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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

This is probaby an extreme rookie question, but here goes:

What is the difference, both in effectiveness and safety, between wiring two flood lights in parallel and simply connecting both black wires to the hot black coming from the ceiling box?

The reason I ask is simply that the first option will require an extra line between the two lights when I currently have both lights headed to independent switches at the box.

Thanks,
Kelly
 

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It may be a rookie question, but I for one have NO idea what you are asking. :huh:
 

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I, too, am not certain I understand the question.

In general, I see no difference whether you run wires to each fixture from the switch, or run a wire from the switch to the first fixture to the next.

Hopefully, this answers your question.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
clarification

Sorry, let me try to clarify.

I curently have two flood lights hooked up to the fan/light box mounted on my back porch. Since the box comes with two hot leads, each flood light is currently operated with a separate switch, one which was originally designed to run the light, the other that was originally designed to run the fan.

I'd like to mount a single switch operated fan from the same box. So I need to put the flood lights on a single circuit. I know that this can be done by wiring them in parallel, that is by running a wire from the first light to the second, connecting the black feeding wire to the hot connection on the first light and the neutral wire to the neutral connection on the first light. But this would require running a new wire between the two lights.

Since I already have a wire coming from each light to the box, I was wondering if it would accomplish the same thing in a safe manner to simply connect both black wires from the two lights with the hot lead coming out of the ceiling. Then doing the same with the neutral.

Logic tells me that it should work. I'm just not sure if it will present any fire hazards or such.

Maybe that'll help. If not, i'll just go witht the parallel idea.

Thanks again,
Kelly
 

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Since I already have a wire coming from each light to the box, I was wondering if it would accomplish the same thing in a safe manner to simply connect both black wires from the two lights with the hot lead coming out of the ceiling. Then doing the same with the neutral.
I expect this will work beautifully. Take the other hot and power the fan. Nice!

The only concern I have is whether the circuit can handle the additional load. I don't know how hard it would be for you to identify the devices on the circuit and the power draw of each. Make sure the total is within the capability of the circuit. Otherwise, go forth and connect as you suggest.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
okay,

The fan I want to install has the following information on the base: "Fan Only 0.8A" and "Fan and Light 3.0A (Max)". I gather this is the power draw of the fan.

I'm using two 120W bulbs in each of the two flood light units. If Volt times Amps equals Watts, then A=W/V. On a 120V system, this gives me a nice pretty 1A per bulb, 4A for both flood lights, and 7A for the back porch. (right?)

The fan box I'm using happens to be on the same circuit as my kitchen lights. Inside I have 5 can lights with a 75W max. Again using A=W/V, this gives me 3.125A for these 5 lights. I also have a 100W lamp above my kitchen table which needs 0.833A. So that's a total of about 4A for the kitchen.

All together, this would be a max of 11A on a 15A circuit. So, I should be okay, right?

Thanks for your help.

Kelly Durfey
 

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You should be giving advice, rather than asking for it. You reach the same conclusion that I would. Time to do some wiring.

Well done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alrighty,

I've got it all wired up but, because I'm essentially running 3 units from a single box, I've got some pretty big wire bundles hanging from the whole deal.

If you remember, I'm running two sets of flood lights from a fan/light box with two separate hot leads. The flood lights are coming from one (and they work beautifully, thanks) and the fan/light from the other.

But their forced to share the same neutral and ground connections. As a result, I have 4 white neutral wires under a single wire nut and 5 ground wires (including the one from the fan mount) under a single wire nut.

Both wire nuts are appropriately sized and hold all of the wires nicely. Are bundles of this size safe? Is there something else I should be doing?

Thanks again,
Kelly
 

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Yeah they are safe; make sure those neutrals are all on the same circuit. You may want to check the 'box fill' for the box you are using... If you overfilled the box, purchase an extension ring so everything fits nice and easy...

 

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Discussion Starter #12
The neutrals are all on the same circuit. I have one from each of the flood lights, one from the fan/light, and one going back into the ceiling. Since there's only one wire in (with two separately swiched hot leads), there is only nuetral out on the same wire.

I am having an issue with finding room for all of these connections. To make matters worse, the fan runs off a remote switch, the reciever of which is also supposed to fit in the fan box. (This would actually work quite well if there was nothing else in the box.)

I considered an extension to the box, but there would a couple of issues.

1) The fan box that's installed is not one on which the fan mount can bolt. I expected to just use a couple of machine screws to secure the fan mount to the box. Instead, the box came with a couple of huge wood screws which go through the fan mount, through the slots in the fan box and straight into a 2-by-something spread between two ceiling joists above. This means that, in order to use an extension, I'd have to mount a new fan box wich would probably require me to open up the ceiling, something I've been trying really hard to avoid.

2) By using an extension, I'm lowering the mount height of the fan. This leaves a gap between the ceiling and the base plate (the decorative metal piece that lies flush with the ceiling to hide the actual fan mount) of the fan, also not ideal.

I did have one idea of eliminating the box all together. This can be done in this case since the fan actually hangs from the 2-by-something mentioed above and no weight is actually being placed on the box. I know this is a bit of a stretch, and I'm pretty sure it would be in violation of some code. But removing the box would give me all of the room in the roof of my back porch and not restrict me to the box.

Another idea was to mount an extension below the fan mount (box, mount, extention). I could drill a hole in a plastic box cover to accomodate the downrod of the fan and just forgo the existing pretty base plate. This would give me room around and just below the fan mount for all of my wires without actually lowering the mounted height of the fan.

But both of these seem kinds sloppy. Feedback on each would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Kelly
 
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