Switch at the end of run

Old 08-31-03, 09:09 PM
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Question Switch at the end of run

I added a 20a circuit to my panel for the sake of adding 5 or 6 outlets in my garage. I'm a carpenter and use saws and compressors and other hand tools frequently out there, I figured 20a was appropriate.

My question is...I also want to add two exterior lights to that circuit and I'd like to control them with a switch that I will add at the very end of my run...I'm not sure how to make this work.

I would like to actually control both lights as well as the receptacle just before the lights with the wall switch. I'd like to control the receptacle too because I'd like to use it for Christmas lights and it would be helpful to have a switch to turn them on and off with.

Is this possible and if so easy enough to explain here?

Thanks a bunch,

Old 09-01-03, 11:26 AM
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Bring a 3-wire cable (w/red) from the last receptacle to the new box for the switch(es). At the receptacle, connect blacks together, white together and pigtail to receptacle, and red to brass screw on receptacle. You have a choice of on or two switches, I would normally put two to keep the lights seperate from the Christmas lights.
To have one switch: Black from 3-wire to the switch, whites from 3-wire and 2-wire to lights together, red from 3-wire and black from lights together with a pigtail to other screw on switch. Grounds get connected, and pigtailed to switch of course.
To have two switches: Same arrangement at receptacle.
At the switches: black from 3-wire pigtailed to both switches, whites connected together, and red from receptacle to one switch, and black from lights on the other. This is the more logical setup.

I assume you are using Romex? What kind of boxes are you using? Use 12AWG wire (20A circuit).

If you need more details, or have questions, just ask.
Old 09-01-03, 12:16 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply gj...

Man...electricity, it all seems so confusing to me

I've removed the drywall and insulation from my garage as part of my project, so I'm using metal conduit (EMT?) not romex. I've pulled red and white wire (12 gage copper) to each of the receptacles I've added and tested them with a three light tester and so far each seem to be operating correctly.

The boxes I'm using are 4x4x2 1/8" deep metal boxes.

The two switch idea is not something I considered but now that you mention it it sounds like a better idea. I was trying to keep it as simple as possible (I'm a carpenter not an electrician).

I'll give your directions a shot and see if I can make it work.

Just to be clear, what I have going so far is...6 new receptacles and following the last receptacle in the run will be a light, followed by another light, and lastly the switch will be the final box in the run.

A friend of mine says that with metal conduit you really do not need a separate ground wire...seems odd to me, but is this really the case?

Thanks again for your time...


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