DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Electrical (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/)
-   -   To Switch loop or not to switch loop (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/switch-loop-not-switch-loop-22375/)

beezlebub03 06-17-2008 12:32 AM

To Switch loop or not to switch loop
 
Folks,
A multipart question related to a ceiling fan project. I'm running a fresh 15 amp circuit to service a ceiling fan in my living room. The ceiling fan is going in where there was a light fixture connected to some gnarly old knob and tube wiring.

1) The fresh wiring passes the ceiling fan before it gets to the wall switch. I'm thinking about doing a switch loop, but I could also run the wiring to the switch first and then back to the ceiling fan (it'll be more of a hassle; this is all in a finished living space). Does it matter which option I pick?

2) The ceiling fan I got is a combo fan/light. It's designed to work with a two-wire configuration using a little radio transmitter housed in the switch. However, since I'm tearing holes in the walls, I thought I would run three wire (14-3 gauge) Romex from the switch to the ceiling fan box, just in case the radio transmitter doesn't work well and I decide to go with a traditional 3-wire compatible light-fan switch. I plan to cap the red wires at both ends. Does this sound okay? Would there be any issues doing this with a switch loop, should I go that route?

Thanks!

HouseHelper 06-17-2008 07:22 AM

1. I find it better to run the power to the switch first. That way you have a neutral at the switch should you require it in a future remodel (to extend the circuit or to install a device that requires it), and troubleshooting is easier should you have problems later.
2. If you run 14/3 between the ceiling outlet and the switch, you can wire it either way: neutral and two switched hots from the switch to the fan/light, or switch loop with constant hot (remarked white) to the switch and two switched hots returning to the fixture.

rjniles 06-17-2008 09:04 AM

Either way will work fine, but my choice would be run the power to the switch box. Also if that gnarly old K&T is still feeding something else make sure you disconnect the drop to the the fixture box and tape up the splice to the K&T. If the K&T goes to the switch box I would be vey careful on the leads into the swich box.

beezlebub03 06-17-2008 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjniles (Post 131077)
Either way will work fine, but my choice would be run the power to the switch box. Also if that gnarly old K&T is still feeding something else make sure you disconnect the drop to the the fixture box and tape up the splice to the K&T. If the K&T goes to the switch box I would be vey careful on the leads into the swich box.

I had planned on capping and taping the old K&T inside the switch and fixture boxes. Can't see what else I would do with them as they can't be pulled out from either end. Is that kosher?

rjniles 06-17-2008 02:58 PM

I thought by your orginal post you had access to the fixture box from above and access to the K&T where it goes down thru the top plate. If you have those conditions you can cut back the the K&T supply pair and tape up the joints. My concern with leaving the K&T wires in the boxes and capping/taping is you will over fill the old small metal boxes. I would also replace those old boxes if at all possible.

I wouild do the following if you can't find a way to remove the K&T:

Install a new 2 gang junction box in an accessable location, run your new 14/2 supply line to that box. From the new J box run 1 - 14/3 to the fixture box and run a 2nd 14/3 to the switch box. Cap the red leads. This will allow you to use the 2 wire with remote control or change to the 2 switch arrangement in the future.

Also you will need to replace the fixture box with one rated to support the fan or secure the fan bracket directly to a ceiling joist.

beezlebub03 06-17-2008 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjniles (Post 131169)
I thought by your orginal post you had access to the fixture box from above and access to the K&T where it goes down thru the top plate. If you have those conditions you can cut back the the K&T supply pair and tape up the joints. My concern with leaving the K&T wires in the boxes and capping/taping is you will over fill the old small metal boxes. I would also replace those old boxes if at all possible.

Install a new 2 gang junction box in an accessable location, run your new 14/2 supply line to that box. From the new J box run 1 - 14/3 to the fixture box and run a 2nd 14/3 to the switch box. Cap the red leads. This will allow you to use the 2 wire with remote control or change to the 2 switch arrangement in the future.

Thanks for your patience on this. I can access the K&T leads in the spot where the old light fixture hung and at the switch (which, incidentally was already a double gang box; the K&T fed a switch for an exterior light as well)). However, I can't pull the K&T wires without tearing the walls out. I'd totally decommission the K&T line by removing it at the circuit breaker, but it still feeds a couple of valuable/inaccessible wall outlets.

So...I'm having a hard time following your second recommendation about installing a second 14-3 line. Not sure why I would need that. As for overcrowding in the gang and fixture boxes is it possible to get deeper gang boxes to accomodate the extra capped/taped wires?

Thanks again!

rjniles 06-17-2008 06:09 PM

If in the future you might want to have a seperate switch for the fan and light you will need 14/3 to the switch to bring in the hot and bring back 2 switch legs. You need 14/3 to the fixture to bring the neutral and 2 switch legs to the fan. (*This is using the new J box option)

Yes it is possible to get deeper boxes with more wire capacity but the more you handle that old K&T the danger is the insulation and the loom on the wire will fall apart. (or a other option)Have you thought of putting a blank cover on the existing switch box and adding a new 2 gang box for your new work. If you do that, bring the new 14/2 supply in to it and run a single 14/3 to the fan.

beezlebub03 06-17-2008 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjniles (Post 131236)
If in the future you might want to have a seperate switch for the fan and light you will need 14/3 to the switch to bring in the hot and bring back 2 switch legs. You need 14/3 to the fixture to bring the neutral and 2 switch legs to the fan. (*This is using the new J box option)

Yes it is possible to get deeper boxes with more wire capacity but the more you handle that old K&T the danger is the insulation and the loom on the wire will fall apart. (or a other option)Have you thought of putting a blank cover on the existing switch box and adding a new 2 gang box for your new work. If you do that, bring the new 14/2 supply in to it and run a single 14/3 to the fan.

I'd really like to avoid a gang box and blank plate for the old wires for aesthetic reasons. It would look really ugly and conspicuous on our walls, with our color scheme, etc. If I can get the old wires into the new gang box, and successfully cap and tape them, they're not going to be disturbed.

Thanks for helping again!


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 PM.