Adding track lighting

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Old 01-19-17, 08:19 PM
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Adding track lighting

I just recently bought my first home. I'm currently repainting the entire house, but when I get to my office, I would like to do some moderate renovation. Aside from redoing the crown molding and baseboards, and planking the ceiling, I would like to install track lighting around the room completely for better lighting.

The room is relatively small, about 100-125 Sq ft. The room has 2 switches - one for the fan, and one for the lights on the fan.

I haven't crawled up into the attic to inspect the area above the office yet, but I'd like to know some general knowledge before I start so I know what my plans are.

I would like to replace the fan (that has crappy candelabra light bulbs) with a fan without lights, and use track lighting as my main source for lights. I would like the track lighting going around the room approximately 12" from the walls.

When I remove the fan, could I theoretically pull out the wires for the ceiling fan lights from the attic and put them through an old work junction box that I can put in another location away from the fan where I would like my tracks to be?
 
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Old 01-19-17, 08:54 PM
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Look in the switch box to confirm but you probably have only a single 3-conductor cable (black, red, white) going to the fan so no separate cable to pull out. However you can run a new 2-conductor cable (black, white) from the ceiling box to the track lights.

One caveat if the circuit is not grounded it can not be extended because code requires the new wiring meet current code which requires a ground.
 
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Old 01-20-17, 08:49 AM
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I think it is grounded, but I haven't had the time to inspect that area of the house as I haven't started on the office yet. The house was built in 95, and everything seems to be up to current codes and whatnot.

You're saying if it is grounded, I can run 2-wire romex from the light kit on the ceiling fan wires to the track light power feed?

Is there a way I could use 3 wire track lights with 3-wire romex easily? 3-wire type track light components are a bit cheaper and there is more of a selection such as LED heads etc.
 
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Old 01-20-17, 09:07 AM
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I can run 2-wire romex from the light kit on the ceiling
No. From the 3-conductor cable in the ceiling box the fan is fastened to.
Is there a way I could use 3 wire track lights with 3-wire romex easily?
Three wire track lights use 2-conductor cable. 2-conductor cable has a hot, neutral, and bare ground wire but in descriptive nomenclature the ground is not counted.
 
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Old 01-20-17, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 01-20-17, 10:45 AM
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Take down the Fan/Light. Is there just one 14/3 romex in that box?
 
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Old 01-20-17, 04:53 PM
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I went up in the attic. One wire going to the fan. Then the wire goes to the light switches, then comes back out and goes to the closet light switch, then up to the closet light, then it meets up with a wire from the outside patio light. From there, I have no idea where it goes. It's goes under a vaulted ceiling full of insulation and I lose it. I'm not exactly sure where the box is.

This is the wire.
 
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Old 01-20-17, 06:05 PM
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One wire going to the fan
No, that would be a cable. Is it a 3-conductor cable? Open the switch box. How many 2-conductor cables (black, white) and how many 3-conductor cables (black, red, white)?
 
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Old 01-20-17, 08:06 PM
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Red, black, white, and looks like bare ground.



Looks like there is only 1 red wire, and that attaches to the light switch.

2 black wires twisted and capped, 2 white wires twisted and capped, and bare ground wires are twisted together.

So, one 2 and one 3 conductor?
 

Last edited by dangerdan87; 01-20-17 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 01-20-17, 09:21 PM
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2 black wires twisted and capped
Do you mean that the black of the 2-conductor cable has two pigtails attached with one pigtail to each switch?
 
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Old 01-20-17, 10:40 PM
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Pulled the switches out more to get a better look. Looks like there might be 3 cables coming into the box. Kind of hard to see with all the wires and primer.

Looks like there is 3 wire cable with a red wire going to light switch, black wire going to fan switch, with a jumper going from light switch to fan switch, and is then capped with 2 other black wires. Those are the only wires connected to the switches.

A second cable appears to be a 2 wire where it is capped black with black and white with white and bare with bare.

And it looks like a 3rd cable appears to be 2 wire and is also capped like the above.


 
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Old 01-20-17, 11:47 PM
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Based on what I think you have here are the connections for the new lights.

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Last edited by ray2047; 01-21-17 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 01-21-17, 01:01 AM
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Thanks for the diagram. Helps out quite a bit.

Should I connect the new cable from the fan end and push the new cable back up into the attic?

Or should I cut/strip the cable in the attic, connect new cable, and stuff the connection in a junction box?
 
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Old 01-21-17, 01:18 AM
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The fan is fastened to a junction box and there is plenty of room for a second cable. (Any metal or nonmetallic box used mounting and connecting a fixture or device is a junction box.)
should I cut/strip the cable in the attic, connect new cable, and stuff the connection in a junction box
No. Individual wires must be in the cable sheath until they have entered a junction box. If you look at my diagram you will see the new cable and connections are made inside the fan (junction) box (blue circle).
 
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