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Old 03-30-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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Need some help wiring a switch?


First off, thanks to everyone that has helped me along the way with my wiring projects. Sometimes I am not sure exactly what is allowed and want to make sure that when I get inspected, I won't fail. I have most everything completed (for the rough) and I am on the final stretch.

I just want to make sure this ok by code and how I would wire it correctly. I have two new circuits going in. One does the outlets on the back of the house (two small rooms) and the other is doing the front (same rooms). Each circuit does one bedroom lights too. Along the front there is eave space that is used for storage. Between the two rooms are closets. The entry into the eave storage is through the larger of the two closets. What I want to do is connect the outlets in the one bedroom (front) to the outlets in the other room (front) in the eave space. I also want to put a metal box with a light switch in the eave space around the access door that controls 2 or 3 lights for lighting in the storage space. Can I run the power from one outlet through the switch box and then out of the switchbox to the outlets in the other room? If so I also want to grab power from that run and control the lights in the eaves as well. How can I wire that to work only the lights and is it allowable? Thanks so much
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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Well, for one thing your circuits should NOT connect plugs/switches/elements in different rooms - this is a safety hazard and against code in most places. If you have wires that crosses room to room and someone need to repair a socket or replace a switch, etc, then they will not be able to determine what circuit it is on easily and risk an electric shock (hopefully not life threatening) which, of course, would come back to you - and you could be fined . . . or sued . . . or worse.

Each circuit should operate it's designated room which is listed at the control panel. If you want/need to install another plug/switch/element in that room (on that circuit) then you branch off of your existing wiring.

If you built a new room or divided a room into two, etc, and needed your new circuit for that then the entire new circuit should run from an unoccupied circuit at the breaker - that main line running to a distribution box and then from that distribution box to all of that new circuit's elements within the room.
If there isn't an unoccupied circuit at the breaker then you should choose a circuit that can handle an extra load, calculate up the new elements in issues of volts and so forth, and decide from there how to branch it safely and be certain to mark it clearly at the box. Yet, this new addition shouldn't cross between rooms.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snav View Post
Well, for one thing your circuits should NOT connect plugs/switches/elements in different rooms - this is a safety hazard and against code in most places. If you have wires that crosses room to room and someone need to repair a socket or replace a switch, etc, then they will not be able to determine what circuit it is on easily and risk an electric shock (hopefully not life threatening) which, of course, would come back to you - and you could be fined . . . or sued . . . or worse.

Each circuit should operate it's designated room which is listed at the control panel. If you want/need to install another plug/switch/element in that room (on that circuit) then you branch off of your existing wiring.

If you built a new room or divided a room into two, etc, and needed your new circuit for that then the entire new circuit should run from an unoccupied circuit at the breaker - that main line running to a distribution box and then from that distribution box to all of that new circuit's elements within the room.
If there isn't an unoccupied circuit at the breaker then you should choose a circuit that can handle an extra load, calculate up the new elements in issues of volts and so forth, and decide from there how to branch it safely and be certain to mark it clearly at the box. Yet, this new addition shouldn't cross between rooms.
This is absolutely not true
Except for certain areas (example Laundry/bathroom/kitchen) it is Not against code to have a 1 circuit serve multiple rooms
Switches can control lights in the next room, usually they are on the wall before you enter that room
But I will have a backyard light that will be on a 3-way & I will be able to turn it on from the 2nd floor - Master bedroom
Some new houses have 1 circuit that runs to every window for Christmas candles/decorations

Most areas need AFCI protection now, bedrooms require it
It is perfectly fine to run from one area to another, light to outlet etc
The breaker panel is required to be labeled with the rooms/devices etc that they serve
I use an Excel spreadsheet that details every outlet & light & the breaker that supplies power

Just keep the gauge wire the same & matched to the breaker
15a = 14g , 20a = 12g
Also make sure you do not exceed box fill



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Old 03-30-2010, 07:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snav View Post
Well, for one thing your circuits should NOT connect plugs/switches/elements in different rooms - this is a safety hazard and against code in most places. If you have wires that crosses room to room and someone need to repair a socket or replace a switch, etc, then they will not be able to determine what circuit it is on easily and risk an electric shock (hopefully not life threatening) which, of course, would come back to you - and you could be fined . . . or sued . . . or worse.
Please provide a Code Article that prohibits this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snav View Post
Each circuit should operate it's designated room which is listed at the control panel. If you want/need to install another plug/switch/element in that room (on that circuit) then you branch off of your existing wiring.
This is why a better description of the circuits function is required instead of "plugs and lights" as a description.

I agree with Daves post above.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:57 AM   #5
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I also agree with Dave.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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Hmm - well, I have more research to do for the code in my area, then, because I thought for certain I knew everything. As of right now it's my understanding that it's not acceptable. My area's code - which I *thought* applied (or was the same in) most areas - but apparently it doesn't, and now I'm wondering if it applies to my area at all or if I've really come to 'understand' things way wrong.

I'm feeling dumb - I'll square myself away and figure out why I've come to this wrong-ness on the issue. I've been working and living by my understanding of this - so if I'm wrong it's affect all of my work :D

Carry on! Sorry.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:13 PM   #7
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Snav,

Don't feel bad. Use this as a learning experience. You may be correct that your area has adopted an amendment regarding this. I was only asking as there is no NEC prohibition against what you posted.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:27 PM   #8
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No reason to feel dumb at all - I have said my share of incorrect things around here too Best way to learn.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
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Well - it's a good thing I said something and a good thing I went to re-read things because I am absolutely wrong on this - it is not required by code in my area at all so I have no clue where I gleamed it from.

Might be from a previous tenant-living setup I had where I did home-repairs for reduced rent for a while . . . sooo long ago.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:12 PM   #10
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you quickly come to realize "code" and "trade practice" are two totally different things depending on the guy/gal doing the work. There are alot of instances where my trade practice is to run seperate circuits for things that aren't required to have them and group wiring for easy identification for troubleshooting. Having each room on it's own circuit isn't a bad idea at all and will help with any problems down the road for sure. Keep in mind the code is just the bare minimum.....nowhere does it say you can't go above and beyond the call of duty .

Last edited by andrew79; 03-31-2010 at 07:13 PM. Reason: made it PC
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:41 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info. So what I am getting from this is that I can do it either way? Am I right on that? I actually am leaning towards have a dedicated circuit for each room for troubleshooting purposes and so forth. Seems like it makes more sense. It only requires changing a few outlets.

Going back to my original question, I want to install three lights in a storage/eave space that is controlled by a switch in a metal box located inside the access door. What is the best way to mount (or how do you do it) the lights to the sloped under side of the rafters that meet the kneewall? Probably just going to go with the stle you see in basements. Just a bulb to give light in the storage space.
Thanks!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:53 PM   #12
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all you have to do is just screw an octogon box into the rafters wherever you want a light.
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