Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-16-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10
Default

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!

beezlebub03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
Licensed Pro
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SC
Posts: 1,543
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


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.

__________________
"Life is hard. Life is harder when you're stupid." John Wayne
HouseHelper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,111
Rewards Points: 2,132
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


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.
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 08:08 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
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?
beezlebub03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,111
Rewards Points: 2,132
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


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.
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
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!
beezlebub03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 05:09 PM   #7
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,111
Rewards Points: 2,132
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


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.
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10
Default

To Switch loop or not to switch loop


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
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!

beezlebub03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wiring double switch for new ceiling fan toolmanwannabe Electrical 17 11-15-2011 09:34 PM
changing a fixture to an outlet - keeping the switch aweshucks Electrical 4 12-27-2007 05:06 PM
Basic Switch wiring question; Dimmer to Toggle switch (Pictures included) inspectator Electrical 8 08-07-2007 01:19 AM
switch loop aokss Electrical 13 05-07-2007 08:41 PM
Detached garage adding a 3 way switch. Slatherd Electrical 4 01-02-2006 02:53 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.