Moving a light switch - complications ensue


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Old 07-11-14, 07:55 PM
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Question Moving a light switch - complications ensue

Hi, all!

My husband and I were trying to move a light switch - which we though would be straightforward and easy. Right now the light switch is located outside of a small powder room. We want to move it about 18 inches to the left and turn it around so it will be inside the powder room.

Once we pulled down the drywall we realized this would not be so simple.

Obstacles from point A to Point B include three studs (two that are next to each other) and a PVC pipe. Pictures included.

Is there a good way to move the light switch?

Thank you for any advice you can offer!
Stephanie

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Old 07-11-14, 08:35 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You said.... move a light switch. That looks like three.

The studs aren't a problem as you can drill them.
You should be able to squeeze by the PVC vent pipe.

Your problem is you need to get enough wire to reach your new location. You can't stretch the wire so if it isn't long enough it needs to be replaced from where it comes from.
 
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Old 07-11-14, 08:51 PM
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PJmax, thanks for your reply!

Yes, it is a 3-gang switch - sorry for not being more clear.

Is it possible to turn the current switch location into a junction box and extend the wires from there to the new switch location?

Glad to know we can go around the PVC pipe! We weren't sure if there was a code or safety issue running wires past it.

Stephanie
 
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Old 07-11-14, 09:00 PM
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Is it possible to turn the current switch location into a junction box
Yes, but it must remain assessable. You can't Sheetrock over it.
 
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Old 07-12-14, 02:21 AM
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Do you need all 3 switches in powder room? If not move ones you need and use old box For your connections.and the switch.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 10:56 AM
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Thumbs up

Thanks all for the replies.

Pugsl, we want to move a bookshelf to that spot, so we needed to move all three switches out of the way - otherwise that would've been a great idea.

ray2047, we have a blank cover for the junction box, so we can still get to it if we need to.


Here are some photos of what we ended up doing. We drilled through the first stud and sent the wires through and then notched the second and third studs. We attached the new gang box to a stud using a spare piece of wood (there wasn't enough room to hammer into the stud in this tight space). I got the electrical right on the first go! Probably not impressive, but exciting for me as a newbie. Holler if anything looks wrong or unsafe - we've put up the dry wall, but it wouldn't be too difficult to pull it back down to fix something.

Stephanie


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Old 07-13-14, 05:56 PM
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Don't forget to add the "no nail" plates where you have run the wires through the drilled studs, and the notches, to keep the wires from getting hit by nails/screws when attaching sheetrock. One thing, I'm not sure about the "code compliant" status of the notches, but I'm sure that the electricians will comment.
Nice job!
 
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Old 07-13-14, 06:08 PM
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Since the PVC pipe was against the stud it would seem that the notches were the only way to get thru the stud. Nail plates are definitely needed and the only other thing that should be done is that cabling should be fastened within 8" of the box.

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Old 07-14-14, 11:54 AM
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Yep, totally forgot those things.

Okay, dry wall is back down. I'll add the nail plates.

As for securing the wires, is it okay to use a cable tie around all three bundles and then staple the cable tie to the stud? I've seen a lot of discussion about this (in various forums), but not really a clear answer.

I've also seen people mention the multiple cable stacker staples, but I'm not sure if one will work here - I'll definitely try the stacker as my option A, but if not is the cable tie method an acceptable option B?

Anything else I should fix/redo/cleanup while I have everything open?

Steph
 
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Old 07-14-14, 07:57 PM
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The stacker method would be perfect for there.
 
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Old 07-14-14, 08:43 PM
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Unfortunately the stacker method didn't pan out. We didn't leave ourselves enough room from the notches to the box. We ended up doing the zip tie with eyes screwed to the stud. Not the best option, but it worked.

Nail plates are on, wires secured, and dry wall back on! One more coat of joint compound and we'll call this one a success.

Thanks again, everyone, for all your help.
 
 

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