how to wire different lights and switches on one circuit

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  #1  
Old 05-29-12, 05:09 PM
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how to wire different lights and switches on one circuit

I have one circuit that i have different lights running on different circuits. I am attaching a pic of a basic layout. I have no idea what wires need to go to what place at this point. Any help would be amazing.

some lights have 3 way switches and some done but all need to work on one circuit.

Rob
 
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  #2  
Old 05-29-12, 05:23 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Do you have ONE circuit or MANY circuits. You used both terms in one sentence. Wiring for spst switches as well as 3 ways are pretty straight forward. Why do they have to be on one circuit? You are in Colorado. Do you have MWBC's (Multi wire branch circuits)? They are common out there. You may want to get the book Wiring Simplified. It gives great pictures and tutorials as to how you should be doing basic wiring. If you have specific questions regarding what you have presented, let us know. But for now, I think it is time to hunker down with a book.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 05:26 PM
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I know how to do 3 way switches. Each of the boxes in the pic i can get wired up. its connecting each one to eachother so they share the commone circuits power that i dont know what to do. It may take a trip to lowes for a book to really figure this out.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 05:29 PM
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I think you may mean that you want 3 switched groups but said circuits. Could you please clarify?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 05:35 PM
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So my problem is to get each box working on its own meaning when lights are turned on and off it affects no other boxes in the pic. But all the boxes share the one main circuit. So if powers was cut at the breaker to the one circuit all the lights would not work. Does that make since? I am having a problem explaining this i guess. Sorry
 
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Old 05-29-12, 05:37 PM
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The incoming power would be pigtailed out to each separate switch box.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 06:06 PM
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so i would need 7 pigtails? What size box would that need to be and would that meet code to do that?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 06:32 PM
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You could feed a constant hot from box 1 to box 2 to box 3 etc. They would not all need to come from box 1.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 06:52 PM
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So us a wire nut to add a wire that will continue to the next box. that makes since. This way i will only have one wire nut in each box. I think i understood that correctly thanks
 
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Old 05-29-12, 07:23 PM
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This way i will only have one wire nut in each box.
No one wire nut for each group. One for neutral, one for constant hots, one for switched hots, one for ground.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 07:32 PM
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So us a wire nut to add a wire that will continue to the next box. that makes since. This way i will only have one wire nut in each box. I think i understood that correctly,
Maybe you do. I would explain it differently, though.

If we assume that you're going to power the seven switch groups in the order in which you numbered them, then you need to run a 2-wire cable from the panel to S1A, S2, S3, S4A, S5, S6 and S7, in that order. In the switch boxes just named, you need to make a 3-wire splice of the "hot" wire - 1 in, 1 out, and a pigtail for the light switch in that box. Except for S7 - you won't need a pigtail there.

You will also need to make a 3-wire splice of the neutrals in each of those boxes: 1 in, 1 out, and one to connect to the light(s), and a 3-wire splice for the grounds, with a pigtail to connect to the box, if it's metal, or to the switch, if the box is plastic.

Tech note: Wire nuts aren't used to make splices. Wire nuts are used to protect and insulate splices that are made by laying two or more conductors side-by-side, insulation ends even, and twisting them together, clockwise, with at least three full twists.

Note 2: To save wire, I would consider running the panel feed to S1A, S7, S5, S6, S4B, S3 and S2, in that order. FWIW
 
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Old 05-29-12, 07:53 PM
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that makes a lot more since thanks! So it is ok to have 3 splices in one single switch box along with the normal switch wires per code?

Thanks for the great detail in your post including how code works for splicing wires.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the great detail in your post including how code works for splicing wires.
You're welcome. I'd rather have you get it right - and safe - the first time.

So it is ok to have 3 splices in one single switch box along with the normal switch wires per code?
It had better be, 'cause that's how they're all wired!

Seriously, yes, it is not only OK, it is required. It can depend, though, on one thing - the size of the box. So long as all of the boxes you're installing for switch housings are standard depth (about 2-5/8") or deeper, there should be plenty of room.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 08:09 PM
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You can do a box fill calculation to see if the box has enough space. Only count the grounds once. The switch counts as two. the box capacity will be marked in the back of a plastic box.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 08:21 PM
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so if i do a 3 ways switch it would count like this

switch 2
ground 1
white 3 (3 wires)
black 3 (3 wires)
red traveller wires 1

so that mean 10 count is that correct?

I dont see a number on the website and i dont have one in front of me. I am looking at one like this from homedepot or lowes

1-Gang 20 cu. in. Switch and Outlet Boxes (100-Pack)-B120A-UPC at The Home Depot
 
  #16  
Old 05-29-12, 08:33 PM
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#14 is 2 cubic inches per conductor, #12 is 2.25 cubic inches.
 
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Old 05-29-12, 08:44 PM
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I am sorry to waist your time but this really is helping me thanks!

So at #12 it would look like this
switch 2
ground 1
white 3*2.25 =6.75
black 3*2.25 = 6.75
red 2.25
totals =18.75


#14 = 17 using the same calcs with smaller wire size.

Is this correct? Would this fit in a normal box like the one I linked to?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 08:49 PM
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With those boxes i showed you being 20 cu if my math is correct it would fit right?
 
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Old 05-29-12, 09:27 PM
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10 x 2 =20 CI for #14s
or
10*2.25 = 22.5

The 20 inch box would work if you had #14 wires. If you have #12 is is too small and you would need a larger box like a 4 11/16 with a plaster ring.
 
  #20  
Old 05-29-12, 09:40 PM
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ok cool i know understand the math now. Thanks for all the help!
 
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