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Old 01-06-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
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when would a single pole switch...


when and why would a single pole switch be used at the end of the circuit instead of the middle to trigger a light fixture for ex.

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
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when would a single pole switch...


When ever the electrician felt it was the best place to put it. There is not a right or wrong answer to the question.

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Old 01-07-2009, 12:16 AM   #3
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when would a single pole switch...


It could be a switch leg. They may have made the white wire the hot to the switch, and then the black the load. Look in the box for the switch. If there is only one cable (3 wires including ground) than that is what is going on.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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when would a single pole switch...


When the light fixture is closer to the panel then the switch is when I would use a switch loop. Wire which ever way use the least cable.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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when would a single pole switch...


Another common use is when a pull chain fixture is converted to a wall switched fixture.

To meet code, a non-white wire must be used for the switched power, namely connected to the light fixtures's hot side.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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when would a single pole switch...


when the light fixture is closer to the panel then the switch? so that means if there is a light in the basement and the switch is upstairs by the basement door. that would be the end of the circuit? so from the panel black, white and cooper goes to the light fixture then pigtailed so the switch? wouldnt that have the light on constantly? sorry for the newbie question
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:16 PM   #7
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when would a single pole switch...


It's a good habit to read your posts before you enter them to see if someone else can easily understand them.

It's confusing to figure out what you are asking.

If it works, leave it alone.



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when and why would a single pole switch be used at the end of the circuit instead of the middle to trigger a light fixture for ex.

Actually, the switch is always in the middle of the circuit. The circuit comes from the source on the black wire and returns on the white.

The switch may be at the end of the cable run because of logistics.. Power to the light, switch loop to the switch box. In your case ( i think) it would require more cable to run to the sw box first, then back to the light.

Last edited by 220/221; 01-07-2009 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:34 PM   #8
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when would a single pole switch...


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Another common use is when a pull chain fixture is converted to a wall switched fixture.

To meet code, a non-white wire must be used for the switched power, namely connected to the light fixtures's hot side.
When you re-identify a wire, make sure that the re-identified wire is a hot to the switch. Never return to the light fixture with it. Just remember, back on black. Back in the day before you had to re-identify some hacks would make the white wire the load off of the switch. What this does is give you two white wires at the light fixture. One is hot and the other is the neutral.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:49 PM   #9
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when would a single pole switch...


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Originally Posted by fabian View Post
when the light fixture is closer to the panel then the switch? so that means if there is a light in the basement and the switch is upstairs by the basement door. that would be the end of the circuit? so from the panel black, white and cooper goes to the light fixture then pigtailed so the switch? wouldnt that have the light on constantly? sorry for the newbie question
You don't always connect all the matching colours together.


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Old 01-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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when would a single pole switch...


Quote:
Originally Posted by fabian View Post
when the light fixture is closer to the panel then the switch? so that means if there is a light in the basement and the switch is upstairs by the basement door. that would be the end of the circuit? so from the panel black, white and cooper goes to the light fixture then pigtailed so the switch? wouldnt that have the light on constantly? sorry for the newbie question
Neutral (white) from panel is connected to the light fixture neutral (also white). Light fixture hot is connected to nonwhite wire going to switch. Other wire to switch is connected to hot (usually black) from panel. This puts the light and switch in one continous path and the light won't be on all the time.

White wires connected to switches are not neutral and must not be pigtailed or otherwise connected to "real" neutrals. White wires used in a non-neutral situation must be marked with red or black bands of tape or stain at both ends.

All ground (bare copper or green) wires are connected together wherever they come together. If the junction box is metal, a pigtail or extra long end must be clipped or screwed to the box itself. They make green wire nuts with a little hole in the narrow end so one of the wires going in can stick out (allow extra length for this when stringing the cables) and be connected to something else.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-07-2009 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:07 PM   #11
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when would a single pole switch...


ok so basically, even having the switch at the end of the circuit and having the light in the middle, it still triggers the light because its cutting off the neutral wire from returning back to the panel?
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Old 01-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #12
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when would a single pole switch...


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Originally Posted by fabian View Post
ok so basically, even having the switch at the end of the circuit and having the light in the middle, it still triggers the light because its cutting off the neutral wire from returning back to the panel?
No, you've missed it somewhere. You cannot switch the neutral. If the power comes from the panel to the switch first, then the switch is between the panel and the light. If the power comes to the light first, then the switch is at the end of the run. In that case, the hot from the panel is extended to the switch on the white wire, and comes back to the light on the black wire.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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No, you've missed it somewhere. You cannot switch the neutral. If the power comes from the panel to the switch first, then the switch is between the panel and the light. If the power comes to the light first, then the switch is at the end of the run. In that case, the hot from the panel is extended to the switch on the white wire, and comes back to the light on the black wire.
Perfect! thanks allphase. most of these scenarios would be for like basement lights?

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