Switch Loop

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  #1  
Old 05-14-05, 10:13 PM
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Switch Loop

In my bathroom I have a ceiling light/fan combo on a double switch, one for each. I am wanting to add another light into the mix between the light and the switch.

My problem is the wiring. I cannot access the wiring above the combo fan/light. At the wall switch I have two incoming cables, one of them are wire nutted together, white to black, and another one with Black, Red, White, Green, Bare wires in it.

The black connects to the top of one switch as the red connects to the top of the other switch and the white connects to the bottom of one switch with a jumper to the bottom of the other switch.

I do have very good access to both cables where I want to add the new light at. My question is how to wire it properly? I have managed to wire it many different ways using the Black, Red, White, Green, and Bare wires from cable #1 but the light never works quite like it should.

Thanks in Advance for the help!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-15-05, 04:56 AM
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A light requires both a hot and a neutral to work properly. When a light is wired using a switch loop, the neutral is connected directly to the light, and the cable to the switch carries _hot_ only; no neutral. Iin the white/black/red/bare cable the white is the 'hot' and the red and black are the 'switched hots'. Since you have no neutral in this cable, you cannot run an additional light from it.

You will need to gain access to the wiring at the fan unit if you want to add this light, or you will need to run an additional circuit.

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 05-15-05, 08:22 AM
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I can tell you as an Electrician I would not have wired that fan combo that way. Most of the time the combo's have so little room in them that it is easier just to run a 14-3 to them than feed the combo and drop down to a switch....but hey......thats me..

I might help if you explain that one wire more....not the 3 wire but the one with the black and white spliced together as you stated.....because if the source is at the combo....should be no need for the 2 wire ( black and white ) to come down.....they could have achieved it all with the 14-3 wire alone....

So would be curious to know if your statement that the black and white from the (2) wire romax are twisted together as you stated......still sounds to me in your statement that the source is at the box........so again can you be MORE specific on the 2 wire and 3 wire romax and what are the black and white in the 2 wire connected to.......and how they are done.
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-05, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies they are much appreciated. I am only assuming that this is what is called a switch loop. )

As for the 2 wire it is wire nutted together in the same box with the switches with no connection to the switches at all. As for the other end of it I can only assume it connects to the light/fan combo.

The 3 wire black and red each connect to the top of seperate switches and the white connects to one of those two switches and is jumpered to the other switch.

The red wired switch runs the light of the fan/light combo and the black wired switch runs the fan of the fan/light combo

I hope that explains it sowewhat better.
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-05, 06:33 PM
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Now tell us what the wiring at the fan/light looks like. What wires are there and how are they connected.
 
  #6  
Old 05-15-05, 10:13 PM
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Sorry I do not have access to that as I mentioned in the first post
 
  #7  
Old 05-16-05, 06:50 AM
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To answer Bob's question, you do not need to access the wiring above the fan/light, only the wiring at the fan/light. If you cannot access that either, then you have a very serious code violation that must be corrected.

But anyway, we don't really need that information. As winnie pointed out in his early post, you cannot "add another light into the mix between the light and the switch" as you desire. You'll need a different solution.

The cable with the black wire and white wire connected together in the switch box is a real mystery. Solving this mystery might present an alternative solution. But right now, I don't see any way to solve this mystery unless you can figure out where that cable comes from. Since you said you "have very good access to both cables where I want to add the new light at", maybe you can answer that question.
 
  #8  
Old 05-16-05, 09:20 AM
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My thought process is that the black and white wire at the switch might be a former switch loop from when the fan and light were controlled by a single switch. If that is the case, and if they simply left it intact then indeed there are enough wires to add another light.

We will know if this is the case (or at least we will know if might be the case) if we know the wiring at the fan/light.
 
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