Basement Pull String Lights

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  #1  
Old 09-02-06, 06:05 PM
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Basement Pull String Lights

I have seen variations on this, so I apologize if this is redundant. I have two basement pull string lights that I wish to be able to operate from a switch. They appear to be on the same circuit. How would it be different if they're not on the same circuit? I would greatly appreciate anyones input. Thanks!
 

Last edited by njchoochoo; 09-02-06 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:28 PM
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If when you turn off one switch in the breaker box and both lights go off they are on the same circuit. If they are on separate circuits then you would need 2 switches.
 
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Old 09-03-06, 05:40 AM
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If the basement is not finnished, you should be able to see where most of the wiring runs.

Follow build pro's suggestion to be sure they are on the same circuit. Then come back and tell us how the wires run. From there we should be able to help you with the simple instructions for installing a switch.
 
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Old 09-03-06, 09:32 AM
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They are on the same circuit, and that circuit shares lights in the finished part of my basement as well. Thanks!
 
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Old 09-03-06, 09:51 AM
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how easy this is to do depends on the order things are wired from the panel on.

If the order is panel... finished lights... pull lights(end) it will not be so bad.

If the order is panel.....pull chain lights..... finished lights.... it will be harder.
 
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Old 09-03-06, 10:26 PM
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As the basement is half finished off, I can't see half of the wiring. How can I determine the order of things? There are three romex connections in each light box. Thanks!
 
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Old 09-04-06, 05:49 AM
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If you have three romex connectors in each box then it will be a bit tougher, but not impossible.

The first thing is that the j boxes are probably already full. We need to know the wire size in the boxes, and the size of the box. (how deep, round or rectangle and measurements.)

Hopefully one of the romexes goes from one light directly to the other. You will have to replace this one with a 3 conductor cable. Then from one of the lights you will have to run a 2 conductor cable to the switch.

If this setup will work for you I will write more detailed instructioins for how to make the connections.
 
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Old 09-04-06, 09:51 AM
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The box is round with a diameter of 3 5/8 and a depth of 2 1/2, with 14/2 romex cable. One of the cables does go from one light directly to the other, although I don't know which is downstream from the other.
 
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Old 09-04-06, 10:35 AM
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I looked up a box similar to the one you describe and it had 18 cubic inches capacity. The actual CU is stamped inside the box, yours will be close to this.

Box fill works like this: If all the conductors are the same size.
Count all the wires except the grounds.
Add one for all the grounds.
Add one if internal cable clamps are installed.
Add two for each device strap installed inside the box. (rec, sw, etc)

So, you have: From what you have told me.

6 conductors.
1 ground
0 internal connectors.
0 internal devices.

7 count.

the multiplier for #14 wire is 2 giving you a total cu used of 14.

You will not be able to add enough wire to the existing boxes to put both lights on a single wall switch.

I would suggest turning the existing boxes into j boxes and then running power from one to a wall switch and the the two new light locations.
 
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Old 09-04-06, 01:30 PM
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Is that a fairly straight forward process...turning the current boxes into junction boxes?

...

Basically, all I am doing by making the junction boxes is making more room in the box for additional wiring, correct? Then run wire from one light to the other, to the junction box, and then from the box to the switch? Could I use florescent light fixtures instead of the incadescent ones? I greatly appreciate you walking me through this. Thanks!
 

Last edited by njchoochoo; 09-04-06 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:18 PM
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In order to determine if this can done with the existing wires you need to anwer some questions.
How many cables go into each box?
Do you want one switch to turn off both lights?
 
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Old 09-04-06, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by njchoochoo
Is that a fairly straight forward process...turning the current boxes into junction boxes?

...

Basically, all I am doing by making the junction boxes is making more room in the box for additional wiring, correct? Then run wire from one light to the other, to the junction box, and then from the box to the switch? Could I use florescent light fixtures instead of the incadescent ones? I greatly appreciate you walking me through this. Thanks!
You can use flourcent lights if you want, but we will still have the box fill problem. Yes we are just doing the extra boxes to get arround the box fill.

The big box store sells inexpensive lights that plug into a rec. You could just put in switched recs.
 
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Old 09-04-06, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
In order to determine if this can done with the existing wires you need to anwer some questions.
How many cables go into each box?
Do you want one switch to turn off both lights?
Those questions have already been answered.

Please start your reading all the way up at the top of the thread.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 10:06 AM
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How about this...

I have a light switch for the finished part of my basement right near where I want to put the switch for the lights in the unfinished part. Can I remove the fixtures from their current wire, pull power from the existing light switch to the new light switch and run new cable with new fixtures, and wire new lights in that way?

Thanks again for your assistance.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 10:28 AM
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I'm starting to think by reading this that it might be easier to run a whole new circuit then trying to figure out what goes where and so forth. If the lights are real close to the panel then might not be much more wire used then trying to tag off the existing circuits and will eliminate the guess work. Hard to know if that would be the way to go without seeing it but just a thought.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:35 AM
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Unfortunately, the panel is in my garage, and the wires enter the basement behind the finished section. Thanks for the idea though.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:58 AM
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njchoochoo, is the feed for the lights in the finished part of the basement at the light switch or is this a switch loop?

I do not know how this can get any simpler than using one of the old pull chain boxes as the feed and doing as I suggested above.

If you want a better answer, then you need to trace out all the wiring in your basement, do a drawing, upload it to server and let us all see what we are dealing with.

Jeff
 
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Old 09-26-06, 10:16 PM
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My thanks to JWhite and everyone else that helped me with advice. JWhite...I did as you recommended and ran a feed from my new jbox to a switch, and then to new fixtures. It actually worked! Mind you I never doubted your advice, just my ability.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 09-27-06, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for posting back. It is good to read a success story.
 
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