Need Always Hot after 3-Way 3-Way Light

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  #1  
Old 01-29-06, 08:01 PM
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Need Always Hot after 3-Way 3-Way Light

Hello all. Thanks for all the help in the past and for any on this.

I have a somewhat odd hallway setup with following:


14/2 Incoming line goes to Three Way Switch at bottom of hallway.
14/3 To From Switch Box Going to Second 3 Way
(White Pigtailed and moving on to next switch box, Black and Red on Travelers)
SECOND SWITCH
Black and Red to Travelers on Second Switch, White Pigtailed and continuing on through switch to Light.

So I am left with a 14/2 coming from the second switchbox out to fixture which is end of run.

What I would like to do is continue the circuit on after this light to a switch turn on a fan I am putting in. I am guessing that since the 14/2 going to the light from the second switch needs to be switched by one or the other 3 ways, I can't have a always hot going to the light fixture which could be pigtailed and moved on the switch for the fan. As a final aside, in the bottom switchbox, there is a pigtailed split off of the white and black running up to another 14/2 upstairs which controls receptacles. I have access to get to this box and run line easily, but it already has a 14/2 coming in, a 14/2 coming out, and a 14/3 coming out. It is a deep box with max of ten 14 wires marked on it.

Hopefully my layout was descriptive enough. Willing to consider almost any moves that might make what I want feasible. My last resort would be to run a junction box upstairs where the 14/2 comes out that moves to the receptable. However, I have never been really fond of a blank faceplate sitting in the wall.

Thanks in advance for any assistance on this one.

Paul
 
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  #2  
Old 01-29-06, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PZimniewicz
So I am left with a 14/2 coming from the second switchbox out to fixture which is end of run.

What I would like to do is continue the circuit on after this light to a switch turn on a fan I am putting in.
Not possible.

> I am guessing that since the 14/2 going to the light from the second
> switch needs to be switched by one or the other 3 ways,
> I can't have a always hot going to the light fixture
> which could be pigtailed and moved on the switch for the fan.
Correct!


> As a final aside, in the bottom switchbox, there is a pigtailed split off
> of the white and black running up to another 14/2 upstairs which controls
> receptacles.
Got to love it.
If you blow a breaker you don't have a light to get downstairs.


> I have access to get to this box and run line easily,
> but it already has a 14/2 coming in, a 14/2 coming out,
> and a 14/3 coming out.
> It is a deep box with max of ten 14 wires marked on it.

Right. It is maxed out.

Plus you are probably trying to overload your 15A circuit.
How big is this fan?
Will it be running while the vacuum sweeper is on and the lights are on?


> My last resort would be to run a junction box upstairs where
> the 14/2 comes out that moves to the receptable.
> However, I have never been really fond of a blank
> faceplate sitting in the wall.

Isn't running a new cable an option?
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-06, 05:31 AM
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Cable

Yes, I suppose running a new cable is an option.

The original line would have controlled the following:

1 60 Watt Hallway Bulb
4 75 Watt Recessed Cans
1 Bedside Receptacle (Reading Lamp)
1 Closet Receptacle (Nothing usually)
1 60 Watt Closet Bulb

After adding up the wattage with everything running and adding the fan, which I calc'd at 90 Watts plus 4 60 Watt bulbs, I figured an additional 330. Thought that with even everything on, I was well within the 1440 Watts (80% usage) for the 15A cicuit.

The original thought was that it was somewhat of a waste to take up and extra circuit breaker spot in the basement simply for a ceiling fan with four lights. However, I am not a fan of overfilling boxes, so it seems to me to be around the best option at this point.

Thanks for your feedback.

Paul
 
  #4  
Old 01-30-06, 06:28 AM
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Paul,

The only way to get a constant hot after a three way switch line is to run 4 conductor wire. Three of the lines are for the three way switch and the extra line is for a constant hot wire.

While four conductor wire is made, it is not common in most bog box home centers, as there is little call for it. It is referred to as 14-2-2 or 14-4 (or 12-2-2 or 12-4).

As an alternative, you can run a separate 14-2 from the first switch and go directly to the fan. You can also go from one of the other locations of the circuit if you wish, just not from the switched light or second 3 way switch.

As far as your load calculation is concerned, you need to look at the maximum lamps for those lights, not what you have installed. You may have already done this.

And while looking at 80 percent load on a 15 amp circuit is a good idea, it is not necessary in this case, as the loads you have are not continuous loads and rarely on all at the same time.
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-06, 10:13 AM
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Agreed

Want to avoid the 4 conductor wire for sure. I had assumed this was a possibility. Decided on just going the extra circuit route as I do have room in the main panel and it might help in the future depending on what type of appliances I bring up there.

Thanks for all the comments.
 
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