Question regarding wiring into circuit box

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-11-06, 09:53 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 23
Question regarding wiring into circuit box

Although I feel fine doing basic electrical work, such as installing a new light fixture, I have another electrical repair that involves the circuit box itself.
I've been redoing the bathroom, and the only thing left of any note is the light fixture above the vanity. I initially removed it, and discovered that it's wired in a more permanent manner than what I've encountered when replacing other light fixture (I think this was an original wiring job going back to construction of the house in 1953). The 2 wires go from the fixture down to the basement and into a box, which nothing else feeds into, and then 1 wire goes to the circuit box. It seems like overkill for a single light fixture, not sure what the reasoning was for doing it like that.
I'm a little lost as to what makes sense in terms of rewiring this, can I eliminate that box altogether?

Of most importance -
If I must go into the circuit box itself, do I simply turn off that circuit, or are there other measures to be take when doing any work that involves the circuit box itself?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-11-06, 10:16 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You seem to have used the word wire twice, when I think you meant to say cable in one instance.

If this circuit serves nothing else except the vanity light then you can eliminate it completely. The easiest way to do this is to go all the way back to the main panel. However, if you want, you can simply go back to the junction box in the basement.

If you go to the junction box then just remove the cable to the vanity light and cap the wires from the panel in the junction box.

If you want to go all the way back to the main panel, then you need to be careful. I recommend turning off the main beaker for the panel. Still, there will be live power in the box, unless the main breaker is in another panel or at the meter itself. With the main breaker off, you just looses the screws and remove the wires from the breaker, the neutral buss and the ground buss (if the circuit has a ground).
 
  #3  
Old 12-11-06, 10:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 23
''You seem to have used the word wire twice, when I think you meant to say cable in one instance.''

Yes, you're right, it's two cables running from the old vanity light into that junction box.

''If this circuit serves nothing else except the vanity light then you can eliminate it completely. The easiest way to do this is to go all the way back to the main panel. However, if you want, you can simply go back to the junction box in the basement.''

Yes, that's all that circuit is for.

''If you go to the junction box then just remove the cable to the vanity light and cap the wires from the panel in the junction box.''

Going to the junction box sounds safer than getting involved with the circuit box, so I should probably go that route.
I'm just a little unclear on what to do. So I turn the breaker off that feeds that junction box, then open it and disconnect the old cables currently running from the junction box to the vanity light, and run the new fixture wiring down to the junction box, right?
You mention capping the wires from the panel in the circuit box, that confuses me a bit, I'm envisioning the project as simply removing the old light and it's cables running into the junction box, and replacing that with the new fixture and running it's wires into that junction box.
Am I missing something?
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-06, 10:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are talking about two different things.

You originally asked about disconnecting the old vanity light. You never mentioned installing a new one.

If you are installing a new one, just use the existing wiring. Or am I missing something.

One caveat. In a 1953 house, the wiring is likely not grounded. Since you are doing a remodel, you need to update the wiring to today's code, which would mean replacing the cable completely, all the way to the circuit breaker panel.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-06, 11:09 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 23
''You are talking about two different things.

You originally asked about disconnecting the old vanity light. You never mentioned installing a new one.''

Yes, I am putting a new one in, ok I see why you mentioned capping the wires in the junction box, which would make sense if you were simply removing a fixture and not installing a new one.

''If you are installing a new one, just use the existing wiring. Or am I missing something.''

The existing wiring coming from the junction box into the old vanity light is two cables, I suppose I might be able to remove the wiring coming from the new vanity light and install those into it (not 100% on that until I take a good look at the vanity light), but can I simply remove those old cables altogether coming from the junction box and run wiring from the vanity light down to the junction box?

''One caveat. In a 1953 house, the wiring is likely not grounded. Since you are doing a remodel, you need to update the wiring to today's code, which would mean replacing the cable completely, all the way to the circuit breaker panel.''

The circuit breaker panel itself is new, I had that installed 5 years ago when I bought the house, so at least in that respect I'm in good shape.
I guess the electrician who installed the breaker box didn't see a reason to replace that wire, perhaps because it only feeds that one fixture (small electrical draw?).
 
  #6  
Old 12-11-06, 06:48 PM
hornetd's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
Ass/u/me

I suspect you are making an assumption. You have two cables at the junction box and two at the vanity light. So you assume they are the same two cables. That may not be true. One of the cables at the vanity light may go to a switch box and one of the cables at the junction box may be serving other loads. Open the breaker that supplies the vanity light and check to find what else does not work. Check at the box behind the vanity light and tell us how many wires are in that box from each cable, what color they are, and what they are attached or spliced to.
 
  #7  
Old 12-12-06, 05:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by hornetd View Post
I suspect you are making an assumption. You have two cables at the junction box and two at the vanity light. So you assume they are the same two cables. That may not be true. One of the cables at the vanity light may go to a switch box and one of the cables at the junction box may be serving other loads. Open the breaker that supplies the vanity light and check to find what else does not work. Check at the box behind the vanity light and tell us how many wires are in that box from each cable, what color they are, and what they are attached or spliced to.
I'll take another close look when I get home, just seeing this message this morning, I wonder if I could take pics and post them here in the thread, that'd probably do more to clear things up than my description of it. Thanks for the response, Ill write again tonight.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'