borrowing power for new ceiling fixture


Old 09-05-07, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
borrowing power for new ceiling fixture

I have ran new wire through the ceiling and put a new box for a new light fixture, the other end of the wire I am trying to connect to the switch in the wall which used to control one of the outlets in the room. I have a wire nut connecting the both white wires, the black wire from the new fixture in the bottom of the switch and the original black wire to the top. the problem is the ceiling light will only work when a lamp is plugged into the outlet, and then the power is shared for both the outlet and ceiling light. do I need to change some of the wiring for the recepticle or am I just wiring the switch wrong? thanks
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Old 09-05-07, 10:33 PM
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It sounds as if the switch is a switch loop only. You can not power the light from the switch box. Best bet is to run cable from the breaker box and install a separate switch for the light. If power comes in at the receptacle you may be able to change the switch loop to a power source at the switch but the receptacle will no longer be switchable.

Above assumes originally at the switch box there was only two insulated wires and a ground. Depending on local code the receptacle may not be permitted to be always on unless the new light is in the same room.
Old 09-06-07, 05:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You have a switch loop and do not have a neutral available at the switch.

You have several choices.

Find another source for power.

Rewire at the receptacle so that it is no longer switched and so that a hot and a neutral are sent to the switch.

Replace the cable from the receptacle to the switch so that a neutral can be passed to the switch in addition to the hot and the swithced hot can still return to the receptacle.
Old 09-06-07, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,667
do I need to change some of the wiring for the recepticle or am I just wiring the switch wrong?
If you can live with the receptacle not being switched anymore you can rewire the receptacle to make this work.

At the receptacle you should find a white and a black connected together. Disconnect these and rewire the receptacle with all the black together, all the whites together, and all the grounds together. It is possible you may need to change the receptacle if it was only half switched. The tab on the gold screws will be removed. You need a receptacle with the tab intact.
Old 09-06-07, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
thanks guys, exactly what I wanted to know. I am going to change the outlet to be hot (I no longer need it switched, the ceiling light is in the same room) and send a neutral wire back to the wall switch to control the new light.

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