Fishing/Swapping 14/2 for 14/3 line


Old 10-13-16, 05:55 AM
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Fishing/Swapping 14/2 for 14/3 line

I have light at the bottom of the steps in my basement with the switch at the top of stairs. And I would like to convert that to a 3 way adding a 2nd switch at the bottom.

My basement is still currently unfinished and I can trace the existing 14/2 wire running along the joist from the light to where it enters the wall and up to the top of stairs. The run from the switch to exit hole into the basement is probably about 6 feet.

In fishing in new 14/3 wire, I was thinking of (after turning off power of course) of connecting the 14/3 wire to the 14/2 wire at the switch and then working to pull it through and out into the basement. But I'm concerned the existing 14/2 wire may be stapled to a stud in wall, likely near the switch.

And it appears the line may be running through 1 or 2 studs in working down from the switch to the basement ceiling.

My 'fear' is to start pulling the new line 14/3 through and then have it get stuck or come off the 14/2 line in the middle of wall. And then likely have to cut open the sheetrock to correct it.

And recommendations on best way to fish in and swap out 14/2 line for new 14/3?
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Old 10-13-16, 06:58 AM
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What you are saying has a 99% chance of happening. You will most likely need to cut some holes in the sheetrock. You can always abandon the existing wire and find a new route for the new wire.
Old 10-13-16, 07:45 AM
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If power comes in at the existing switch just leave the light connected to the 12-2 and run 12-4 between the existing switch and the new switch.

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Last edited by ray2047; 10-13-16 at 03:20 PM.
Old 10-13-16, 10:05 AM
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The easiest way to fish into a box is to remove the existing box (sawzall through the mounting nails) and fish the wire up into this hole. Replace with an 'old work' box. No drywall repair required!

You can abandon the old wire in the wall since it's probably stapled as you suspect.
Old 10-13-16, 10:38 AM
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Yes, I was actually planning to just that. Remove the old box and have access into the hole. I am also planning to pickup a cheap inspection mirror to try and peak inside to see if there are staples holding it against the stud. There should only be 1 or 2 staples max I think.

I may also try and pull from the switch up from the basement into the switch box location in hoping to pop off staples any that may be inside and unseen. The line runs a good 5 feet along the basement joist, so not worried about losing that section of wire inside wall. And if it pulls easy enough can fish in from the bottom.

I could work to run a new line separately as some some suggest. But that will likely involve having to also try and drill through top plates, etc. I'm hoping to be able to fish through the existing holes by just connecting to the old line and pulling through.

Hope to do it this weekend, so will let everyone know if I had to cut open the wall or not.
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