60's home wiring


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Old 11-17-08, 11:33 AM
J
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60's home wiring

Hello There,

I am currently installing recessed lighting in to my kitchen. The home is early 60's with a only hot and neutral wires ( 1 black and 1 white). Some receptacles are grounded (i.e. Refrigerator, dishwasher). I am confused on how the wiring works as i try to install the lights.
It looks like there was one "master" wire coming directly from the circuit board in to the kitchen and this one "master" supplied power to my kitchen lights, bathroom, and some receptacles to the master bedroom. So there was 4 black wires all together tied by one wire nut to the hot ( 1 from bathroom, 1 from bedroom, and the kitchen light itself connected). Along with this configuration there is an object with what appears to be magnets between two metal plates and at the bottom are black and white wires coming out. At the top of the object are two clothed copper wires running to a location in the house I can not determine. When I try to wire my lights( i am doing a daisy chain) I am using the one master wire from the box to connect directly to my switch, then tie in the wiring from the lights in to it. When I turn the breaker on the lights come on, however as soon as my light switch is turned on, I trip the breaker. I realize I'm just wiring the lights directly to my main line and this is how it was done prior to me removing the old lights. I have a feeling the magnet object thing is some type of relay that should be hooked in?

Here are my questions:

1) Since I am putting between 8-10 50 watt halogen recessed lights in should I have a dedicated circuit and not "Share" the power between the bedroom, and bath?
2) What is the magnet object and what does it do?
3) Can I use the ground from another receptacle and "tie in" my recessed lights to it?
 
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Old 11-17-08, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonr View Post
Since I am putting between 8-10 50 watt halogen recessed lights in should I have a dedicated circuit
For three reasons. The first is that you cannot extend ungrounded circuits, code only allows them to be left as-is. If the circuit is modified, the entire circuit must be brought up to code which requires grounding. The second is that your existing circuit cannot support the added 500W load. The third is that receptacles and lighting must be on separate circuits in the kitchen.

and not "Share" the power between the bedroom, and bath?
Modern code require that the bathroom and kitchen be on dedicated circuits, so again, any modification of the existing circuit would require separation of bathroom, kitchen and bedroom circuits to be compliant.

What is the magnet object and what does it do?
Possibly a transformer for low-voltage lighting or a doorbell? It also could be a relay for control of lighting.

Can I use the ground from another receptacle and "tie in" my recessed lights to it?
No. You can run a ground wire back to the main panel to ground the existing devices on this circuit, but you cannot use it to extend the circuit to new locations.
 
 

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