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Adding a light fixture to a circuit when there's no neutral - is it possible?

Adding a light fixture to a circuit when there's no neutral - is it possible?

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  #1  
Old 02-20-14, 11:44 AM
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Adding a light fixture to a circuit when there's no neutral - is it possible?

A big thanks to those that helped me out with my previous challenge (adding a receptacle to my ceiling): Nashkat1, pcboss, Msradell, and PJMax

I am now on the final challenge for my basement, adding a new light fixture.

The situation I'm looking at is the following:



There are not any neutrals at Switch #1 or Switch #2.

Is it possible to add Switch #3, and have it only control Fixture #3 ?

If so, what would be the easiest way to do it?

The previous owner had already run a 14-2 cable from proposed Switch #3 to the area where proposed Fixture #3 would be. It's not currently used for anything and can be easily replaced with 14-3 cable if that helps my situation.

Thanks for any advice that anyone can provide, it's really appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-20-14, 12:07 PM
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There are not any neutrals at Switch #1 or Switch #2.
Which means you have unswitched power available at both light 1 and light 2. You can run power to light 3 from either of those lights.
The previous owner had already run a 14-2 cable from proposed Switch #3 to the area where proposed Fixture #3 would be.
The 14-2 can be use as a switch loop for light 3 if your area is not yet on the 2011 NEC.

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  #3  
Old 02-20-14, 04:46 PM
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You could also do the same thing that Ray suggested by get the power from fixture #4 if it has unswitched power which I'm betting it probably does. This may be easier considering you stated in your OP that it would be easy to run wire between fixtures 3 and 4.
 
  #4  
Old 02-21-14, 11:35 AM
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Thanks again Msradell and ray2047!

So it's really as simple as ending up with this...



provided that...

1. Fixture #4 has unswitched power

and

2. My area is not yet on the 2011 NEC

?
 
  #5  
Old 02-21-14, 11:46 AM
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The diagram is wrong. It goes to the power in cable inside the light not the switch loop cable.

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  #6  
Old 02-21-14, 05:33 PM
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Ray, thanks straightening it out for him.
 
  #7  
Old 02-24-14, 11:54 AM
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Thanks Msradell !

I have re-drawn my diagram, based on yours.

Can you tell me if mine is correct now?

Much appreciated

 
  #8  
Old 02-24-14, 01:02 PM
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That is wrong. You have a neutral spliced to a switch wire. Best to bring the new switch off the new light. Look again at my previously posted diagram. One cable brings power from two to three and the other cable is your switch loop. You can't take power for a second device from a switch loop which you seem to be doing in your diagram.

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-24-14 at 01:21 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-24-14, 02:01 PM
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Ray, I certainly agree that what he drew was wrong but he could just as easily jump from light #3 to #4 instead of to light #2 since he said it was easier to get between those 2. Obviously it would be done in exactly the same way except in the opposite direction.
 
  #10  
Old 02-24-14, 02:48 PM
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he could just as easily jump from light #3 to #4 instead of to light #2
Yes he could come from four. I just used the previous diagram to make it clear rather then draw a new diagram. Thanks for pointing that out.

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-24-14 at 03:17 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-25-14, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for your patience Msradell and Ray !

I don't know whether I'm overthinking it, missing a cable, or just suck at reading other people's diagrams.

Ray, I've attempted to re-draw your last diagram in my own way so I can try to understand it better. Can you tell me if the following is correct if I'm jumping from light #4 ?

Thank you

 
  #12  
Old 02-25-14, 03:09 PM
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No that is wrong.What is confusing you I think is you are not showing all the cables. You are not showing the power in cable at 4. Open 4. There should be two cables. You are going to add a third cable that goes to to three. That cable brings power to the proposed light. At 4 it connects to the cable you aren't showing.

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-25-14 at 03:35 PM.
  #13  
Old 02-26-14, 12:47 PM
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Thanks Ray, that was definitely the source of my confusion.

I was pretty sure that Fixture #4 only had one cable coming into the junction box.

I just took a look again at Fixture #4 to be sure, both inside the junction box and above it, and it does look like there is just the one 14-2 cable (black, white, ground) coming into the junction box, not two.

Am I hooped?
 
  #14  
Old 02-26-14, 01:54 PM
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If only one cable at light 4 then you should have two cables at switch 4, a power-in cable and a switched power cable. There should be two blacks on the switch 4 and two whites wire nutted to each other. Verify and we can go from there.
 
  #15  
Old 02-26-14, 03:44 PM
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Thanks Ray,

Taking a look at Switch #4, there appears to actually be 3 cables inside it.

Here's a pic:



Switch #4 was the one location I had hoped to avoid running another cable from. It is at the top of the basement stairs, and I'd probably have to open up the wall to run another cable.

All of the other switches and fixtures are in the basement, with easy access via a drop-down ceiling.

The junction box for Fixture #2 has 5 cables in it, and may also have what we're looking for? I did kind of want to avoid adding a 6th cable to this box, but it is a larger box that could handle another one.

Fixture #2 is actually the one that this forum helped me sort out already. From this junction box I ran power for a ceiling mounted receptable.

The junction box for Fixture #2 looks like this:



I've also taken a look at the junction box for Fixture #1. It contains 5 cables.


This is an updated description of all the various available fixtures and switches, and how many cables are in each.



Thanks!
 
  #16  
Old 02-26-14, 04:17 PM
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Your diagram in image two looks correct. Be sure to relabel the white wire of the switch loop. You are going to need to remove the switch box to fish cable. When you do replace it with a deep old work box. The switch box there is too small. I haven't done the math so you may even need to use a two gang box.

Edit: If I calculated correctly you need 22 cubic inches if all # 14. A single gang box 3" deep is 22 cubic inches. Just barely code. You may be better with a 2 gang box at 34 cubic inches.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-26-14 at 05:28 PM.
  #17  
Old 02-26-14, 05:30 PM
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Hi Ray,

When you say 'Your diagram in image two looks correct', are you referring to the following diagram?



That was an older diagram I had of what the junction box looks like at Fixture #2.

This diagram will be helpful for wiring Fixture #3 to Switch #3 ?

Thanks!
 
  #18  
Old 02-26-14, 06:33 PM
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Yes.

.
 
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