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New circuit question

#1
12-07-04, 05:45 AM
tkuhrt
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New circuit question

I would like to put 4 outlets and a light switch connected to 4 pot lights on one circuit. How do I put the light switch as the second in the line-up? Can I use 12/2 all the way on my 20amp circuit? I can't seem to find any diagrams of this set-up in any books. Any web sites? Or at least a diagram of outlet-light switch-light-outlet.

Thx again!

#2
12-07-04, 07:20 AM
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There are many, many ways to do this. In house wiring, there are a nearly infinite number of possible ways to do it. That's why you won't see a diagram for every possibility. Most books try to give you the general principles and a few examples, and then you have to create your own diagram for your situation.

You can cable it up Power to device to device to device to device to device to ... where a "device" is either a switch or a receptacle, with the switches and receptacles in any order. Then run other cables from the switches to the lights they control. This is the simplest and most straightforward and requires only 12/2. Of course, as I said before, there are other ways, but many of them require at least some 12/3 and more complicated connections. So I suggest you cable up the switches and receptacles first (ignoring the lights). Once you get that done, add the switch legs to the lights.

If you're dead set on some other way, such as running the cable switch to switched light to unswitched receptacle, you'll need 12/3 between the switch and the switched light (red to carry the switched power and black to carry the unswitched power). But I discourage this method.

#3
12-07-04, 07:37 AM
tkuhrt
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Thank you for your reply. I was wondering if I did as you said and ran outlet to light switch to outlet, wont this disrupt the circuit if I turn the light off? (meaning wont the outlet after the light switch, become dead?

I was thinking of running 12/3 to bypass the switch to power the second outlet.You say no?

added: This is starting to make sense to me as I draw it out. I will skip on the 12/3, but if I did use a 12/3 I would need a double pole switch in my box correct?

Last edited by tkuhrt; 12-07-04 at 07:55 AM.
#4
12-07-04, 10:53 AM
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You probably already know this, but you are really confused.

There are many different uses of 12/3. You may have read about one use called a "multiwire circuit" which uses a double-pole breaker in the panel. But there are quite a few other uses for 12/3 that have nothing to do with multiwire circuits or double-pole breakers.

I was wondering if I did as you said and ran outlet to light switch to outlet, wont this disrupt the circuit if I turn the light off? (meaning wont the outlet after the light switch, become dead?
Yes if you wire it wrong. No if you wire it correctly. Wiring it correctly would require the use of 12/3 between the switch and the light as I said earlier. And yes, as you said, one of the two hot wires in the 12/3 would bypass the switch (and the light). But again, I don't recommend this because it involves running extra wires to place they aren't needed. Everything you wire doesn't have to be in one continuous line. "T"s in the circuit are okay.

#5
12-07-04, 11:09 AM
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As John said, connecting the source to the first light wil make the circuit more confusing for you.

The simplest way is to run the source conductor (12-2) to the switch. You then run a 12-2 from the switch to one of the lights (second in series probably). At the switch the whites get pigtailed together, while the blacks connect to the switch. At the second light you'll have 3 sets of conductors. 1 set from the switch, 1 set from the 1st light and 1 set from the 3rd light. Of course you'll have the second light itselft. All whites pigtail together, and all blacks do the same. You can put 100 lights in parallel if you like, as long as the circuit is not overloaded and they are all connected in parallel it doesn't matter where you connect the power source (switch in this case).

Of course, if you use NM-B you'll have grounds to pigtail together also.

#6
12-07-04, 11:39 AM
tkuhrt
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Does this diagram make sense? Im not sure about the light switch hot wire. does it come off the bottom right to the lights? This is all 12/2.

http://staging.goodbait.com/electric.gif

#7
12-07-04, 12:23 PM
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The cable routing is good, and the connections are almost right. Neutral wires do not connect to switches. So in the switch box, the neutrals connect to each other but not to the switch. "Top" and "bottom" on a single-pole switch are unimportant--either way. If you redraw this, the picture is much clearer if you omit the grounding wires (everybody knows how they go anyway).

#8
12-07-04, 12:36 PM
tkuhrt
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So this will work, minus the neutral wire on light switch?

#9
12-07-04, 03:24 PM
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Yes it will work if wired as pictured.