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Wiring a switch to lights, Electrical Wiring 101

Posted by kimcoco (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 21, 10 at 0:58

Amateur here seeking advice. I've found some resources on Utube, also read about national electrical code and that you can't run a switch/power source from a power box that is used for major appliances, i.e. dryer, if I'm understanding that correctly. I have questions about my power source, forgive my ignorance, this is all greek to me.
Know the basics of a three way switch and the wiring involved with switches and outlets, we actually have an existing three way switch. Basically, we'll be installing canned lights in a non insulated basement ceiling. The existing lights are fluorescent, some are hard wired, some are plugged directly into outlets that are in the ceiling, so existing electrical wire isn't installed, meaning the 14-2 and 14-3 I just picked up from the hardware store. In the ceiling is just the metal conduit, outlets and junction boxes. In other words, if the 14-2 wire was already connected to a power source, I'd be able to hook up the canned lights. I'm stuck.

I have a diagram on how to wire lights in a parallel, but unsure about my power source, DUH. Can I just run power from the "junction" boxes on the ceiling, or the outlet boxes? When I say junction box, there are metal conduits running to these boxes, and the boxes are capped off with a cover. How do I do this?

Second, we'd like to add a single pole switch since the three-way switch operates two separate living areas, but not sure how to add a switch, or again, the power source. Does code require that the wire be run through metal conduits or can I just run it through/along the ceiling beams like I'm seeing everywhere on the internet?


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RE: Wiring a switch to lights, Electrical Wiring 101

Your message is very confusing. I think you want to know if you can use some junction boxes in the basement ceiling as a source of power for either some lights or some receptacles.

You say there are conduits running from these boxes. If that is the case you might be in a region that requires everything to be in conduit. If that is the case then you can't use NM-B cables. Chicago is one of those areas.

Depending on what those circuits supply you could pull power from one of the boxes. You can't pull power if those circuits supply a bathroom, or the kitchen or dining area receptacles. Also depending on what else is on the ciruit. You don't want to overload the circuit with your new load.


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