Running in attic with electric

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  #1  
Old 02-06-18, 06:34 PM
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Running in attic with electric

So long story long here. My wife would like to add recessed lighting in the living room. Above the living room there is an attic. I would need to run a new electrical line from the main box, through basement, up into attic, and down to outlet switch location. I am unable to run in same stud bay from basement to outlet due to HVAC locations.

I was wondering if it is possible, and per code to do what I am thinking. I have attached a picture of how I believe the wire would have to be run.

Thank you in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-06-18, 07:38 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That is perfectly ok. When you pull the wiring down from the attic to the switch you'll be pulling two cables. The power cable and the cable up to the lights.
 
  #3  
Old 02-06-18, 08:07 PM
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I would need to run a new electrical line from the main box, through basement,
Your living room not have any outlets?
You can just tap into one of those instead of running wire all the way from the main panel.

Pull cable from one of the outlet to the switch, then to the light.
It will be possible to do so with just one cut (other than holes for the recessed lights) to the drywall. Just make a cut above the outlet (far enough from it for easier patching).

Drill hole from the attic, fish the wire down, and fish this wire into the outlet junction box.
Cut hole size of remodel junction box for the switch. Drill hole form the attic, fish the wire down to the switch.
 
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Old 02-07-18, 04:57 AM
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Forgot to mention that where the junction box is going to be there is already one there. It currently has two switches on it. One controls the fan, other the fan lights. Is it possible to just jump power off of the switch that is already in the junction box I am trying to use?
 
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Old 02-07-18, 06:38 AM
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If there is a neutral in the switch box you can take power from there. Be aware that code calls for a neutral to be present at switch locations, it cannot just be a simple switch loop in the box. If running wire as in your picture I suggest running 2 conductor power cable from basement to light fixtures and then a 3 conductor cable from switch to light fixtures instead of running two 2 conductor cables down to the switch.
 
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Old 02-07-18, 09:34 AM
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How often do you use the light on the fan? You could possibly use the switch that controls that light for the new recessed fixtures.
Just a thought.
Geo
 
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Old 02-07-18, 09:56 AM
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Attached what is being the switches. Looks like I might be able to tap into the switch. The ceiling fan lights are on a dimmer switch (left side of picture) and the fan is controlled by the switch on the right.
 
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Old 02-07-18, 03:14 PM
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Looks like you have a incorrectly wired switch loop.
White wires are being used as a switch loop for the fan, and black wires are being used as a switch loop for the light.
This is wrong because electric current should come out and return within the same cable.

The correct way would be to install switches between white and black wires and rewire the fan and light accordingly.

Since you don't have neutral at the switch, you cannot get power from the switch.
However, as suggested by Geochurchi already you can utilize fan light switch. If you will be installing recessed light, you probably don't need fan light. Or at least not used often.
Just feed recessed lights from the wire going to the fan light.

If you want control fan, fan light, recessed light all separately, you can install a ceiling fan remote.
Just have a switch powering the ceiling fan, wire remote control receiver and ceiling fan/light to it. Now you can control ceiling fan and light with a remote.
Use the other switch for recessed lights.

If you really want to go for 3 switch option, you can tap power from the ceiling fan junction box. Since you have a switch loop, I'm sure you have both hot and neutral there.
Pull wire from the ceiling fan junction box, run to the switch junction box, then back to the recessed lights.
In this can, you have 3 options for the junction box.
1. Remove existing junction box and replace with 3 gang remodel junction box.
2. Cut around existing junction box, add 1 more gang (you have extendable metal junction box).
3. Keep existing junction box as is and install a duplex switch.
 
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Old 02-07-18, 04:10 PM
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Talked to the wife about the suggestions and she thinks we would just get a fan that does not have lights and utilize just the recessed lighting for light.

So, if I am understanding this correctly. In order to use the existing fan light wire. I would need to run new wiring from that junction box (assuming it's in the attic) to the first recessed lighting and go from there?

Assuming that is all that would need to be done would I need the 2 conductor ran to the first recessed light?
 
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Old 02-07-18, 04:40 PM
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So, if I am understanding this correctly. In order to use the existing fan light wire. I would need to run new wiring from that junction box (assuming it's in the attic) to the first recessed lighting and go from there?
YES.

Assuming that is all that would need to be done would I need the 2 conductor ran to the first recessed light
YES

However, you have to fix incorrectly wired switch loop you have right now.
Use one cable for the light and one cable for the fan. Not one wire from each cable.


This is how it should been wired.

Also, this is no longer allowed. In your case it is existing wiring, so you are ok.
 
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Old 02-08-18, 04:19 AM
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Post a pic of the ceiling box so we can see those connections, also you maybe able to just remove the light kit from the fan and keep the fan.
Geo
 
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Old 02-09-18, 08:20 AM
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will do. plan on starting this weekend hopefully when we get our ceiling fan. Thanks for the help so far you all have been so helpful!
 
  #13  
Old 02-12-18, 06:37 AM
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Sorry for delay this weekend, kid got sick. Took fan down temporarily to take pictures of wiring to see what you all think is going on up there.

To me looks like I have one power wire coming in (one on the left) that I can use to tap into for power to recessed lights.

Do you think it is feasible to run 6 cam lights off of this one switch and power source?
 
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Last edited by rangerext05; 02-12-18 at 07:12 AM.
  #14  
Old 02-12-18, 10:12 AM
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Running 6 recessed lights off that wiring is not a problem, but something doesn't look right with the wiring inside ceiling fan junction box.

Are those 2 cables only cables in the junction box?
If so, there must be junction box somewhere in the attic, cause how it is wired at the switch (which is wrong) doesn't match with what is at the fan (which is also wrong).

Black and bare copper wires are cut in one of the cable, and only white is being used as neutral. That is not the right way to wire.

At the switch, there is switch between 2 whites and switch between 2 blacks. At the fan, there is no black wire at all and don't see a wire feeding power. There has to be another junction box for this wiring to work (although it is wrong to begin with).

Follow the cable in the attic and look for a junction box. Please take some pictures of how it is wired.


You can tap where blue wire (fan light hot) and white wire (neutral) of the fan is wired for the lights, but your existing wiring is wrong and should be corrected first.


This is how it should been wired.
 
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Old 02-12-18, 10:57 AM
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Are those 2 cables only cables in the junction box?
Yes.

one set of wires runs down the wall to the switch it looks like and the other to the junction box from the ceiling fan.

That junction box is powering the garage door and opener.
 
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  #16  
Old 02-12-18, 11:51 AM
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I see 4 cables entering the junction box, but only see 3 black wires. One of the wire cut been cut like at the ceiling fan.

One of the cable at the ceiling fan goes to the switch.
One of the cable at the ceiling fan (with cut wires) runs to the junction box in the attic.
One of the cable at the switch runs to the junction box in the attic.
One of the cable at the junction box in the attic goes to garage door opener.
One of the cable at the junction box in the attic is power feeding the junction box.

Am I understanding this right?

Is both black and white wire from one cable running to the switch connected to the bundle of black wires?
If yes, looks likes on of the cable is being used to carry hot on both wires and the other returning to the fan. One of the cable is used to feed neutral only.
This completely wrong.

This is what I think you have right now. And this is all wrong.
Sorry about the terrible drawing. I'm terrible at drawing.


This is how it should be corrected.



You may have to pull new cable between the ceiling fan and the junction box in the attic unless there is enough slack on the wire to pull cut black and ground wire long enough.

You will going to introduce one more cable in the junction box in the attic and this will run to your new recessed lights.

Ground wires are not drawn, but they should be all connected to each other and to the switches.
Also they should be connected to the metal junction box using ground screw or clip. This is not done in your existing wiring.
 
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Old 02-12-18, 12:44 PM
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Am I understanding this right?
Yes, more than I am but I am following along decently.

I will get up in attic tomorrow again to double check all your thinking and make sure we are on the same page.

What you have described makes sense to me and I believe I have a strong understanding of it.

Along the lines of running new wire in an attic. Would 14/2 be alright for that? Would I need to attach to the rafters along the to keep cable from being stepped on, or is draping it along the insulation OK?

Adding an additional wire to that box in the attic would it be better to just put a double gang metal box up there instead?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/RACO-2-Gang...al-Box/3129407

This project seems very straight forward as long as I take my time.

Again, thank you for your help!!
 

Last edited by rangerext05; 02-12-18 at 01:01 PM.
  #18  
Old 02-12-18, 01:12 PM
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14/2 is enough as long as the breaker the circuit is on is 15A. If it is on 20A, all wiring has to be 12/2.

You can run the cable anyway you want as long is it is secured with wire staples and not in a position where it can be damaged easily.
2 gang box will help, but inst installing a box extender will be easier in your case.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/RACO-1-Gang...al-Box/1005005
Just add this on top of the existing junction box.

You will also going to need a romex (NM) connector for the 5th wire.

Ground metal junction box like pictured below.

with bolt


or with clip.


Also I forgot to mention that white wire being used for switch loops should be marked with black electrical tape or a marker to indicate it is hot not neutral.
This is rarely done (at least from what I saw so far), but it is supposed to be marked by the code.
 
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