Relocate switch

gtrshopMay 7, 2010

I am trying to move a light switch that controls a pair of basic-bob socket type fixtures in the crawl space. What I thought at first was going to be a simple job has become a bit more complicated in that it appears that there are 2 receptacles (and maybe a third) on the same circuit. The switch, as I mentioned, only controls the lights, not the receptacles, and the switch is located near the end of the circuit, not the beginning. Also, the type of wire used on a couple of the runs seems odd. The run from the distribution panel is 14/2, but a brown or tan colour, and the wire from one switch to the next and again between the 2nd light and the switch is of a round variety, similar to stove circuit wire, and differs from both the brown 14/2 and the remaining wire in the house that is your typical white 14/2.

I've drawn a very rough diagram...

Here is a link that might be useful:

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joed

Is there a question in there someplace? What is your problem?
The round wire has to be 14/3 to make the circuit work properly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 5:47PM
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gtrshop

In all my attempt to detail, I forgot the Q, LOL.

I want to move the physical switch location to either side of the first light fixture (that's the one that appears directly connected to the distro box, with out affecting the receptacles. If the round wire is 14/3, would a red wire in the light fixture box confirm this? I saw Black, White and Red, was surprised to see that down there. These are only crawl space lights, don't know why so much effort when into wiring this circuit. The rating on the round wire wasn't easily visible as I was looking at it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:06PM
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hendricus

The switch may be at the end of the circuit physically but electrically it has to be at the beginning of the circuit to open and close the connection. The extra red wire is to bring the electric to the switch and the black to bring it back to the lights. The colors can be switched for the same effect. The white goes directly to all the fixtures, lights and outlets.

To move the switch, remove the old one and put caps on the red and black wire separately. Put a blank cover on the box and that is done.

At the first light run a piece of 14-2 with the white painted black, this will be a switch loop. Fasten the painted wire to the black coming from the distribution box and the black to the light black, there should be another wire on there already to carry to the second light. Run the wire to a switch and fasten black and white painted black to both terminals and you are done. Don't forget the ground wires.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 10:52PM
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gtrshop

I'm going to make a more thorough, careful evaluation of what's down there, but I see where you're going with this. I'll get back to you on how I made out. Thanks.

I don't suppose that there is any way to maintain the existing switch and have 2 switches without undue headaches?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:44PM
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hendricus

This is a crawl space, right? So, sure, no problem at all to run a second switch. Replace the original with a 3way switch, run a 14/3 wire to wherever you want the second 3way switch and you are in business.

At the original switch the power goes on the common of the new 3way. The black and red are the travelers and go to the second switch. The white at the second switch will be painted black and goes on the common. At the first switch the white painted black from the second switch goes on the wire to the lights.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:28PM
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gtrshop

Right, 14/3 between the two 3 ways. I understand that, however remember there is already what we believe to be 14/3 running between lights and switches already, per diagram (round)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 11:35AM
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hendricus

Thats why this will work. You are replacing one switch with two, the lights are already wired so you only have to concentrate on the switches.

3way switches are either/or switches and not on/off. The travelers do all the work, if the first switch is on the black and the second is on the black you have a connection. Same goes for the red traveler. If the first switch is on the black traveler and the second is on the red there is no connection.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 6:38PM
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gtrshop

Sorry to beat this to death, but I'm having difficulty grasping where the receptacles grab uninterrupted power from. I see and can understand the aspects of 2 switches and a light...travelers, the whole thing. I'm not making the connection (no pun intended) on where the outlets are getting the power from.

In my existing circuit, which seems to utilize 14/3 (and only one switch) I believe that the red wire is used for the light circuit along with the black, and the white and black wires supply power to receptacles. Using the White (coded black) and the Red for lighting...won't that knock out the receptacles?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 8:42AM
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gtrshop

Sorry to beat this to death, but I'm having difficulty grasping where the receptacles grab uninterrupted power from. I see and can understand the aspects of 2 switches and a light...travelers, the whole thing. I'm not making the connection (no pun intended) on where the outlets are getting the power from.

In my existing circuit, which seems to utilize 14/3 (and only one switch) I believe that the red wire is used for the light circuit along with the black, and the white and black wires supply power to receptacles. Using the White (coded black) and the Red for lighting...won't that knock out the receptacles?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:15AM
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gtrshop

Here's a better look...

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:39AM
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linesman

Hello gtrshop

Here is a fast drawing I made on how to wire
up your project adding a 3 way switch.

The top drawing is what you now have I just didn't have room to
spread it all out. You may also have different color wires in your boxes
than what I have used -- But it will still work...

The bottom drawing shows how to add the 2 NEW 3 way switches.

Any questions, just write back

Hope this helps-----Let us know how you made out with your project..

Have A Nice Day
Linesman

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:52PM
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