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Old 11-04-2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


I'm am slowly (operative word) but surely replacing the wiring in my home. My current project is my second floor which consists of 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. I pulled three circuits into my attic from the panel, one 20A for the bath and two 15A (one for lights and one for receptacles). Previously the entire second floor was on one 15A circuit.

I've got the bathroom done and I'm making decent progress on my receptacles. Three bedrooms have a total of 5 receptacles so I started by adding 4 new receptacles. I've now reached the first outlet of the old circuit which is a receptacle. Directly downstream of this outlet is a ceiling light which will be the first outlet on my light circuit.

Here's my question, can I run my romex to the light and leave the existing wiring in place to the switch or do I need to replace that wiring as well (the existing wiring is not romex, it's sheathed 2-wire...not sure the name)? If I do have to replace it, does it make more sense to run everything through the switches, the lights, or does it matter? I'm 95% certain the existing wiring runs through the lights and not the switches so it should be relatively simple to replace. If I have to pull new wire to the switches then it's more work and I have a three-way for the stairs that would be almost impossible to rerun.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #2
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


Does this existing cable to the switches have a ground? If not then you should replace it. If it were me I would replace all of it either way. Why put all of that time into it and leave old stuff in there? Once it is done then you will have piece of mind knowing that it is all new and safe.

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Old 11-04-2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


You probably should replace the line to the switch, its supposed to be grounded.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


No, the wire to the switch isn't grounded and the biggest impediment to me replacing it is my own laziness (although I seriously don't think I'm going to replace the three-way).

So...which is better, running the hots through the switches or the lights or does it matter? Does my question make sense?
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:32 PM   #5
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


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Originally Posted by jheavner View Post
No, the wire to the switch isn't grounded and the biggest impediment to me replacing it is my own laziness (although I seriously don't think I'm going to replace the three-way).

So...which is better, running the hots through the switches or the lights or does it matter? Does my question make sense?

It doesn't matter. Personally, I would replace the old stuff, but it should be ok.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:42 PM   #6
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replacing wire to ceiling lights


If at all possible, I would run the hot to the switch first. It makes troubleshooting easier, gives you a neutral at the switch for any future home automation devices, and minimizes the number of wires in ceiling boxes.

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