Can you split power on an end-line switch?

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Old 12-31-17, 02:54 PM
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Can you split power on an end-line switch?

Hi there, I'm a pretty good DIY'er, but I don't know how to solve this problem...

I have an exterior porch light switch located inside. I'm trying to add a 2nd switch to power an entry way light.

I believe the wiring goes...

Source ---> Porch Lights---> end-line switchA. (I believe its a normal single pole light switch. The black wire is attached to top screw, the white is attached to bottom screw, and the ground is wired to the box. Running a power indicator, it appears the white wire is the actual power).

My desired outcome is:
current setup: (Source ---> Porch lights-> end-line switchA) +add power for -->switchB-->entry light

I've purchase a "2-switches" Leviton for 2 single pole lights (no. 5634)
There are 2 black, "common" screws and 2 copper screws (A1 & B1) on the switch.

So my question is:
1. Can this 2nd switch be powered using the end-line switches power?
2. what would my new wiring look like if I want to have 2 independent switches powering 2 different lights?

I know that a normal setup of source-->switch--->light would be easy to add that 2nd switch, but can I with my end-line setup?

Also, the switch has a caution. Does it apply to me?
"caution: a neutral wire is required when italling an outlet or pilot light combination device. If you are unsure or unable to determine polarity of the 2 wires. Do not replace a switch that had been controlling a light with only 2 wires present"
 
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Old 12-31-17, 03:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You're out of luck. You have a switch loop. The power is brought in at the light. Hot is sent down to switch on the white wire and returns switched on the black lead. There is no neutral at the switch box. The diagram shows this.

Name:  switchloop+.jpg
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You'd need to replace the two wire cable from the light to the switch with a three wire cable so that you could get neutral to the switch box.
 
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Old 01-01-18, 02:07 PM
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Thanks PJ. I was afraid of that. Hoping I could do it some way... Dang.

There IS a plug nearby. I think running a wire from here might be eaiser than trying to run another wire from the light...
Could I do that? I'm assuming I'd need to split and run the white?
 
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Old 01-01-18, 02:27 PM
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You could take power from the receptacle but it must be used as the complete source. You can't use neutral from there and hot at the switch.
 
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Old 01-02-18, 06:46 AM
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ok, thanks for your help I'll try it out.
 
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Old 01-08-18, 07:11 PM
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ok, i just thought I'd ask your help 1 last time before finishing...;

I pulled a new power source to the box.

So, I have a bunch of wires now, trying to decide what to do...

I've purchase a "2-switches" Leviton for 2 single pole lights (no. 5634)
There are 2 black, "common" screws and 2 copper screws (A1 & B1) on the switch.

The old wires:
The end line wiring with hot white and neutral black to power the porch lights

The new wires:
- New Black+white coming from a GFCI (both wired to GFCI "Load" side)
- Black+white to connect my sconce

So here is what I was GOING to do...
  1. I removed the "fin" connecting the black 'common' screws
  2. Connected all grounds
  3. REHOOK THE OLD: put the white "power" line to the black "common" terminal on the switch. Then put the black un-powered line on the A1 copper screw
  4. REHOOK THE NEW:
    Connect the black power to the black screw
    Connect the white from the sconce to the white from the power with a nut and jumper
    Connect jumper to the B1 Terminal on the switch
does that sound right to you?
 
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Old 01-08-18, 07:21 PM
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Excellent. Yes.... that will work perfectly.
Glad you thought to remove the jumper on the hot side.

You didn't mention where the light was going to be but unless it's in a shower.... you can use the line side wiring of the GFI receptacle. The load side is ok but can trip if that light takes on any moisiure.
 
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Old 01-08-18, 07:22 PM
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Black is never neutrsl. If you only have a black and a white on a switch you have a constant not white and the black switched hot. There is no neutral to extend the circuit to feed anything else.
 
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Old 01-08-18, 07:27 PM
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He had/has a switch loop originally. That will be on one half of the switch. He ran a second power line to that box for the new light and it will be on the other half of the switch.
 
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