tapping in to existing hot wire


Old 12-16-04, 03:34 PM
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tapping in to existing hot wire

I would like to know if I can tap into an existing hot wire to add a new switchand light fixture if so how is it done . also how high up off the floor does the switch need to be.
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Old 12-16-04, 05:30 PM
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There are a few hundred questions hidden inside your simple question.

You can tap power from an unswitched receptacle as long as that receptacle is not in a kitchen, dining room, laundry area or bathroom. If you are tapping into a cable between boxes, you might have a problem with sufficient slack in the cable. Do not tap (1) a cable between a switch and the thing it controls, (2) a 240-volt cable, (3) a traveler cable between 3-way switches, (4) a cable serving a dedicated appliance, or (5) a cable on a circuit serving any of the above-mentioned receptacles. Any splices you add must be made in permanently-accessible junction boxes.

You should figure out what currently runs on that circuit (or might run on that circuit--such as a vacuum cleaner) and make sure it has sufficient excess capacity (although most lights don't use that much power).

I suggest you pick up three books on home wiring at your home center or public library. Such books commonly describe how to do projects such as this.

There is no code requirement for switch height. I suggest you put it exactly the same height as all the other switches in your house unless you have some specific reason to put it elsewhere.

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