Moving a light switch


Old 09-01-04, 12:00 AM
Tom M
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Moving a light switch

I have a light switch that is currently wired using simple 2 wire (no ground) knob and tube wiring. It works fine, but it was installed in a completely useless place in the kitchen (we have a really old house - not sure what they were thinking back then ).

I'd like to install a new light switch in a completely new place (as you enter the kitchen). I have no need/desire to support the old switch. But my question is this:
What do I do with the old wiring that is coming into the old switch/box? Can I just put a wire nut at the end of each wire and then wrap them each with electrical tape and push this all into the box and then cover it? Or, should I hook the two wires up together to simply (create a loop circuit)? These seem like basic questions - I feel pretty stupid having to ask this, but I'm just not sure.

Note: the supply for my new switch is coming from a different circuit and is a more modern 3 wire romex (with ground/etc).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-01-04, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If you connect the two wires together you will cause a short circuit and blow a fuse or trip a breaker.

Your choices depend on how the circuit is run.

If there are more than just the two switch wires in the box then you must leave the box. Cap the ends of the switch wires and install a blank cover over the box.

If there are only two wires in the box (the two wires connected to the switch) then you have two choices. You can cap the wires and install a blank cover (as above) or you can find the other end of the wires and disconnect there. If you disconnect the wires at an earlier switch box then this box can be completely removed.
Old 09-01-04, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
It depends on how the wires are run for the fixture. Where you connect into the circuit for your new switch will determine what to do with old wires. Knob and tube wiring is not the same as modern cable wiring. They often only bring one of the wires where needed, neutrals and hots can come from different directions. The best solution might be to run your new cable from the old switch box to the new switch box and just connect the wire together.
Old 09-01-04, 12:36 PM
Tom M
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racraft and toed -
Thanks for the replies...

I think I'll go with capping off the old switch wires at the old box. I'm not removing this box, because it has a separate set of outlet/receptacles that we still use.

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