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Old 05-30-2009, 04:20 PM   #1
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


I mean best, not est. :-)


What is the best way to wire up a switch and light in the middle of a run of outlets. I'm wiring up my basement and I ran into a small snag. I can't seem to find the best way to wire it up. It is a 20amp circuit and i have 12/2 wire going into a few outlets, then I'd like to install a switch (with a light branched off) and then one more outlet. How do I wire everything at the switch?

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Last edited by jailbird371; 05-30-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


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Originally Posted by jailbird371 View Post
What is the best way to wire up a switch and light in the middle of a run of outlets.
Easiest? Illegally. Best? Follows:

Quote:
I'm wiring up my basement and I ran into a small snag. I can't seem to find the best way to wire it up. It is a 20amp circuit and i have 12/2 wire going into a few outlets, then I'd like to install a switch (with a light branched off) and then one more outlet. How do I wire everything at the switch?
1) Turn off the power.

2) From any existing plug, run a 12/2 to your switch box, then another out of the switch box to the new plug. Run a third 12/2 from the switch to the light.

3) In the switch box, tie all the grounding (bare) conductors together, and to the switch (and box if it's metal). Tie all the neutrals together. Tie the ungrounded (hot, probably black) wire from the existing plug to the hot to the new plug, along with a pigtail. The pigtail will land on one of the switch terminals. There should be just one wire left: the switched hot wire to the light. Land it on the switch's other terminal screw. Voila :D

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Last edited by erics37; 05-30-2009 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


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3) In the switch box, tie all the grounding (bare) conductors together, and to the switch (and box if it's metal). Tie all the neutrals together. Tie the ungrounded (hot, probably black) wire from the existing plug to the hot to the new plug, along with a pigtail. The pigtail will land on one of the switch terminals. There should be just one wire left: the switched hot wire to the light. Land it on the switch's other terminal screw. Voila :D
Yeah, I meant best. (ie legal)

OK good, thats what I thought. However would this be too many wires for an 18cu in box?
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


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Originally Posted by jailbird371 View Post
Yeah, I meant best. (ie legal)

OK good, thats what I thought. However would this be too many wires for an 18cu in box?
Well according to NEC 2008 Article 314.16(B), you would have need to consider the following for a box fill calculation:

current-carrying conductors, equipment grounding conductors, device(s)

conductors: 1 count for each, so 6 #12s (3 hot, 3 neutral)
EGC: 1 count for all in the box
device: double count for each device on a common yoke (1 switch = 2 counts)

so, 6 + 1 + 2 = 9.

A 2.25 cu. in. allowance is required for each #12 "count." So 9 x 2.25 = 20.25 cu. in.

Officially, an 18 cu. in. box is too small, but realistically it would work just fine. That's a violation I'd be willing to take :P Just pack the wires in there neatly and there should be no problem.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


Another option I could do it just double back from the outlet to the switch. I only need to do one more outlet past the switch. The run is only about 5-6ft. Not really a big deal, then I woudln't even need to worry about wire fill. What do you think about that?
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:24 PM   #6
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What is the est way to wire up a switch and light....


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Originally Posted by jailbird371 View Post
Another option I could do it just double back from the outlet to the switch. I only need to do one more outlet past the switch. The run is only about 5-6ft. Not really a big deal, then I woudln't even need to worry about wire fill. What do you think about that?
That would work just fine as well, it just uses a wee bit more wire. Not a big deal in a smaller room, and keeps the box fill within range. Good luck

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