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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to add can lights to a Living room in my house. There are no lights in the room, just one switch that turns on and off outlets. So I was just going to put a double gang box in where the switch is and pig tail the new switch for the lights off of it. When I pulled the switch I was surprised that there was only one 14-2 wire in the box. They are running the power on the black and the traveler to the switch is on the white. Is this how they did it in the 70/80's? How am I going to pig tail that to the new switch\lights without a neutral?

Thanks!
 

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Very Stable Genius
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4,164 Posts
Switch legs like you describe are common. Only recently did some areas start
requiring a neutral at every switch box. Still not required here but it's coming.

Bottom line is you have find somewhere else to get power (neutral + hot).
Do you have an outlet below the switch in the same stud bay on either side
of the wall?
 

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How many of the rooms outlets are switched ? You may be able to convert the outlets to "HOT" all the time and just use the existing one gang switch box for your ceiling lights. Instead of the existing 14/2 being a switch leg for the outlets, it could become a continuously hot power feed for your new lights. Depends on how they are wired. .
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #6
Switch legs like you describe are common. Only recently did some areas start
requiring a neutral at every switch box. Still not required her but it's coming.

Bottom line is you have find somewhere else to get power (neutral + hot).
Do you have an outlet below the switch in the same stud bay on either side
of the wall?
Unfortunately I do not. There is no more power.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How many of the rooms outlets are switched ? You may be able to convert the outlets to "HOT" all the time and just use the existing one gang switch box for your ceiling lights. Instead of the existing 14/2 being a switch leg for the outlets, it could become a continuously hot power feed for your new lights. Depends on how they are wired. .

That is what I was thinking would be my only option. I had to cut around the old metal box though to be able to pull it out and get my wiring ran from the ceiling lights. I guess I could either patch the bigger cut out or still put an old work double gang in with a dummy switch.
 

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That is what I was thinking would be my only option. I had to cut around the old metal box though to be able to pull it out and get my wiring ran from the ceiling lights. I guess I could either patch the bigger cut out or still put an old work double gang in with a dummy switch.

No, don't cut out anything yet. My sketch is coming up. Make the switched outlets hot all the time as you are putting in overhead lights anyway ?

The one 14-2 cable in your existing switch box is being used as a switch leg. Make it HOT all the time by re-wiring the switched outlets which may or may not have, broken brass tabs on the side of them, If any are broken, the receptacle(s) has to be replaced with a new one at $.75 cents.
 

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flipping slumlord
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5,116 Posts
There is attic space above it. I already have the holes cut and wire ran.
Then while you're up there...
drill a hole into the top plate of the wall where the switch is now.
feed down and you're all done but the tie in.

personally... I'd tap into the existing lighting circuit up in the attic
for power and then run a 3wire down to the existing single pole box.
and you're all done but the tie in.
 
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