Installing lights, existing switch loop. Advice and help wanted!

Old 05-22-19, 08:31 PM
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Installing lights, existing switch loop. Advice and help wanted!

Hello all,

I am trying to install recessed lights into my home. The area in question is the hallway which had an existing light fixture connected to a single pole switch. I have attic access and when I got up there to view the wiring I was quite confused as it did not conform with my YouTube education. After further digging/reading I now know that it is a switch loop. I have drawn a diagram and attached it to this post for clarification of the wiring, but here is the wiring followed by my questions/concerns in writing.

Current Wiring:
- The hot line (from the breaker) comes into the electric box and its "white wire" is directly connected to light fixture while its "black wire" is wire nutted to a separate 14-2 Romex "white wire" that runs down to the single pole hallway switch. There is a return "black wire" from the switch that then connects to the fixture. I believe this is the standard set up of a switch loop.
- In addition, the hot line is also connected with another 14/2 romex cable which runs to another single pole switch in a nearby room but definitely not the hallway. This single pole switch has no action on the hallway light. This connection is set up as such in the same electric box in first point...The hot wire (from breaker) has its "black wire" wire nutted to the "black wire" of the 14-2 romex running to separate room. The "white wire" (also connect to hallway light fixture) is wire nutted to the "white wire" of the 14-2 romex which runs down to switch box of separate room. In that switch box (in separate room) there is a 14/2 romex connected to switch which then runs to outlet in the room making this a switched receptacle.

Hopefully I haven't lost you yet.

My goal is to add recessed lights in the hallway and utilize the existing switch loop.

1. I am adding a total of 3 hallway recessed lights. In this case would I take the outgoing "black wire" from the hallway switch and connect that to the first recessed light and connect the "neutral from the incoming hot line directly to the first recessed light followed by another 14/2 romex connected to 2nd and 3rd recessed light with black to black and white to white?

2. In the separate room, I want to add a single light fixture and make the outlets "hot at all times." To do this, can I wire nut both blacks together (the one coming down from attic and the black wire running to outlets) and then make a pigtail to connect on the actual switch and run 14/2 romex up to new light fixture?

I've read a lot and most what I've come across says that switch loops should be replaced if new wiring is being put in. With that said, I am going to check with my county because it is a very small town and they may allow to use the existing switch loops.

Your input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-22-19, 09:07 PM
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Why can't you just extend or use the existing light wire ?
Your written goal 1 and 2 are correct.
Your diagram is correct.

This is a hallway...... will one switch be enough to allow lighting control from all dark areas ?
The reason for the upgrade to 3 wire in a switch loop is to have a neutral at the box in case an electronic switch is installed.
Old 05-23-19, 12:57 PM
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PJ, yes correct, my goal is to use the existing wiring but I wanted to make sure all the wiring is correct before actually implementing the plan. One switch is more than enough. The second switch I talk about is in the bedroom and completely separate than the hallway, but pulls its electrical supply from the hot line in the ceiling.

I made the post to see if I could continue using the same switch loop or if it would be necessary to take out the switch loop. Your post answered my question.

Thank you!

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