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Help with adding extra light switches to a wall switch for bedroom lighting.

Help with adding extra light switches to a wall switch for bedroom lighting.


Old 06-23-19, 05:59 PM
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Help with adding extra light switches to a wall switch for bedroom lighting.

Hello, all.

I am trying to increase a single gang light switch to a three gang light switch in a bedroom. I'm usually not too bad at figuring these things out. But this is quite complicated for me. I'll describe what I'm experiencing and what hasn't worked and then close with my final question. Here goes:

The existing single light switch controls a ceiling fan in the center of the room. I thought I could pigtail from the wiring from this light switch to help me create two other lights in the room. I wired the ceiling to install four recessed lights (one per each corner of the room) and then I also wired for an outlet to be installed that would be controlled by the third switch that would turn on either a table or floor lamp. My problems started when I finally realized that the hot wire for power wasn't at the light switch on the wall but rather it was in the ceiling junction box where the fan is installed. So when those wires in the ceiling aren't connected there is no power or hot wire at the switch at the wall.

So my next attempt was to try and draw power from an electrical outlet that is nearby and is on a separate circuit. When I pulled it out of the wall I saw that it has two black and two white wires connected into the back. I determined which one was the hot wire and temporarily disconnected it to see if I could run a Romex from that hot wire to connect my four recessed lights in the ceiling (just to be clear I only have one cheap light fixture connected to my new wiring in the ceiling which is what I like to do before using the permanent light fixtures). So, after I connected everything up I also connected a cheap on/off light switch to my three gang light switch box. I then turned on the power at the circuit breaker and saw that my light was on. I thought I was successful but when I went to turn the light switch on and off at the three gang switch I noticed that it keeps tripping the circuit breaker down in the basement. I checked my work to see if I did anything wrong or if any wires were crossing. I can't seem to find anything amiss. I tried a couple more times and the circuit keeps flipping to the off position at the panel.

So my question is, can anyone explain why the light works until I use the light switch which forces the circuit at the panel to shut off? I've never experienced anything like this before.

Also, as I mentioned before there were two sets of wires connected to the back of this electrical socket I am trying to draw power from. When I disconnected the socket and attempted to connect my new lights I discovered that there was no power in the bedroom next door. So I'm guessing the electrical socket I took the hot wire from was responsible for powering the other bedroom. So even if I could make the lights work I would need to figure out how to reconnect the socket I'm accessing in order to power the existing socket I'm drawing power from in addition to allowing it to continue to power the second bedroom. Would a pigtail work in this scenario as well?

So I guess I'm technically asking two questions.

I can provide photos of what I'm working with if this would help at all. Just tell me to post some and I will.
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Old 06-23-19, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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You keep talking about the hot wire what about the neutral wire. You also have to bring the white wire from the receptacle to the switch and connect it to the white wire to the new fixture, not to the switch.

The connection at the receptacle to the new switch is simply to add the new black and white to the existing black and white wires on the receptacle.
ABC_123 voted this post useful.
Old 06-24-19, 03:19 PM
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Devices only have the terminals for two wires per side. In your case you will have three white wires and three black wires. It would be ideal to connect all the whites together with a tail and all the blacks together with a tail. The two tail wires then attach to the device.

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