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Add light switch to switch loop with hot white wires in existing loop-Confused??

Add light switch to switch loop with hot white wires in existing loop-Confused??


Old 11-16-14, 03:47 PM
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Add light switch to switch loop with hot white wires in existing loop-Confused??

There is a light switch in a hall that turn on the hall light and another light in a what will be a room due to adding a door to partition the hall from the room. We wanted to control the light from the room from a new light switch in the room so we ran a 14/2 wire from the existing switch to the new switch location and moved what we thought was the switch leg from the light to the new switch location. I thought it was be as easy as getting power to the new switch from the old one and hooking on the switch leg from the light to it.

When finally opening the existing light switch we had 4 cables coming into the box. The switch had 2 blacks and a white hooked to it and one wire had a ground and black not hooked to anything. I though I could just hook my new wire for power to the black, white, and ground and be done but was totally wrong. There where many whites connected and ground which was normal but the white hooked to black and the other wire with only white hooked up threw me for a loop. In the process of trying to figure it out it is all disconnected for now.

When checking for hot wires the leg from the light in the room was already hot which was weird to me. How can I make this new switch work. I have done other wiring projects but nothing with a crazy switch loop like this.

I want the old switch to turn on the hall switch and the new switch to turn on the room light. I looked at other switches nearby and this loop wiring is the same but can't make sense of it when add this new switch. Please help.
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Old 11-16-14, 04:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Yes... white is supposed to be neutral but you'll find that years ago "anything goes" with the switching wires. Any color for any purpose.

To make sure we have what you are doing correctly.
You have a wall switch controlling two lights. The switch will continue to control one light and you want to add a new switch in a newly created room for the second light.

There is a lot to be considered here. Is the second light connected to the first light at the first light ?
I would go straight to the first light and see what you have there. If power were to come from that first light then you would only need a new switch leg.

Remember.... always observe/document wiring BEFORE opening connections.
Old 11-16-14, 05:19 PM
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No the 1st light in the hallway is not connected to the 2nd light (to clarify is a fan/light). The hall ceiling is currently exposed and the light is hooked to joist for now but only has one leg of wire going up to it. The leg from the 2nd light in the room had a cable to the old switch only that I can see. We moved that leg of wire from the existing switch to the new switch. Actually we had to cut it so one of the 4 wires is actually dead and just left over. We really have 2 existing wires and the new cable I ran from the old switch to the new switch for a total of three in the old box. The new box has the leg from the room light/fan and the leg from the old box to the new box or 2 wires.

Not sure if the fan has more than one cable going to it. I pulled the fan part way down but realize now I was only see the internal fan wiring and not the wiring above the ceiling where the true connections are. Will have to check the out but I suspect more cabling coming into it since I was get hot wires from it when the leg from the fan was not hooked to anything in the new switch.

I was an idiot and didn't note the existing configuration of wires before taking the old switch box wiring apart. Have wire nuts connecting the 3 wires in the old box for now. See pics below at link.


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