Moving Light Switch

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  #1  
Old 03-02-05, 01:07 PM
mraub1
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Moving Light Switch

I need to move a switch box with two light switches about 3 foot laterally along a wall to clear way for a grandfather clock Iím building. The box is wired from beneath, but I canít access the wiring from below because of a finished drywall ceiling in the basement.

The best way Iíve been able to think of is to remove the drywall behind the baseboard between where the switches are and where I want them to be, intercept the wire to the switches there, notch the studs to extend the wire to the stud space I want and then fish the wire up to an old work box. Iíll still have to patch the drywall where the old box came out, but the patching behind the baseboard doesnít need to be all that too good.

Is this the best way to solve my problem?

Thanks,

MIKE
 
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  #2  
Old 03-02-05, 01:22 PM
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It sounds like a good plan but be prepared for your wires to be too short. They may have been run up through the baseplate into that stud space. You'll find out when you get into the stud space.

If so, another thought is to leave the box in place but use it as a junction box instead. You can extend your new wires from that location, down along the baseboard as you planned, but this way you'll have enough wire. The present box would need to be accessible, but would it be hidden by the clock?
 
  #3  
Old 03-02-05, 01:22 PM
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This won't work as you have guessed. You would need three feet of slack to move the wires over three feet and still have the switches at the same height. You have no slack.

I would make a hole in the basement ceiling, move the wires and then patch that hole.

Alternately, I would leave the existing box where it is, and just run new wires to the new box from the old box. You can likely do this with making only one hole to patch on the existing wall. You will install a blank cover on the old box after you do this. As long as the grandfather clock is not built in, this is legal.
 
  #4  
Old 03-02-05, 01:30 PM
mraub1
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Thanks for the advice. I really want to get rid of the old box and patch the hole with drywall. Could I mount a small junction box on the studs where I pick up the existing wire and run new Romex to the new switch location? The new junction box would not be accessible (covered by drywall patch and baseboard) and I don't know if this violates the NEC.

Thanks,
MIKE
 
  #5  
Old 03-02-05, 01:34 PM
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A junction box MUST be accessible. Covered with drywall is NOT accesible.
 
  #6  
Old 03-02-05, 01:37 PM
mraub1
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How about behind just baseboard, which is nailed into place? (No real need for full drywall coverage behind the baseboard).

Thanks again,

MIKE

Originally Posted by racraft
A junction box MUST be accessible. Covered with drywall is NOT accesible.
 
  #7  
Old 03-02-05, 01:38 PM
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The box must be accessible.

But another thought is-depending on the area in the finished basement this is above-maybe put a junction box in the basement ceiling below the stud space and do your wire extension from there and avoid the upstairs altogether. But then again, you have yet to verify from which direction the wires come from to the switch station.....
 
  #8  
Old 03-02-05, 01:45 PM
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You cannot put a junction box behind drywall. You cannot out a junction box behind baseboard. It must be accessible. Behind movable furniture is okay. Behind built in furniture is not okay.

You could put the junction box in the basement ceiling. But then again, if you cut a hole in the basement ceiling, you may not need a junction box.
 
  #9  
Old 03-02-05, 01:45 PM
mraub1
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Not wishing to be argumentative, but why would a junction box behind a drywall ceiling be deemed accessible, while one behind a drywall wall not be?

As you point out, not knowing where the wire is in the ceiling makes me hesitant to chose that route. Patching the knockdown ceiling finish has proved very messy in the past.

Thanks,

MIKE.

Originally Posted by trs4594
The box must be accessible.

But another thought is-depending on the area in the finished basement this is above-maybe put a junction box in the basement ceiling below the stud space and do your wire extension from there and avoid the upstairs altogether. But then again, you have yet to verify from which direction the wires come from to the switch station.....
 
  #10  
Old 03-02-05, 01:48 PM
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The junction box cannot be above the drywall ceiling. It must be IN the drywall ceiling. You would have the blank cover plate visible in the basement ceiling.


The advantage of leaving the existing box in place and running wires to the new box is that, in the future, you or someone else could simply reverse the procedure and get the switches back to their original location.
 
  #11  
Old 03-02-05, 01:53 PM
mraub1
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OK, I think I've got it now. If the clock will cover the old box location, a blank cover plate painted to match the wall would look fine.

Thanks for your help.

MIKE

Originally Posted by racraft
The junction box cannot be above the drywall ceiling. It must be IN the drywall ceiling. You would have the blank cover plate visible in the basement ceiling.


The advantage of leaving the existing box in place and running wires to the new box is that, in the future, you or someone else could simply reverse the procedure and get the switches back to their original location.
 
  #12  
Old 03-02-05, 01:58 PM
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Now you've got it.

Depending on the location of the studs, and the specific distance you need to move the switches, you may even be able to do with no extra hole to be patched.
 
  #13  
Old 03-02-05, 02:02 PM
mraub1
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A right-angle drill attachment might be handy and I know where I can borrow one.

MIKE

Originally Posted by racraft
Now you've got it.

Depending on the location of the studs, and the specific distance you need to move the switches, you may even be able to do with no extra hole to be patched.
 
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