New Lights


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Old 09-17-22, 04:04 AM
S
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New Lights

Hello everyone,
I am working on getting lights installed in my new house and would like to share the environment and my ideas and you can tell me if there is either an easier way OR if I'm being an idiot and my method would either be dangerous or wouldn't work at all.

Scenario: I have a light switch that controls an outlet and have no existing lighting. We would like to install some recessed lights, and have attic access for this area.

I believe there is a line coming from the outlet TO the switch, then another line that returns the power from the switch TO the outlet. So... with all this said lets get into my thoughts and someone can tell me if I'm being silly. I feel I should be able to find the "return" line from the attic and cut it (12/3) put in a junction box and connect the following wires. All whites together, all ground together, Black to black ( for outlet ), Red to black ( new line for lights (new line will be 12/2))

Please let me know if this is a safety hazard, if so why, if this theory should work, and if you can think of an easier way about this.

I am here to learn and maybe save a couple bucks all while doing it, but priority one is always safety!

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 09-17-22, 05:06 AM
Z
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You're on the right track, but there usually aren't two cables between the switch and the outlet. Doesn't mean it can't be like this, but more likely, that there's a different configuration. Also, unless the switch and outlet are across a doorway, it's likely the cable goes directly from the switch to the outlet in more or less a straight line.

Can you confirm what wires/cables are at the outlet?

But not to fret, you can still most likely do what you're looking to do. With an open attic, you can fish a new wire down to your switch and to the new recessed lights if needed.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 05:56 AM
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Also make sure that junction box is exposed and not covered.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 06:12 AM
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Cutting in the attic is not generally the best plan but 'best' is usually determined by seeing what you have onsite. At the switchbox on the wall and at the switched receptacle, you may need to pull the fixtures out of the box and analyze the wiring to determine but, as Zorfdt stated, it is more likely you have power coming into the switch box and then two wires, one switched and one always hot, going to the receptacle.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 06:36 AM
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As stated above I had the exact same thing in all the upper bedrooms without ceiling lights. I had to run new wire from the powered switch to the ceiling and rewire the receptacle as always hot.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 08:25 AM
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All,
Thanks for the responses. I am away from the wiring currently but I believe I have enough to give a general idea of what's going on.
Note: White/White Means they are connected same for Ground/Ground Black/Black ( just so there's no confusion )
At the outlet. Two feeds.... Left wire is as follows. White-> top right of receptacle, black/black, ground/ground. ( this wire should be 12/2 )
Right wire ( feed )- Red-> top right screw of receptacle, White-> bottom left of receptacle, black and ground connected.

At the switch. Left wire: Red-> top right of switch, Black pigtailed to bottom right of switch. White/White, ground/ground
Right wire: Black to bottom right ( both blacks are on the same connection on the switch ) White/White Ground/Ground.

Hopefully this was clear enough... I can take pictures when I get home OR verify the info I provided. I feel like this is fairly accurate.
 
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Old 09-17-22, 09:44 AM
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Grounds are understood to be properly connected and are not included in a wiring discussion.
Confirm your wiring size first. Don't assume #12 and don't use #12 automatically.

I never wire any residential lighting circuits in #12. It's not needed and takes up to much room in complicated switchboxes. I always use #14. Some people feel differently. Same with some electricians.

This is what you have based on your description. That would be fairly common. You have a two cables at each location. We know the three wire cable connects the two boxes. We do not know which end power comes in on a two wire cable and then travels back out on another two wire cable. It doesn't really matter. If you find the correct three wire cable in the attic.... red is switched, black is hot and white is neutral. That will never change. You can change how the receptacle operates by removing the red from the receptacle and cap off. Connect black wire to receptacle.
 
Norm201 voted this post useful.
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Old 10-16-22, 08:50 AM
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I completed this room with little to no issues. Everything works great.

new issue. I have the same scenario with a switched receptacle, I go up cut the line in hopes of adding a third lineů. But am now dealing with the original line being too short to deal with. Am I able to extend this with other wiring and put all of this in the same box?

so this would be a total of 7-8 connections in one box. ( due to extending the wiring )
 
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Old 10-16-22, 09:30 AM
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If the box is large enough and the wires are long enough you can put them all in one box.
 
 

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