adding a light fixture

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Old 01-11-09, 05:57 PM
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adding a light fixture

i currently have a light switch which operates an outlet. we just bought a light fixture to hang which we would like the current light switch to operate. we don't mind if the light switch operates both the new light and the original outlet.

it is a single pole light switch. from the attic i see that one group of wires (black,white, and ground) goes down to the light switch, and another group comes up from the switch into the attic over to where the wall switch is. when i opened up the wall switch it is backstabbed with the hot and neutral and the ground is on the ground screw. so i left it as it is. i went up staires in the attic and cut open the wire from the light to the wall outlet. so i spliced in the wire to my light fixture to the opening in the wire i just made. so i started with one wire. cut it in 2. then added the wire for my light. so i tied the 3 blacks together. the 3 whites together, and the 3 grounds together and put them in a box. once i put all of it together i turned on the main power.

as i currently stand the outlet which previously only operates while the light switch is on, is on all the time. the light connected to the wall outlet is dim while the light switch is turned off, and full bright when the switch is on. as for the new light fixture it flickers when i turn the switch off. it only does this when the light is plugged in. if i unplug the light from the outlet i can't get the new fixture to flicker at all.

our house is 20 years old if that helps for any advice. thanks!

Matt
 
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Old 01-11-09, 07:13 PM
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Matt,

You tapped into a switch loop. The white wire at the switch was not a neutral but a constant hot feeding the switch. The black at the switch was the switched hot returning to the fixture.

When you cut the cables you also created a Code violation because you do not have the required amount of free conductors to work with. You need 6" of free conductor. You will need to add another junction box and a short length of cable to add the amount of free conductors. These boxes must remain accessible.

You will need to splice the cables back the way they were in order for thing to work properly. Only then can you start to make changes to the wiring.
 
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Old 01-12-09, 04:09 AM
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so i will take the new fixture out of it entirely. just leave the wires as they were (except spliced together now in a junction box which is accesable in my attic) and when that is said and done, where do i connect my light fixture to power it by the switch and how do i go about doing it properly?
 
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Old 01-12-09, 11:05 AM
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i call my dad over as he has done this countless times. he left the junction box where it was, in the middle of the switch loop between the light switch and the outlet. he left the hot and ground there and jumped the neutral over to a nearby light. all works great now. the switch controls both the outlet and the new light fixture.

my question would be is this the correct way to wire it? is there any danger in the way it is currently wired? and i also have a switch loop with the exact same setup in my other child's room where i also plan to add a light fixture. so what would be the proper way hook up the new fixture? same way as my father did?
 
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