Rewiring switch to control light rather than outlet


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Old 03-28-14, 01:01 PM
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Question Rewiring switch to control light rather than outlet

Hi-
In our BR, I have power flowing from duplex wall outlet (top half switched via red wire) thru 14/3 wire to switch, then 14/2 wire (hot wires together on switch) carries power to next device. I want to put in a ceiling fan/light combo, with fan motor always hot and switch controlling light. I figured I could leave the 14/3 from outlet to switch (capping the red as it's no longer needed) and then run new 14/3 from switch to new fan/light so fan 7 light would be independent. But then my wire count in the switch box (20 cu in) is one too many, and I want to avoid ripping out the switch box. Any thoughts on another way?

One other possibility, if it is allowed by code... I have a hard-wired smoke detector - can I tap that as the power source for my fan/light? then I could just run a 14/2 switch loop from fan/light box to switch and be right at limit for wire count at the switch. I figure the detector is already on the same circuit as the room outlets, so it is likely ok. Note, house built in 2002, and the breaker is AFCI

Thanks for any advice!
 
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Old 03-29-14, 09:23 AM
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From where do you want to switch the light? There is usually only one hot lead going to a fan/light combo. Both the blue & black wire connect to it. The position of the chains determine which will run when the switch is in the on position.
 
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Old 03-29-14, 11:23 AM
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I would argue that the red wire from the receptacle can be omitted from your calculation, since it won't be terminated or spliced in the switch box. That, I think, will put you even with the volume of your existing box.

If that argument doesn't stand (and others will comment) why not replace the switch box? If you cut it out carefully, you can replace it with a deep old-work box - preferably metal so you can bond it to ground - and have the capacity you need. In addition, you'll be able to use the opening in the wall to reach in and pull the new cable into position to work with. How are you planning to do that if you don't remove the existing box?
 
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Old 03-29-14, 09:32 PM
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I would argue that the red wire from the receptacle can be omitted from your calculation
I agree. I had been counting an internal clamp in my figuring, but in checking around, it looks like that is not the case for a single gang switch box.

From where do you want to switch the light?
I had intended to control the light from the wall switch, and have the fan be able to run independently.

But I realized today that the fan includes a remote control for the fan & light, so I no longer need to have the wall switch controlling the light. Does anyone know whether getting power from the ceiling box for the hard-wired detector is allowable? I have attic access above this room, so it would be much easier to get power to the fan ceiling box from another ceiling box rather than going from the wall switch box.
 
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Old 03-29-14, 09:57 PM
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If your house was built in 2002 the smokes should have they're own run so they can be Daisy chained together, so if one goes off they all do. nothing else can be tied into that line.
 
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Old 03-30-14, 04:44 PM
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If your house was built in 2002 the smokes should have they're own run so they can be Daisy chained together, so if one goes off they all do. nothing else can be tied into that line.
Citation?

Last time I checked, power for residential smoke detectors had to be supplied from a circuit that also supplied a general receptacle and lighting circuit or from a dedicated circuit with the breaker locked on. This is to prevent having the detectors turned off either inadvertently or to eliminate the results of nuisance triggering.

All of the detectors in our house are interconnected and the power for them is shared with one of the general circuits. The same was true in the older house I rewired for my family in 1983.
 
 

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