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Old 11-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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Converting pull chain to switch, in line fixture


So it can't be easy, right? Putting a switch in place of a pull chain in a closet light... when I pulled the old porcelain fixture, it's in line, i.e, power coming into the fixture box, to the fixture, and power going out.

How do I wire a switch into this configuration?

Pic on left is the fixture, pic on right is the box, wire coming in on left, leaving on right.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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If you wire it according to the diagram below, the light will be switched, but the receptacle (or whatever your power out goes to) will remain hot.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #3
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Thanks... I understand your diagram. Does it matter which line I use to run the switch from; in other words, if I'm not sure which is "in" line and which is the "out" line, will it matter?

Thanks so much for the assistance.
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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Both of your existing black wires will connect to the new remarked white. Both of the existing whites, are connected to the light.

So no, you don't need to ID which existing black or white is "power in" or "power out".
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:02 PM   #5
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OK, I figured as much but wanted to be sure.

Thanks so much, the diagram is a life saver.

Hope your Thanksgiving weekend is going well.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:25 PM   #6
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The code is fairly restrictive concerning the types and placement of lighting in closets. Bare bulbs are prohibited.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jim, I'm actually getting rid of a bare bulb in favor of a covered fixture; nice to know it also bring me up to code.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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There are still clearance requirements from the shelf areas. For incandescent lamps this is 12 inches or more.
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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OK, good to know. Fortunately we're eliminating shelving in the middle of the closet below where the light is situated.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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Tom Im not an electrician and not all that knowledgeable. But I dont think it matters whether or not you actually have a shelf. I believe you measure 12 from each wall and thats where your shelf ends for calculations. Then for an incandescent lamp you need 12 from the shelf edge, for a fluorescent lamp only 6 from the shelf edge. So from wall to lamp it would be either 18 or 24 minimum.

At least thats the way I remember it when I put fluorescent lights in my closets. The electricians will correct this if this is wrong.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #11
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No outlets allowed in closet if thats where the one in your picture is going.
Might as well run 14/3 to the switch box also to make things legal with the spare/future neutral.
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