Scratchin My Head In the Attic

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Old 01-15-05, 04:45 PM
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Scratchin My Head In the Attic

I'm running cable for a dual switched ceiling fan. Plan to pull the power from my closet light using 14/2 cable and running it to the wall switch then taking 14/3 to the fan.

Here's my dilemma. I have a 3 yo home and in the attic I see conduit every where running from place to place right down into the walls. I can't find any I guess what you'd call (gang) junction boxes to pull the power from.

Is it ok just to use a hack saw to cut conduit and install a gang box for a junction? Kinda lost here.
 
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Old 01-15-05, 05:23 PM
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For the last 50 years, it has not been common to put junction boxes in the attic. Usually you need to drill a hole in the top plate, drop the Romex down into the stud cavity with the receptacle you want to tap, and fish it into the receptacle box.

If you are tapping a light as you said, you need to make sure there is constant power in the light box. If the light is a pull chain fixture, then it will have constant power. If the light is controlled by a wall switch, there may or may not be power in that box.

If the light is a ceiling fixture, you should be able to find the box by digging through the insulation. But if light is fluorescent, there may not be a box and you may just see the cable going down through the drywall. Or if it's a wall-mounted light, then use the receptacle trick.

Tell me more about the closet light.
 
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Old 01-15-05, 05:46 PM
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Ahh that makes sense.. my last house was very old and things were much different there.. course that was the first place I learned any DIY electrical work.

Ok knowing that let me first throw something else at you. Heh.

I have two switches. One switch is for the closet (which will remain) and the other is/was for a wall outlet. The outlet was half hot / half switched.

I took the outlet and replaced it with another to make it all hot (capped the switched hot wire with a #14 solid wire nut incase I want to go back later) essentially freeing up the second switch. I'd like to take that switch and replace it with the dual switch for the fan (ala one switch for light one for fan).

Is it possible at all to utilize what I already have in this set up and avoid some unnecessary cable running?
 
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Old 01-15-05, 11:01 PM
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Depends on how the switch is currently wired. Describe all the cables, wires and connections in the switch box (or at least describe what it was before you changed things).
 
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Old 01-16-05, 08:25 AM
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The switch is a single-pole switch and has a pink wire and orange wire running to/from it.

Also inside the box are several pink wires spliced together and several grey wires spliced together.

(In case you need to know the outlet that was switched had a pink always hot connection and a orange switched hot connection) along with the netural.
 
  #6  
Old 01-16-05, 11:45 AM
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So your plan is feasible. You can run your new 14/3 to this switch box. However, the strange colors of your wires suggests you may live in an area that requires conduit.
 
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Old 01-17-05, 10:37 AM
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First off.. John thanks so much for your help here and on other threads I've posted. I'm not sure if you actually get paid for your help here or it's just something you do on the side out of the kindness of your heart but either way it's appreciated.

Never would have considered that conduit was a requirment. I do know there are a few places in the attic that have nonconduit cable but not much at all. Could have been from the previous owner too.

Dumb question but how could I find out?
 
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Old 01-17-05, 12:22 PM
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Do you live in the greater Chicago area?

Call your building department about conduit requirements.
 
  #9  
Old 01-17-05, 01:00 PM
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Yes I do.. ok I'll give that a go.
 
 

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