Old BX and new switch wiring help.

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  #1  
Old 07-07-04, 07:33 PM
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Old BX and new switch wiring help.

Hi everyone...my first post here. Woohoo! I'm remodeling my bathroom and had a wiring question. I've searched the internet extensively for answers, got books from the library and have searched some forums' archives for answers. No luck. Before I call an electrician in I would just like to see what others might have to say. Here's the scenario. My house has old BX in it...two wires and the metal sheathing as the ground. I'm adding an exhaust fan and some vanity lights. The spot I would like to utilize on my bathroom wall is located on the other side of the wall from a single pole switch that controls a hall light. I would like to somehow "tap in" to the wiring running to that switch for power for the fan and vanity lights. I intend to use a two gang switch for the vanity lights and exhaust fan. The hallway light switch that I would like to tap into has two wires running to the switch (loop switch?). When you look at the hallway light wiring you see BX coming into the box. The incoming white is connected to the white wire on the hall light. The incoming black is taped to the white wire that goes to the switch. The black wire from the switch is hooked up to the black wire on the light. My question is, can I take off the white wire at the switch, wirenut two pigtails to the white wire, put one pigtail back on the hallway switch where the white wire came off and then attach one pigtail to the two gang switch's side where the breakoff tab is? Basically, I would just like to know if there is any way that the existing wiring at the hallway light switch can be used for my project. Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-04, 02:48 PM
waveoff
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*bumpity bump*
 
  #3  
Old 07-08-04, 03:00 PM
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can I take off the white wire at the switch, wirenut two pigtails to the white wire, put one pigtail back on the hallway switch where the white wire came off and then attach one pigtail to the two gang switch's side where the breakoff tab is? Basically, I would just like to know if there is any way that the existing wiring at the hallway light switch can be used for my project.
Simple question. Simple answer. No. Find someplace else to tap power. This switch box has no neutral in it.
 
  #4  
Old 07-08-04, 06:10 PM
waveoff
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I realized after posting and looking through some of the books I got from the library what I might need to do. I think that the two wires that enter the box where the hallway light is mounted are where I will have to start. Basically I'll have to undo all of the wiring in the box and start from scratch using the two wires coming into the box. Now the question is, what wires connect to one another? I would like the hallway light controlled by it's present switch in it's present wall position and the vanity lights and exhaust fan controlled by either two single pole switches or one two gang switch on the other side of the wall. What kind of wiring will I need to do to accomplish this? The one book I have (Stanley Advanced Wiring) shows how to wire two fixtures on two switches using an end-line option. I'm trying to wire three fixtures on three switches using an end-line option. Maybe I'll stare at the picture longer and it'll come to me...
 
  #5  
Old 07-08-04, 06:26 PM
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Yes, the hallway light is one of the hundred of places you could tap power from. But for heavens sakes don't just take everything apart and then start figuring out how to put it back together. The clues that are there now will be destroyed if you take everything apart, and the job will be much, much harder.

By the way, I will understand you much better if you use the word "cable" to refer to a sheathing around multiple wires, and "wire" to refer to one of the wires within the cable. It gets confusing if you use the word "wire" for both of these things.

If you look at the box for the light, you see (as you said) one black wire connected to one white wire. The black wire of this pair is in the power cable. This clue is very important. If you just take things apart, then you'll need to figure out which cable is the power cable all over again.

So just run your new cable into this box, connecting the new cable black and white to the power cable black and white (leaving all the other connections as they are). Run this new cable to the new switch, and from the new switch to what the switch controls.

Piece of cake.
 
  #6  
Old 07-09-04, 07:55 PM
waveoff
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Thanks for the advice Mr. Nelson! Sorry for the confusion with my lingo. I know how it is when someone describes a problem with their car to me and says, "yeah, that springy thing under that piece with all the wires going to it..." Time to go do some wiring.
 
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