Installing light & switch w/out new circuit


Old 03-06-06, 02:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Frederick
Posts: 18
Installing light & switch w/out new circuit

In my foyer, I have a 3 switches (all 3way) in a single box. One light is for the foyer, one goes upstairs & the other goes downstairs. I have a coat closet in the foyer that really needs a light in it. Can I tap/splice off the power of one of the three 3-way switches in the box? If so, how? I don't want to tear up the drywall in the foyer to install a larger box so I bought a new switch that has 2 switches on it (switches are horizontal versus vertical). I can cut a hole in the closet and fish the wire into the light switch junction box, but how can get power to the switch? Does that make sense??
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Old 03-06-06, 02:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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In order to know if you can do this, we need to know all of the wires and cables in the existing box. I didn't know there was a duplex 3-way switch device. Are you sure that the duplex switch you bought is a 3-way switch?

Additionally, there are numerous rules regarding lights inside closets. The light often must be fluorescent, and must be located quite a distance from flammable garments. What are the dimensions of your closet? How is the shelving situated?

A very common solution to your problem is to install a battery-powered closet light specifically designed for that purpose.
Old 03-06-06, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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As Ben stated, the answer depends on whether power comes into this switch box. It may or it may not. Tell us the wiring and we MAY be able to figure this out. Are all the switches on the same circuit?

There will be the issue about the type of light and the location of the light, the running of the cable and box fill.

Yes, they do make duplex switches that are both three way and ones that have a two way and a three way.
Old 03-06-06, 03:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Frederick
Posts: 18
Yes, I believe it's a 2-way/3-way duplex switch. The closet is quite small, maybe 3'x3', but has a 9' ceiling. Shelfing is at a standard height, about 6'. I'm thinking of a low wattage light since the space is so small and also to reduce the heat (40W max). Believe all the existing 3-way lights are on the same circuit, but I'll double check.
Old 03-06-06, 05:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
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Its not whether they a reon the same circuit, but that the circuit you will tap into is fed into that box.
Old 03-07-06, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,461
Lightbulb Closet light

Our local Lowes store sells a light designed for closets.
It is enclosed, flourescent.
You would still need to adhere to NEC clearance distances from stored items.

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