14/3 for wiring up lights

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Old 02-25-12, 09:38 AM
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14/3 for wiring up lights

I found a 14/3 conductor tucked in my basement ceiling that was left there for wiring an electrical outlet on my kitchen island. I never had it hooked up so decided to use it for wiring two lights in my basement. The 14/3 conductor has 120 between red and white and 120 between black and white and or course, 240 between red and black. Can I tie all the white together, use 1 hot (red) for one light and the other hot (black), for the other switch? These are two seperate lights in two seperate rooms with two seperate switch.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 10:32 AM
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It is odd that this cable was for the kitchen island because that would be required to be a 20 amp circuit which would require 12ga wire. Make sure this 14/3 cable comes from the panel, it is alone (should be a 2 pole breaker per 2011 code) and is a 15 amp breaker. Also, a kitchen island is required to have at least one receptacle.

You have a multiwire circuit in that 14/3 which is two 15 amp circuits available, each sharing one neutral. One circuit is more than enough to run both lights (and more). I suggest putting that 14/3 cable in a box that will be accessible later, such as the first light fixture box, and run a new 14/3 down to your first switch. (The red will be your switch leg in the new 14/3) Then run a 14/2 over to your 2nd switch, and a 14/2 from that switch to your 2nd light.

You might want to run the other circuit in the old 14/3 down the wall to a receptacle box for future receptacles in the basement.
 
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