Parallel switch wiring


Old 06-05-14, 12:53 PM
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Parallel switch wiring

Bought a house that a double switch on the wall with a run of three lights in a row in the ceiling. After opening the panel we found that only one switch (on the left) was actually doing anything. Wife wants me to remove the middle light and replace with a ceiling fan that runs off the second switch. Researched but want to see if i am on track with the switch box... Using 14/3 wire i pigtail the top black right side of the left switch to the bottom right of the right switch and then run a new wire from the top post of the right switch with white pigtailed into the others and the other end to the fan? Or will this end up being too much on the circuit? Not electrical gurus here so baffled by the way the wiring is done.

Second option is to remove the other two lights and just replace with one large fan if that would really make any difference. Only thing coming off the second switch would be the light. Name:  image.jpg
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Old 06-05-14, 03:50 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Welcome to the forums!

The switch on the left is a 3 way switch. It appears that this is where the hot is, which is good. The wires that are wire nutted together are your hot (black) and neutral (white). The wire you taped off of (top right) is wrong, this is a traveler and will not work for you.

Here is what you want to do:

Connect a pigtail (short piece of wire) from the group of blacks to the top screw of your right switch.
Run a new 14/2 (not counting the ground) cable from this switch box to your new fan location.
Connect your new cable's white to the other whites.
Connect the black to the bottom screw on the right switch.

Your box where you are planning to install the new fan needs to be rated to support the fan. You might need to replace this box. if you are unsure, take a close up picture of the existing box.

If the fan will also have a light, you could operate it with the other lights, or use a 14/3 (not counting the ground) cable and install a stacking switch.

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