Switch controlled outlet to track lighting

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  #1  
Old 04-21-01, 06:10 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Lightbulb WALL OUTLET JUICE TO TRACK LIGHTING

I am installing track lighting in an 1901 house... I have no real access to the ceiling to install an electrical "box" for the light fixture and there are no ceiling "outlets".

I plan to connect to a wall outlet that is controlled by a switch on the wall and run 14-2 wire to the sets of track lighting so that the track lighting will be controlled by the switch.....I can keep or lose the functionality of the outlet- whatever works...

a few things...

1) I will be replacing the switch with a dimmer switch.

2) I have run 14-2 wire from the switch controlled outlet box to a place on the wall near the ceiling so I can go externally from there....

so...

A) how do I connect to the switch controlled outlet with the 14-2 wire that I have running to near the ceiling?

B) I need the wiring that goes to the track lighting to "split" from one set of wires to 2 sets of wires once it is near the ceiling so that it can go to 2 separate sets of tracks.... How do I "split" the sets of wires?

I am mid project and "NEED" to finish this weekend... so any help will definitely be appreciated.
I am so impressed with this forum!

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
[email protected]
 
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  #2  
Old 04-22-01, 10:40 AM
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First I am not certain as to teh code requirements concerning this type of survice mount wiring, others on here will be able to give that info but I can provide you with wiring details.

Can you clarify where your source of power is ?
If you source of circuit power is at the plug it is possible to have half of the plug in an always on state and the other half switched. I will give instructions here from the switched outlet point, assuming that circuit power is coming there first ...

run a black, white/bare from outlet box to switch.
connect circuit black to white going to switch
connect circuit white with silver color screw of plug.
connect switch wire black to brass color screw of plug.
bare wires together and groudned to box and grounding screw of plug. This will switch the entire plug -both halfs.

At the switch, white wire to one screw of switch and balck wire to the other screw of switch, bare grounded to box.
-----------------
If only half of plug switched then,
at plug box,
circuit black to white going to switch and a short black going to one brass screw of switch.
circuit white to silver color screw of plug.
black from switch to other brass color screw of plug.
BREAK OFF THE JOINING TAB BETWEEN THE 2 BRASS COLOR SCREWS OF PLUG.

-----------------

If you wire directly from the plug to the track lighting
without using the plug to plug the track light into then...

at the plug,
circuit black to white going to switch and short black going to brass color screw of plug.

circuit white to white going to first track light and short white going to silver color screw of plug.

black from switch to black going to first track light.
all bares together and grounded to box and grounding screw of plug.

This will make the plug both halfs in an always on state (TAB NOT BROKEN) and the wire cable going to track light switched.

Run another cable from track light 1 to track light 2.
all black wires together at track light 1, all white wires together at track light 1, bares together and grouding where provided by the track light fixture, green wires are ground wires if existing at the track fixture.

The fixtures black or brass color connection screws are connected to black.
The fixtures white or silver color screw is connected to white.

i am assuming that this track lighting is of the 110v variety and not low voltage lighting.

Again I will state I am am not certain as to the code concerning survice type wiring, so all I provided was a wiring sequence.
 
  #3  
Old 04-23-01, 06:50 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Exclamation New dimmer switch = 3 wires. Old switch = 4 wires

Thank you sir, for your help... I have the lights up and running... Top plug on outlet is switched, bottom is always on...

I went to install the dimmer switch, and ran into another surprise.

New dimmer switch = 3 wires. Old switch = 4 wires

-----------
The new dimmer is a single pole slide variety and has, coming out of the back:

1)green wire (ground)(on top edge of switch)
2)black wire(on top edge of switch)
3)black wire(on bottom edge of switch)(suppose to be "hot")
-----------


-----------
The old switch (that is working) has, on back:
I will describe if as if you are looking at the BACK of the switch...

1)bare wire(ground) on top, screwed to body.
2)On the top left is RED, held by screw
3)on the bottom left is a black wire
4)bottom middle inserted into a little slot is black
-----------


Can you describe which wires need to connect to which?

NOTE:
Both the switch box and the outlet box have two sets of wire coming to them... one of the sets contains the red wire in both...

Both the switch box and the outlet box contain white wires as well (of course). In the switch box, they are spliced to each other...



Please bear in mind that I am very new to all of this and really don't understand....

I thank you again, very much, for your help.
Trying to do a so called "simple" job like this on weekends and after a long day is insane... I appreciate the sanity that you provide.

-Jeff
---------------------------------






Originally posted by dkerr
First I am not certain as to teh code requirements concerning this type of survice mount wiring, others on here will be able to give that info but I can provide you with wiring details.

Can you clarify where your source of power is ?
If you source of circuit power is at the plug it is possible to have half of the plug in an always on state and the other half switched. I will give instructions here from the switched outlet point, assuming that circuit power is coming there first ...

run a black, white/bare from outlet box to switch.
connect circuit black to white going to switch
connect circuit white with silver color screw of plug.
connect switch wire black to brass color screw of plug.
bare wires together and groudned to box and grounding screw of plug. This will switch the entire plug -both halfs.

At the switch, white wire to one screw of switch and balck wire to the other screw of switch, bare grounded to box.
-----------------
If only half of plug switched then,
at plug box,
circuit black to white going to switch and a short black going to one brass screw of switch.
circuit white to silver color screw of plug.
black from switch to other brass color screw of plug.
BREAK OFF THE JOINING TAB BETWEEN THE 2 BRASS COLOR SCREWS OF PLUG.

-----------------

If you wire directly from the plug to the track lighting
without using the plug to plug the track light into then...

at the plug,
circuit black to white going to switch and short black going to brass color screw of plug.

circuit white to white going to first track light and short white going to silver color screw of plug.

black from switch to black going to first track light.
all bares together and grounded to box and grounding screw of plug.

This will make the plug both halfs in an always on state (TAB NOT BROKEN) and the wire cable going to track light switched.

Run another cable from track light 1 to track light 2.
all black wires together at track light 1, all white wires together at track light 1, bares together and grouding where provided by the track light fixture, green wires are ground wires if existing at the track fixture.

The fixtures black or brass color connection screws are connected to black.
The fixtures white or silver color screw is connected to white.

i am assuming that this track lighting is of the 110v variety and not low voltage lighting.

Again I will state I am am not certain as to the code concerning survice type wiring, so all I provided was a wiring sequence.
 
  #4  
Old 04-23-01, 07:28 PM
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I have to print this thread out on paper, I didn't realize there was red wires in the cable, I may have a couple of more questions for you, I will repost tomorrow sometime after I have looked over everything in this thread. Just hold off until I get back to you, we want to get this right the first time, and it is getting late here so I will look at this tomorrow.
 
  #5  
Old 04-24-01, 07:21 AM
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Jeff how many wire cables are actually entering the switch box, each cable will have a black/white/bare or black/red/white/bare. I assumed before that there was only 1 cable going to this switch box. -confirm this.

The plugs that you want in an always on state is like that and only 1/2 of the 1 plug is switched- confirm.

The green wire of the new dimmer switch, green is ground and gets connected to the bares and grounded to box. the other black wires of dimmer go to the 2 wires that when connected turns on the 1/2 outlet.

Now can you clarify what is meant by the old switch "on the top left is RED, held by screw", was there a red wire attached to this .

I am assuming that there is only 1 switch controlling this outlet and there is no 2nd 3-way switch located elsewhere controlling the same.

How many wires are in the cable between the switch and outlet ?

One final question -
you had one existing plug which was previously switched (was the existing plug - 1/2 switched or both half switched) and that was to be converted to an always on state, what you wanted to run a wire cable from there to a 2nd plug which would have 1/2 of the outlet switch is this correct ?

My first explanation was from a point of cirucit supply power to new plug to new switch, I think I may have missed the fact that an existing switch was there, that is why I want to make certain everything is correct , so I ask that you give me the info requested and will repost back with further info.

So to repeat myself, it is inportant at this point to go back a step (in explanation only) and tell me how many wire cables that wer entering the existing switch box, and the color of the wires that are in each cable. At the existing outlet (plug) box tell me the number of cables that were entering that box and the color of the wires that were in each cable. DO NOT COUNT the nre wire cable that you ran to the addon outlet, I only want to know the state before your new project began.

We all want the wiring to be correct so this information will make it so.











 
  #6  
Old 04-24-01, 08:39 AM
Jeff Placzek
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Colors in the cables...

Thank you again.

I am currently at work so I will be able to give you limited info until I can get home and look at this in order to be specific.

When starting, 2 cables entered the switch box, and two cables entered the plug box.

1 cable set includes: Black, White, Bare.
2nd cable set includes: Black, White, Red, Bare

The state of the plug before I started was top plug switched, bottom always on. This is still the case.

You asked:
>>>Now can you clarify what is meant by the old switch "on the top left is RED, held by screw", was there a red wire attached to this .<<<

Yes, there was (and is) a red wire attached to this on the top left as you look at the back of the old switch.

I have a tough time understanding which set of cables runs BETWEEN the switch and the plug- would it be the cable set that contains the red wire? I believe the red wire is attached to the top, switched plug at the outlet...

Again, I will have to take a close look and possibly create a sketch to email to you.

The plug and switch I am dealing with do not have brass colored vs. silver colored screws as everyone describes.... I think I will pick up a new one of each this afternoon and start fresh.

I sincerely appreciate your help.
I will try to post again this evening around 7:00 or 7:30pm central time with the specifics.

I will check throughout the day to see if you have posted additional questions or insight.
Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 04-24-01, 11:56 AM
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I'll await your further later when you get home, we will change your wiring sequence slightly , it would now appear that you had a switched source and an unswitched source coming from to switch box to your outlet box.

I am starting to get a better picture of what you have.

There is an additional outlet that you are installing that will be the swithced outlet -correct ? and the existing outlet will be converted to an always on state ?- is this correct ?

I await you next post.

All this is not a problem, we are glad to help, I sometimes have a ask a few questions to get a clearer understanding on how it is wired now and how it needs to be changed.


 
  #8  
Old 04-24-01, 12:10 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Exclamation Also...Wire Gauge..

Running the juice from the outlet to the track lighting, I used 14-2 wire--- Is this correct? I asked the guys at the hardware store, and they said that would be perfectly fine.

The track lighting will consist of 12, 50 watt halogen bulbs - they each have their own individual "transformer" that mount on the track.

Any thing I need to consider on that?
Just want to be on the safe side...

I realize it is probably hard to prescribe the right treatment without actually seeing the patient...But any advice is very appreciated.
 
  #9  
Old 04-24-01, 12:49 PM
Gary Tait
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Here's what I think is going on, the two blacks on the bottom are continuous, the one from the two wire cable
is hot from the source, and the one in the 3 wire cable
goes to the bottom half of the recpticle circuits (I bet
you have more than one half switched recpticles), and the
red is the switched half. If that is the case, then you
pigtail the blacks together with one of the leads on he new switch, and the red to the other lead on the switch.
 
  #10  
Old 04-24-01, 01:16 PM
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Location: ottawa canada
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[I think Gary is on the right track. The source of ciruit power is the black/white/bare cable entering the switch box. the 3-wire (black.red/white/bare) cable is running from the switch box to the outlet box. At the switch box, connect circuit black to black going to outlet and a short black going to one connection on new dimmer.
connect circuit white to white going to outlet.
red going to outlet connects to the other wire of new dimmer.

At the outlet install new plug (old one has a broken tab on one side).

connect the red wire coming from switch to the black wire going to light.
connect all white wires together and a short white the connects to the silver color screw of plug.

connect black coming from switch to any other black (except the black going to light - the red one conencts to that) and a short black going to the brass color screw of plug.

green and bare wires together and grounded to box and connected to grounding screw of plug.

The white wire in all locations is a neutral connection, and the red wire is a switched hot. The black wire at the plug (coming from switch) is an unswitched hot, so anything connected to it will always be on, and anything connected to the red will be switched.

This will make your plug -both halves in an always on state adn only the light feed being switched. We don't want a dimemr on an outlet plug so this way the plug is not controlled by the dimmer.

With your old switch switch they were using the switch to connect the 2 blacks together and connect to one conenction on the switch as the stab push in at the bottom is the same connection as one of the screw conenctions.



[Edited by dkerr on 04-24-01 at 04:22]
 
  #11  
Old 04-24-01, 01:54 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Current outlet vs. New install

Thank you again.

The old receptacle is still in place. One outlet on the receptacle is switched, the other is always on. I am not installing additional receptacles- just running through the one that is already there.

As you mentioned, it does not make much sense to have an outlet on a dimmer switch- so I would be happy to remove the old plugs and rewire a new receptacle as both halves always on, with the power that goes onward to the track lighting as switched with the dimmer.

I do believe that, in it's current state, the plug that is wired with the red wire is the switched one, so that must be the wire-set that comes specifically from the switch.

Another very basic question--- when you say something like: "connect all white wires together and a short white that connects to the silver color screw of plug."
---
What is meant by "a short white"? or a "short black"?

Is this accomplished by splicing all whites (or blacks) together with a short length of the same color wire that has it's unattached end free to attach to the intended screw, etc.?
---
After I get my new receptacle for installation and take a detailed look at what I have for wires I would like to, if possible, make a sketch of what I understand your description to be, and email it to you for you to review. Would that be possible? If not I can post it to one of my websites and give you the url address.....

I am eager to tackle this the correct way.
What a great resource you are.

 
  #12  
Old 04-24-01, 03:53 PM
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When I say short black or short white, I mean a wire of the same color perhaps about 6 inches long to connect to the intended screw of plug as instructed. Exactly as you stated...


"Is this accomplished by splicing all whites (or blacks) together with a short length of the same color wire that has it's unattached end free to attach to the intended screw, etc.?"

Yes that is exactly it.



this is one diagram of the instructions I gave, if you still feel you want to email be a sketch my email is...

[email protected]


 
  #13  
Old 04-24-01, 05:49 PM
Jeff Placzek
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OK....

Thank you for the diagram and explanation...
I will give this a shot and post back later tonight.

How do I post a graphic file with my post as you did (Is it possible for me to do?)]

I have a digital camera and can take a photo of the finished work...

-Jeff
 
  #14  
Old 04-24-01, 07:26 PM
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to put an image into your message you must first upload the image to your personal webspace then at the point in the message you want the image inserted put the following ..

[exp]http://members.home.net/kerr05/pix1.jpg[/exp]

where it says exp change to img
had to change it in the example to prevent it from being exucuted. change the web address to the location of where your picture is located.

convert your pictures to jpg format for that any browser can display it.
 
  #15  
Old 04-24-01, 08:36 PM
Jeff Placzek
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Thumbs up Buzzing switch

I followed your directions completely- and it works.

Initially, it did not work... through several tries I decided to try a second dimmer switch (justin case)--- the first was faulty and the second one worked.

The only drawback is that the second switch creates a buzzing sound when not off or in the fully ON position- anything in between creates the buzzing.

Any suggestions on that one?

The switch packaging advertises that it is suppose to NOT have noise, etc....

Hmmm... are there special dimmer switches made for halogen lighting versus incandescent?

AGAIN. I THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP. YOU ARE EXCELLENT AT TEACHING AND YOU HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF PATIENCE!

thank you for the tip regarding inserting pictures into the post... I will post a picture of the finished project whenever that occurs...

 
  #16  
Old 04-24-01, 09:23 PM
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sounds like you got it right. No the dimmer should not be buzzing, I am not sure if you require special dimmers with halogen lights , another on here my have that answer. But the standard dimmer is rated for 500 watts, you can get higher rated dimmers. I assume that all the lights added together fall bellow 500 watts. your local building supply dealer should be able to give you the answer on the dimmer comaptability with halogen lights, if someone here doesn't give the answer sooner.
 
  #17  
Old 04-24-01, 09:52 PM
rickoh
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can u dim lights with transformers?
 
  #18  
Old 04-24-01, 11:28 PM
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rickoh may have a point. I haven't had to deal with halogen track lighting before and I not sure of there compability with dimmers. If another knowledgeable person has the answer on the capability with dimmers then we'd love to hear it. A major building supply depot could point you in the right direction on the dimmer issue with this type of lighting.

I just did a quick search and could not find a standard halogen dimmer, I found references to an electronic dimmer
http://www.qkits.com/serv/searchengines/k5002.asp

like at that site.

Jeff you diffently need to get some some info on dimmer compatability to this type of lighting system, if someone does not come forward here, go to a good major building supply depot and ask them , make sure they are aware of the type of lighting that you are seeking a dimmer for.

 
  #19  
Old 04-25-01, 06:51 AM
Jeff Placzek
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The Buzz........

The dimmer I purchased is rated for 600w or less.... I was going to be right at 600watts.

When testing I only had 300 watts hooked up.
The url that you pointed me to looks like a great solution (if it works without buzzing.) Ordering from qKits, would it be an actual "Kit" that would require assembly? I emailed them with questions as well.

I will have to try "Home Depot" in the area and see if they have some insight.

The dimmer I tried is the slide variety...

It's nice knowing it should be easy installation from here on out.
I'll keep you posted as I find out.
Thanks.



 
  #20  
Old 04-25-01, 12:44 PM
Jeff Placzek
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DIMMING...

I just found the following at:
http://www.lightforum.com/technology/ALM031.html
now I just need to find out how this applis to my situation and where to purchase...


DIMMING
All low-voltage lighting systems are dimmable. Dimming is almost always done on the primary (120- or 277-volt) side of the transformer. When choosing a system, consider the following recommendations.

Autotransformer dimmers (variable transformers) work best: they do not cause noise, flicker, or other problems. Unfortunately, they usually are large and not easily controlled by modern dimming systems, such as four-scene presets.

Solid-state dimmers rated for low-voltage (inductive) loads work fairly well on low-voltage systems that use conventional magnetic transformers. Debuzzing coils are generally recommended, especially for PAR 36 incandescent lamps. Universal dimmers -- capable of dimming standard incandescent or low-voltage lighting -- are used in wall-box preset dimming systems.

The solid-state "transformers" supplied with many track fixtures are not really transformers, but solid-state switching power supplies. Because solid-state dimmers are also switching devices, interference and interaction between dimmer and transformer are likely if they are used together. That can result in strobing, buzzing, and possibly device failures. Most manufacturers of solid-state transformers or dimmers recommend against using them together, and will not warrant equipment that is so used.

Dimming increases lamp life for low-voltage lighting, as it does for regular incandescent lamp lighting. Remember that MR16s and other halogen lamps still require periodic near-full-light operation to activate the halogen cycle and thus achieve expected lamp life.
 
  #21  
Old 05-28-01, 10:13 AM
Jeff Placzek
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De-Hummer ??

I have had my track lighting installed for some time now. I have tried several different kinds of dimmer switches. The last one was what they recommended at Home Depot. They have it installed on thier display in the store for the same exact type of lighting that I am using.

Brought it home, installed it- and it buzzes. Went back to the store, listened closely... so does thiers......

The transformers on the track each have a label on them that say, specifically: "Dimmable Power Supply".

I talked to my uncle- he says that most likely I will just have to put up with the buzzing.

One last possiblity- A guy at another Home Depot says he has the same lighting at his house, and he installed something called a "De-Hummer" and there is now no buzzing.

Any thoughts on this so called "De-Hummer" ??
 
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