putting a switch on a pull chain fixture

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  #1  
Old 03-15-07, 09:42 AM
J
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Red face putting a switch on a pull chain fixture

I want to remove an old pull chain fixture in my laundry room and replace it with a new fixture on a switch. Admittedly, I know very little about electrical wiring but have done a little...always very simple. There are several other things on this line - when we turned off the breaker for the light, we lost power to our washer, dryer and furnace too. It appears that there are only black and white wires at this fixture. Our house was built in the 70's & I don't think the wiring has been updated. Simply replacing the old light with the new light is easy enough, our problem arises with how to wire in a light switch. How do you add a light switch to control only a single light in a circuit? Please keep any responses as simple and straightforward as possible. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!
 
  #2  
Old 03-15-07, 10:05 AM
R
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Here is simple and straight forward.

Run a cable from the light to the switch. Wire a switch loop.

Unfortunately you are probably not going to understand that.

I recommend purchasing the book "Wiring Simplified", which is available on-line or at the big box stores. It will tell you exactly what a switch loop is and how to wire it.


However, before you tackle this project, you have another job. You should have already known what was on this circuit. Everybody should know what is on each and every circuit in their house. You need to thoroughly and completely map out what is on each and every circuit in your house, and what breaker controls each and every receptacle, switch and appliance in your house. This information in invaluable in an emergency and could save your life.


Take a few hours and completely and thoroughly complete this task.
 
  #3  
Old 03-15-07, 12:01 PM
J
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I agree with Bob that you should study up before starting. There's more to electrical work than connecting wires together.

However, I'll give you some hints.

First, I'm going to assume that there is exactly one white wire and one black wire in the box where the current fixture is. If there are more than one white wire or black wire, or wires of any other color (ignoring bare or green grounding wires), then stop and post back with more information.

If the breaker is a 15-amp breaker, go buy a length of 14/2 cable long enough to reach from the fixture location to the switch location, plus about ten feet. Route the cable in a manner that provides good support and protection (the books will explain how to do that). If the breaker is 20 amps, buy 12/2 instead.

Shut off the breaker before beginning.

At the fixture, connect the new white wire to the old black wire. Connect the old white wire to the white wire (or silver screw) from your new fixture. Connect the new black wire to the black wire (or brass screw) from your new fixture.

At the switch, connect the new black and white wires to the two screws on the switch.

In each box, interconnect all grounding wires and screws.

Use a black magic marker to recolor the last inch of insulation on the new white wire at each end.

Properly secure and protect your cable, as shown in the books. Make most excellent connections, as shown in the books. Strip the ends of the wires and sheathing very carefully, as shown in the books.
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-07, 12:23 PM
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Thumbs up Got it done!

Just wanted to thank those of you who provided your invaluable assistance. We ordered the book "Wiring Simplified" and used that in combination with your advice to get this job done. We finished last night, and it works perfectly.

Can't tell you how much help it is to have knowledgeable people like yourselves who are willing to give an assist to the do-it-yourselfer. Thanks a ton!
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-07, 09:12 PM
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Congratulations!
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-07, 09:23 PM
R
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You will be glad you bought the book. You will use it over and over again whn you have additional electrical projects around the house.
 
 

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