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Old 03-11-2019, 05:29 PM   #1
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Routing 2 electrical 14/2 cables in a bookshelf


Hi folks Im constructing built-in bookshelves along a wall in a 10 x 10 study room.

I plan to install some reading lights on top of the bookshelf with 14/2 wires roughed-in through some 2 x 4 studs. In addition, I plan to rough in through the bookshelves another set of 14/2 wires to the center of the room to install a fan (no light on fan).

I plan to route the fan through the shelf because my ceiling beams run horizontal and am trying to avoid roughing through 6 beams + sheetrock to get through the electrical.

I plan to draw power from a nearby electrical outlet. I live in Houston, TX.
Questions: how much minimum distance should there be between 2 live wires? In other words, can I rough them in 2x4 studs at the same time using a standard 14/2 romex cable? Can they be adjacent to each other?
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:50 PM   #2
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Two cables can run through the same hole.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:16 PM   #3
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Re: Routing 2 electrical 14/2 cables in a bookshelf


No need to run two cables.


If the connection to the fan is closest to the first light;

Run 2 wire cable from the outlet box to the light switch box. Run 3 wire cable from the light switch box to the first light. Run 2-wire cable from the first light to the second and then the third light. Run 2-wire cable from the first light to the fan switch. Run 2-wire cable from the first light to the fan.

At the outlet box connect the incoming neutral (white) to the neutral (white) going to the light switch and add a pigtail. Reconnect the pigtail to the outlet. Connect the incoming hot (black) to the black going to the light switch and add a pigtail.Reconnect the pigtail to the outlet.
At the light switch box connect the white from the outlet to the white of the 3-wire cable going to the first light. Connect the black from the outlet to the red of the 3-wire cable going to the first light and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to one of the terminals of the switch. Connect the black of the 3-wire cable going to the first light to the other terminal of the switch.

At the first light connect the white of the 3-wire cable coming from the light switch to the white of the 2-wire cable going to the second light and to the white of the 2-wire cable going to the fan and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light. Connect the black of the 3-wire cable from the light switch to the black of the 2-wire cable going to the second light and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light. Connect the red of the 3-wire cable from the light switch to the white of the
2-wire cable going to the fan switch. Put a piece of black tape on the white going to the fan switch to mark it as a hot conductor. Connect the black of the 2-wire going to the fan switch to the black of the 2-wire cable going to the fan.

At the fan switch put a piece of black tape on the white to mark it as a hot conductor. Connect the white and the black to the switch.

At the second light connect the white from the first light to the white of the third and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light. Connect the black from the first light to the black of the third light and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light.
At the third light connect the white and black to the light.
At the fan connect the white and black to the fan.


If the fan connection is closer to the second light;


Run a 2-wire cable from the outlet to the light switch. Run a 3-wire cable from the light switch to the first light. Run a 3-wire cable from the first light to the second light. Run a 2-wire cable from second light to the third light. Run a 2-wire cable from the second light to the fan. Run a 2-wire cable from the second light to the fan switch.
At the outlet wire as previously described. At the light switch wire as previously described. At the first light connect the two red wires together. Connect the two white wires together and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light. Connect the two black wires together and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light.
At the second light connect the white of the 3-wire cable from the first light to the white of the 2-wire cable going to the third light and to the white of the 2-wire cable going to the fan and add a pigtail. Connect the pigtail to this light. Connect the red of the 3-wire cable from the first light to the white of the 2-wire cable going to the fan switch. Put a piece of black tape on the white to mark it as a hot conductor. Connect the black of the 2-wire cable to the fan switch to the black of the 2-wire cable to the fan. At the fan switch put a piece of black tape on the white to mark it as a hot conductor. Connect the white and black to the switch terminals.

At the third light connect the white and black to the light.
At the fan connect the white and black to the fan.


Connect all grounds together and to switches and outlets. If metal boxes also connect the ground to the box.
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Last edited by hkstroud; 03-11-2019 at 11:43 PM.
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