How to wire to separate tracklights together?

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Old 08-27-12, 08:24 PM
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How to wire to separate tracklights together?

Okay so the way I'm setting this up, I'm going to have two tracks parralel to each other on opposite ends of the bedroom. Now I want to wire both of them together so that can be controlled from the same dimmer.

The one track is already hardwired to the outlet receptacle which the dimmer controls. How do I go about now wiring the second track light together with the first?

Would I wire it in series so there is no voltage drop? I'm kind of confused as to how I wire it and if there is a peice I need to buy to wire these two tracks together? Any help would be appreciated. Trying to get this done tomorrow.


I have two of these tracks.

Edit: I think the link is too long. It's a track light at home depot. Model:
EC3470BA You can see it on the website.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 08-27-12 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 08-27-12, 08:26 PM
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You could run another cable from the junction box that feeds the first light over to the second track.

You do not want to use series wiring.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 08:33 PM
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No junction box in terms that I believe you're thinking. The track light is actually wired to what use to be a regular plug outlet.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 08:46 PM
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The one track is already hardwired to the outlet receptacle which the dimmer controls... The track light is actually wire to what use to be a regular plug outlet.
You have an old receptacle outlet in the ceiling? Some pictures might help us understand what you have now. See How To Put Pictures In Your Post.

If I understand your question correctly, you need to run a new cable from either the "regular plug outlet" that the existing track light is fed from, or the switch box, to the point where you will connect it to the new track light.

Tell us which you'd rather do, and we can advise you on the way to do it.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 08:55 PM
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Sorry I don't have pictures right now but I'll put some up tomorrow if I can't explain it now. Basically the tracklight is screwed up on ceiling obviously. I then ran the wires through the attic, down the inside of the wall straight to the outlet socket and hardwired it to there. Now that outlet just has a blank plate over it.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 08:59 PM
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Removing a receptacle installed to meet the 6/12 spacing rule would create a code violation.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 09:13 PM
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In addition to what pcboss noted, can you tell us how you connected the new cable to the first tracklight, what wires you found in the switch-controlled receptacle box, and how you connected the new cable there?

To answer your new question, installing an accessible junction box in the attic above the first track light and using it to join two new pieces of cable - one for each tracklight - to the cable you ran before may be the easiest, fastest and safest solution.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 09:53 PM
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Okay so on this plug outlet I have 3 wires which were wired to a plug socket. Commonly represented by black, white and red or black, white and white. I believe they would be labeled as a live wire, a neutral wire, and ground.

Instead of these wires powering a socket, this is what is connected to the track light. Its basically a direct, hard wired connection straight to that outlet. Which is why I said there is now a blank plate over it because it no longer has plugs. This is then being controlled by a lutron maestro dimmer. Do you kind of get how it's connected now?

 
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Old 08-27-12, 10:18 PM
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on this plug outlet I have 3 wires which were wired to a plug socket. Commonly represented by black, white and red or black, white and white. I believe they would be labeled as a live wire, a neutral wire, and ground.

Instead of these wires powering a socket, this is what is connected to the track light. Its basically a direct, hard wired connection straight to that outlet. Which is why I said there is now a blank plate over it because it no longer has plugs. This is then being controlled by a lutron maestro dimmer. Do you kind of get how it's connected now?
No. Did you find only one cable in the receptacle box? Was it a 3-conductor cable (black, red, white and bare ground)? Or was the box fed with individual conductors in conduit?

Just to be clear, ground conductors can be bare copper or have either green or green-with-a-yellow-stripe insulation. None of the wires you described should be a ground.

That said, which wires did you connect to the new cable feeding the first track light? And how is the dimmer switch wired?

If the first track light is working OK, why can't you unwire it at the light and make a splice box in the attic to feed both tracks?
 
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Old 08-27-12, 11:04 PM
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No, I didn't see any conductors in conduit. I believe all the electrical sockets and switches here are self grounded. I just checked and it is a red and two black wires. One of the blacks being the ground.


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The wiring of the track looks like that. I then used electrical wiring (the one that has 3 solid wires wrapped within insulation, the ground being bare as you mentioned before) to wire the wiring from the tracklight to the wires in the electrical receptacle.

Now, that piece I showed you in the image before, I was thinking about wiring the two together from each tracklight and then running that straight to the receptacle as I did when I had a single tracklight.

I just wanted to double check that it would be okay. I'm studying engineering currently so I have pretty good understanding of this stuff but as I'm still learning, I like to ask questions so I know for sure. Knowing the theory is one thing, application is a whole other thing sometimes.
 
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Old 08-27-12, 11:42 PM
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If you notice in the picture you linked to there is a box in the ceiling that the live end connector connections are made in. Did you wire it with out a box? If there is a box run a 12-2* or 14-2** NM-b cable from that box to the new box.

*12-2 if 20 amp or **14-2 if 15 amp breaker.

 
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Old 08-28-12, 01:06 AM
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Yea there was no existing box in my ceiling

Would have made this a MUCH easier install however it wasn't the case. That is why I , as I mentioned in another post, ran those wires with a 12/2 straight to the outlet receptacle's wires that are controlled by the dimmer.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 09:15 AM
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I was thinking about wiring the two together from each tracklight and then running that straight to the receptacle as I did when I had a single tracklight.

I just wanted to double check that it would be okay.
Yes, if you do it this way: In the attic, mount a 4" x 4" metal j-box. In that box, splice together three 12-c cables: One for each tracklight and one for the old receptacle. Bond the metal box to the grounds. Cover the box and wire everything up.

BTW, this doesn't make sense:
No, I didn't see any conductors in conduit. I believe all the electrical sockets and switches here are self grounded. I just checked and it is a red and two black wires. One of the blacks being the ground.
Black should not be ground, a neutral is required and a neutral should be white, and I do not know of any cable made with two blacks and one red, for just three points.

If you will buy and read Wiring Simplified, I think it will help you on your path to understanding this, on both the theory and application levels. Wiring Simplified is often sold in the electrical aisle in home improvement stores.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 09:38 AM
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Yea there was no existing box in my ceiling
One should have been added. Without it your existing connection may not be code compliant unless the cover is specifically rated for connections and it probably isn't.

It really sounds like the first install was done incorrectly with the wrong wiring method, improperly removing the code required receptacle instead of leaving in in place and hot, and not installing the required ceiling box. It might be best to start from scratch and rewire the first light correctly then the new light. We will be glad to help you with that.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 01:37 PM
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My suggestion was based on the belief that the live ends on your track lights have terminals for connecting house wiring and an opening for mounting a cable connector to feed the cable through. Many such fixtures are made this way.

If that is not the case, then mounting a ceiling box directly above where you want the live end to be, as Ray suggests, should be the code-compliant way to do it.

The installation instruction instructions should have made this clear. If you followed those, you should be OK.
 
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