly 14/3) coming out, are connected in the following manner. All whites are connected with a jumper to silver screw on fixture, two blacks and one red are connected with the black from the 12/3 being connected to the gold screw, all grounds tied together.

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Old 01-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


It is likely that the 12-3 you speak of carries power to the two gang box of the stair light, as well as a switched wire for your 4th light. So for example, power comes into the 4th light box, but doesn't connect to the light. Instead, it may connect to the black wire in the 12-3, go down to the switch, and come back on the red to turn the light on and off. In the same cable is a neutral for the stair light.

If you want to switch the 3rd fixture, disconnect the black from the fixture, then you can run a 14-2 to it, and connect the new white wire to the existing blacks. Then connect the new black wire to the light where the old black was.

Switching the 1st and second lights together is a little more complicated, because there isn't enough wires between them. Right now, you have two wires between them (not including the ground), but you need three. You will need to change that portion of the circuit to 14-3. Then you can run a 14-2 just like I described above.

Make sense?
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


Thanks for the earlier reply, just now getting back to the basement. The three way wire off the switch to the 4th light makes sense, the 14/2 tie in off a switch for the 3rd fixture is simple enough, and running another 14/2 in a similar manner to the 2nd light in order to switch it and the first light together - with the need for a 14/3 between them.

How are the connections made with the red wire between the 1st and 2nd light ???
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by whowadat View Post
Thanks for the earlier reply, just now getting back to the basement. The three way wire off the switch to the 4th light makes sense, the 14/2 tie in off a switch for the 3rd fixture is simple enough, and running another 14/2 in a similar manner to the 2nd light in order to switch it and the first light together - with the need for a 14/3 between them.

How are the connections made with the red wire between the 1st and 2nd light ???
I will assume that fixtures 1-3 are pull-chain only.

You will probably be better off running new wire from the panel to the 4th fixture box directly, keep the 14/2 between fixture 1 and 2 and 3, then remove the 14/2 between 3 and 4, and add 14/3 from the 3rd fixture to the switch box. The black wire would be one set of lights, and the red wire would be the other set. Ideally the power in to the 4th fixture would just bypass fixtures 1-3 completely (since there is no need for the power to pass through those boxes).

Alternate Options:
Change the wire from box 1 and 2 and 3 to 14/3 using the black as the power constant (which eventually ends up in the 4th fixture) and the red is for ligts 1 and 2 and ends in the 3rd fixture box. Then run an additonal run of 14/3 from the 3rd box where the black wire connects to the 3rd fixture only, and the red wire connects with the red wire from the first two fixtures.

Last option would be to connect the existing wire together in boxes 1-3 with no other connections (ignore its existence) and run new 14/2 between box 1 and 2 and 3 connecting the first two lights together and then 14/3 to the 3rd box to run power for both the 3rd light and the first 2 lights. Alternatively if you want to use only 14/2, instead of running the 14/2 from the 2nd fixture to the 3rd, run it directly to the switch box along with a separate 14/2 from the 3rd box.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Question about a circuit and wiring.....


Well, thanks for the input! What I ended up doing is pulling the 14/2 wire from fixture 1 and 2 out and replacing it with a 14/3 and rewired the whole shebang like this diagram shows.....

http://www.electrical-online.com/ima...eceptacles.gif


I did connect a 14/2 from a switch to fixture 3 like the earlier poster suggested, everything works great....Thanks again for your help folks!



PS. the first fixture had an outlet incorporated into it which the cable guy plugged the phone box into, the phone service is through the cable company. I hooked up another outlet right near the fixture because when the light was switched off the outlet on the fixture was dead, which of course was expected. I mention this in case someone else might of had a similar situation and was wondering why their phone no longer worked.

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