Switch only has 1 Romex - How do I jump the power?

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Old 10-09-19, 08:35 AM
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Switch only has 1 Romex - How do I jump the power?

Hi,
I wanted to add some recess lights to the bedroom and to accomplish this, the easiest way, is to jump the power off the closet switch to a new switch and run the romex to the new recess lights. Seems easy enough but when I opened up the existing switch I found that it only has one rowex wire in the box, and the white is the hot wire with the black being at the top of the switch. Searching around the internet, I think this is called a reverse switch? My guess is I can attach a hot to the bottom of the switch, jump it to the new switch and then run the romex up to the lights. Do I take a piece of romex and just jump it to the next switch, and not use a neutral wire? The concern is the neutral, if there's no neutral in the box now how do I tie the neutrals together? Or do I only use a hot wire to the new switch and not have a neutral?

Picture shows what I think I have to do.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 08:55 AM
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That is a switch loop. You have no neutral at the existing switch. The hot is looped to the switch for the switch to simply break the hot. You need to take the power from the closet light box to have a neutral to add the new lights.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 09:00 AM
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Ah, that was my other option. A little harder but I thought that might be what I had to do.

General question - I seem to find a lot of these loop switches in my house. Is this just an easier way to do things? Laziness? Or is it pretty normal to have these? When I switched all the beige switches for white switches I found at least 6 of these loop switches in the house.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 09:09 AM
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It all depends on how the power feed wires were run to save on wire. Sometime you see the power feeds going directly to the light box with a switch loop going out to the switch, other times you may see the power feed passing through the switch box and switched at that point and then go on to the light box.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for the info. I'll get the hot from the light then.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 04:04 PM
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Ok, so the light already has 4 Romex wires in it. It's a pretty big box but Ive always been hesitant to put more than 4 wires in a box? I checked another light I could pull the power from and that also has 4 Romex.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 05:09 AM
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Ok, so the light already has 4 Romex wires in it.
Assuming here you mean 4 romex cables each containing individual wires/conductors.

Yes, some have run circuits this way. Not my favorite way of doing it as it tends to over load the capacity max of the jboxes/ceiling boxes.

Probably a circuit coming into the light fixture box. One cable to the light switch (switch loop) and from the light fixture box again two out going cables which may go to a receptacle or to another light fixture in some other room.

It is quite easy to over load the capacity rating of the boxes in this manner. Best you pull from a receptacle that may only have one cable with hot, neutral and ground. Then to the switch for the new light and then to the new light fixture.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 08:58 AM
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Thanks for the response. I've found that all of the rooms in my house that have a ceiling light have a switched loop. Makes things very difficult. I'm pretty sure, like you said, 2 of these cables comes out of the junction box in question and go to the bathroom to power those ceiling lights. I was going to pull from the switch in the master bath but that also has a switched loop.

That was my next question - can I get the hot from a receptacle, which it seems I can if I can find one with a single hot in it.

My other option could be to use the power going to the ceiling fan but the ceiling fan has a 3 wire connection. Neutral, red for the fan and blue for the light attached to the fan. I have two switches for the fan. One switch controls the fan, the other controls the light. If I were to use this, how do I get power from the fan box since there are technically 2 hots coming in? Do I just choose the red or blue wire as the hot and bring this to the new switch? I suppose I could also just remove the light fixture from the fan and use the hot that used to power the fan light to power the recess lighting?
 
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Old 10-10-19, 09:41 AM
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I cannot see that working as the red probably goes back to the switch and the black probably also goes back to the switch.

"I suppose I could also just remove the light fixture from the fan and use the hot that used to power the fan light to power the recess lighting?"
Yes that is what you can do and then the wall switch for the fan light will power your ceiling lights.
I am assuming this is standard 14/3 wire and not some light gauge wire.
It is the blue that concerns me as I am used to white, red and black.

What was the fan light rating? Just to be sure that the wire can handle the new load.
Are your ceiling lights going to be LEDs?
 
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Old 10-10-19, 11:14 AM
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The fan wiring has the White, Red and Blue. The romex, which is 14/3, has Red, White and Black coming from the box which contains the switches, and goes to the fan.

The recess lights I intend to use are LCD low profile which will go into the cans.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Halo-LT-...950R/304216252
 
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Old 10-10-19, 11:19 AM
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If you only have a three wire cable at the fan/light..... then you cannot get always live power there. One wire is switched to the light and one is switched to the fan. In that setup.... the power is coming in at the switch.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 12:54 PM
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Correct, the power is at the switch. I’m the one who installed the ceiling fan to begin with. How I did that was - There was 1 switch that controlled a receptacle in the BR, I had no ceiling light just a receptacle controlled by the switch. I stopped having the switch control the receptacle and used this power to power the fan. I used the power that was in the switch (coming from the receptacle), I put the power into 1 switch and then jumped it to a 2nd switch so they both had power coming into the switch from the same power source. I then hooked up the Red to the top of 1 switch and the black to the top of the other switch using the 14/3 wire, then this 1 romex runs up to the fan where it’s connected to the wires in the fan. 1 switch controls the fan, 1 switch controls the light.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 04:50 PM
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I doubled checked the set up at the switch box and the box that contains the switches has 4 blacks tied together (the power ) I pigtailed a 5th piece of Romex off these blacks and brought the power to the switches. Like I explained above.

All this being said, I found a receptacle with 1 Romex going into and it would make sense to put a switch right above it for the recessed lights. The Romex comes into the receptacle box and ties to each side of the receptacle (black and white). Going back a few posts, does it make the most sense just to take the power from this receptacle? Run it to a switch and up to the ceiling?
 
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