Where To Draw A Source For A Light Fixture/switch - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-25-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


my living room has NO ceiling lighting whatsoever and I wanted to put in 6 can lights. I thought that installing the switch above a receptacle would make sense as I could get the power source from whatever source the receptacle has by creating a junction. How that generally is done is still a mystery to me and I am having trouble finding guidance on it. Does anybody have resources or the time to explain to me how I can split the source to both power the receptacle and the light?

thanks!!

Advertisement

snucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 780
Rewards Points: 500
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


You have a black wire and a white wire on the receptacle. The white is neutral and the black is hot. You run a 2 conductor wire from the receptacle box to the switch box. Connect the black to the screw on the receptacle on the same side as the existing black wire, you will connect the white to the screw on the same side as the existing white wire. in the switch box you connect the black wire to the switch. You then run a 2 cond cable to the light. In the switch box you connect the light black wire to the other screw on the switch and connect the 2 remaining white wire together with a wire nut. You should also make the necessary ground connection hooking all grounds together,

Advertisement

hayewe farm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
Electrician
 
Proby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 818
Rewards Points: 500
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


What is the layout of your house? The living room is on the first floor I assume, right? What is above it, an open attic or a second floor? What is below it, a slab or a basement/crawlspace?

Putting a switch above the receptacle would work, but usually it's not in an optimal position. it might be just as easy to put the switch in a good position by the doorway and then feed it from above or below.

If there isn't an attic above the living room, you will be cutting a bunch of holes in the ceiling to get the wire up there from the switch and to get over to each high hat.

If you must come out of the receptacle, what hayewe farm said might work, but chances are that there is both a feed-in and feed-out to that receptacle, so you would have to pigtail the wires to make the splice to go up to the switch.

Let us know how the house is laid out and we could help further.
Proby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canada, BC
Posts: 110
Rewards Points: 75
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


In addition, when adding anything new to existing circuits it is wise to consider the extra electrical draw on the circuit. You don't want to add lighting to a circuit that is near capacity already.
Troglodyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 07:28 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,976
Rewards Points: 2,048
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


It is possible that the outlet box is too small for you to add the cable feeding your switch and lights. This is likely to be true if therre is already another cable continuing to another outlet box and your new cable would be the third cable entering the box.

Quick description of box fill. Each hot wire end counts one point. Each neutral wire end counts one point. All the ground wires together count one point. All the clamps (if any) on the inside of the box holding the cables in place count one point. Pigtails don't count. The (each) receptacle or switch counts two points. For 14 gauge wires you need 2 cubic inches per point. For 12 gauge wires you need 2-1/4 c.i. per point.

Even if the box fill is satisfied, you may still have a hard time fitting everything in especially if the receptacle is very fat, like a GFCI receptacle.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 07-26-2010 at 07:38 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 11:01 AM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


The living room is in the upstairs with an open attic above and a livable basement below.

The receptacle I'm talking about is probably feeding a 2nd receptacle. I could go on the attic and lay a new source for the 6 can lights but where would I get it from? I definitely want to do this right so i REALLY appreciate all your guys' help and experience. I can't really afford a licensed electrician to do this for me.

By the way - I was planning to install 3 way switches with one over the receptacle receiving the source and the other switch being on the other side of the room
snucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
Electrician
 
Proby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 818
Rewards Points: 500
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


Having attic access will make this installation much easier.

First thing I would do is go up in the attic and take a look around, see if the areas that you want to put the high hats are open and accessible. Also look for an electrical box, chances are there is already a box you can splice into to get power. Scout it out and see what you got, take pictures too.

There is also the possibility of running a new circuit out of your electrical panel up to the first switch, where is the panel located?. Does your basement have a solid ceiling, or something that you can open?
Proby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 12:12 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


just coming back from a trip to the attic :-D Boy, our roof doesn't has a very small slope and we live in Montana so the previous owner put in thick sheathing of insulation and then added another 10 inch of blow-in insulation: I can't even see the end of the living room :-(

Anyways, there is a junction box above the living room and also a spare cable that has a bunch of slack and electrical tape covering its end. My guess is that the last owner prepped to put in ceiling lights but never did it.

I could run a new fuse to the box (not in the basement - it's actually very accessible) but obviously would prefer being able to run the source from the junction box. How would I determine if I run danger of overloading a fuse?
snucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 12:22 PM   #9
Electrician
 
Proby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 818
Rewards Points: 500
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


Where is the main panel located? Is it a breaker panel or fuse panel? Does it have space for more circuits?

Having a wire just taped off is dangerous, if you're not going to use it you need to put it into a box and each conductor needs to be capped off properly. Or the wire needs to be disconnected from the box completely.

If you are going to use that wire, you have the option of running it to the first switch if it's long enough, or removing it and replacing it with a longer wire.

You need some type of tester to test that circuit at the wire and see if it's hot. If it's hot you then need to go turn off circuits until that circuit goes off, this will identify the circuit for you. With just that circuit off, you need to go around and see what else is off, this will show you what else is on the circuit and help you determine how much load you already have on it.
Proby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 12:36 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


I created this pathetic drawing to help us all know what we're looking at. That's the upstairs:



The main panel is located on the opposing side of the living room (x3), where the stairs lead to the downstairs. I want to put the first 3 way switch above the receptacle located at x1. The other switch goes next to the main entrance (x2). I got a good access to x1 from the attic. x2 and x3 are really hard to access and I would probably need to temporarily remove the insulation. Also, the circuit boxes and the bare wire I found a located pretty much above x1.
snucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 01:00 PM   #11
Electrician
 
Proby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 818
Rewards Points: 500
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


I see. So I would run that cable you found along with a 14-3 cable down to the switch location (X1). I would run the other end of that 14-3 and a new 14-2 down to switch location (X2). I would then run the other end of that new 14-2 to the first high hat, and then jump out to every other high hat.

This is provided that the circuit in the junction box you found in the attic is not overloaded. You can use the method I posted above to determine that.
Proby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 01:03 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 27
Rewards Points: 25
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


Proby, thank you so much! I've got a lot of homework to do as this is my first real electrical project. I really owe you something- maybe I'll PM you at a later point into the project.

Thanks again!
snucky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2010, 01:31 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Canada, BC
Posts: 110
Rewards Points: 75
Default

where to draw a source for a light fixture/switch


The next logical step is to determine whether or not the exposed wire in the attic is live or not and then what else is on the circuit the exposed wire is on. Once that is done, and depending on the result, you can proceed from there.

Advertisement

Troglodyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
junction , source , switch


Thread Tools
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
Dark over light...Do I need tinted primer? melissaandkris Painting 17 09-09-2011 11:43 AM
Ceiling Fan with Light kit - Light not working aadams Electrical 12 11-03-2010 07:32 PM
Adding a light to an existing 3-way connection nthomp16 Electrical 2 07-21-2008 07:57 PM
Hall light worked before installing a new light fixture in bathroom jcfan7 Electrical 40 02-23-2008 10:46 AM
Three electricans said it was impossible! Tom Electrical 35 04-29-2006 06:06 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts