New wiring from a switch loop

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  #1  
Old 06-17-05, 05:55 PM
brianlhuffman
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Question New wiring from a switch loop

Hi all,

I am installing a new ceiling fan and want to run new cable from an existing switch. The switch is looped at the end of a run though. Due to inability to find the initial wire for the circuit, (The house has been remodeled twice, and wiring added at least a few times), I am hoping there is a fix to allow me to wire from switch to fan. Another problem is that the switch controls two duplex receptacles; both sockets in both receptacles are switched. The switch controls nothing else, but is on a circuit with other receptacles. I don't mind if the receptacles are switched or not, but I prefer that they're not. The wiring in each box is below:

1st receptacle- 1 red wire and 2 white wires connected
to the receptacle. 2 black wires spliced
through the box.

2nd receptacle- 2 red wires and 2 white wires connected
to the receptacle. 2 black wires spliced
through.

Single-pole toggle switch- 1 black and 1 white wire(I'm
presuming hot) connected to
switch.

I can supply other info as requested. Thank you for your help.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-17-05, 06:55 PM
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Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Are you sure that there isn't a third receptacle also switched? We're missing the other end of the second red wire (we've got three red ends, and you can't have an odd number). It's likely at one of the other receptacles in the room (which may or may not also be switched--figure that out). Find it and describe the wiring there.
 
  #3  
Old 06-17-05, 07:40 PM
brianlhuffman
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One more switch

Thanks for the quick reply. I forgot to mention another switch box. It is triple-ganged, but only has two switches in it. There are 5 cable's entering the box: 3 14-2; 2 14-3. Sequence from Left to Right is 14-2, 14-3, 14-3, 14-2, 14-2.
All neutral wires are spliced. The two red wires are spliced, (have not found where the outgoing runs to).
The far right black goes to the bottom of the right switch. Top of the right switch is a black pigtailed to the middle three blacks and the bottom of the left switch. Top black of left switch runs to far left black.
We have no idea what the left switch controls. I have found no other switched receptacles, and have found no other three-wire cable either in the attic, or above the ceiling in the basement.
Wish I could send a picture. I've done other wiring in this house. It's clustered to say the least. I've pulled out loads of no longer connected wiring, and some of the junctions are pretty sorry. Thanks for your help.
 
  #4  
Old 06-17-05, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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I'm not sure this new information has anything at all to do with the problem at hand. I was puzzled by three red wires (an odd number) and you added two more (so it's still an odd number).

Are there any other receptacles in this room? If so, tell me what wires are in those boxes and how they are connected?

Things are getting fuzzier, not clearer. The presence of a triple-gang box with only two switches means that it's not really safe to make any assumptions.
 
  #5  
Old 06-18-05, 03:36 AM
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Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
As John stated, we are missing some information here. You have stated that you want to use the single switch for the fan, and that you don't care if the receptacles remain switched. That's a good place to start, but without knowing where the wire connected to the single switch comes from you can't
do much.

That single wire is a switch loop. As such, it contains no neutral. This means that as is you cannot extend the circuit from there. You would need to find the other end of that wire and make the white wire a neutral, and then you could extend from the switch.

However, you do have other possibilities, depending on the layout of the wiring.

You could wire the fan from wherever the switch loop originated from. You could wire the fan from the triple gang box that presently contains two switches. You could wire from one of the other locations you haven't found yet.

The key here is that you need to identify the rest of the wiring. Good luck.
 
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