Basement Lighting Wiring Question


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Old 05-20-14, 05:56 PM
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Basement Lighting Wiring Question

So I am trying to add a ceiling outlet to my basement to allow me to plug in a shop light above my work bench. There is a light box I was going to tap into but when I opened the box I found 2 3 conductor (plus ground) for each of the two cables coming into the lighting box. The light is not on a 3-way switch so I can't for the life of me figure out what the wires are for. Any ideas?
 
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Old 05-20-14, 06:17 PM
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The red wire is controlled by a switch and the black wire is always live.
So use red and white if you want your new light switched with the rest of the lights.
Or use the black and white if you are going to have a separate switch on or for the new fixture.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 06:34 PM
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Thanks! I had no idea they wired it that way. Is that standard wiring for basement lights? Does this mean that in one of my basement lights there is a black wire with just a wire nut on it?
 
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Old 05-20-14, 07:42 PM
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The black could go to a receptacle or one or more lights with a localized switch loop. There is no code requiring the switched be red but it is standard practice with cable. Single phase residential conduit systems you may see yellow.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 07:48 PM
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There is no code requiring the switched be red but it is standard practice with cable.
I know at least your red circuit is switched because it's connected to a switchless porcelain fixture in your picture.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 05:22 AM
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Thanks guys. I don't have any outlets or secondary switches on that circuit. I'll have to take a look tonight, but my guess is that the there is going to be a black wire somewhere that just has a wire nut on it. Maybe in the very last light box. I'll have to figure it out before I add that the additional outlet just to make sure I don't mess anything up :-)
 
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Old 05-21-14, 09:10 AM
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Check the cubic inch capacity of the box before adding another cable.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 09:13 AM
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Check the cubic inch capacity of the box before adding another cable.
Yeppers. Had planned on doing that already. May need to swap it out given all those wires in there.
 
 

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