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Old 08-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
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switch loop


I'm trying to install a new light and switch but the only power i have is from the existing switch for the existing light and unfortunately it is a switch loop. is there any way that i can rewire the existing light to get rid of the switch loop so that i can use this to power a new light?
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #2
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switch loop


Not without new cable. You need a three wire cable from the light to the switch or you need power cable coming into the switch.
Or you could bring power to the new light and wire another switch loop.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:15 PM   #3
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switch loop


how can i bring power with a new switch loop. i also have wires that were previously connected to an outlet and i planned to use that as the power source but for some reason they went dead. any theory on why? i know they were working one day and the next they werent

Last edited by badluck; 08-04-2009 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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switch loop


Are you saying you have a 3 way switch loop and you are trying to install a new switch and new light from the switch that feeds the light and there is no constant power in that particular switch box?

If the answer is yes, then look at what joed said above. If the answer is no, let us know. We need to understand your question more clearly.
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:51 AM   #5
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switch loop


>>> ... for some reason they went dead. ... i know they were working one day and the next they werent ...

A loose connection somewhere, possibly in another outlet box along the way.

When the wires are pushed into the backs of switches and receptacles and stick in place without the need to be screw-clamped, there is a great chance of loose connections developing over the years. When you can, it is a good idea to redo these connections using the screws on the sides of the switches and receptacles or use switches and receptacles that permit the wires stuck in the back to be held firmly by the turn of a screw and where the wire will no longer rotate back and forth.

>>> ... how can I bring power with a new switch loop?

You would be commandeering the wires used for the old switch loop to provide power for the new fixture as tapped from the switch box and you would need to run another cable to connect to the old switch (not sure how that differs from running the new cable to provide power for the new fixture and leaving the old switch undisturbed).

>>> ... get rid of the switch loop ...

Convert the light to pull chain switch operation. Then the switch loop is no longer needed and the wires can be commandeered for some other purpose such as preceding.

Roundabout explanation of what a switch loop is:

Normally the neutral accompanies the hot wire wherever the latter goes. So if power comes into the light fixture box, you might run (unswitched) hot and neutral down to the switch box and (switched) hot and neutral back to the light box where only the neutral coming back is connected to the light fixture. This overkill is eliminated by running the hot 'sans' the neutral (sin neutro) down to the switch and back and the neutral coming from the power feed up at the light box connects directly to the fixture. This situation is called the switch loop.

A combination power feed and switch loop is had when three conductors -- unswitched hot, one neutral, and switched hot -- run between a light box fed with power and a switch box. This permits daisy chaining additional stuff from the switch box.

The switched hot coming back from the switch box and connected to the fixture black wire must not be the white wire in a cable.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-06-2009 at 07:20 AM.
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