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How do you add a separate fixture along with a separate switch from an existing switch which has only 2 hot wires coming from the wall that are attached to the 1st switch?

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2010-05-10 12:42:08
2010-05-10 12:42:08
Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz supply service.Most times you can't feed your load only from the switch because it doesn't have a neutral.

If there are no existing power outlet branch circuits nearby you'd have to consider connecting into the existing light fixture, which is where the hot feed and neutral wires should be.

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If you are lucky - and by lucky I mean the cable to the switch isn't stapled in the wall (which is very unlikely) - you can use the old cable to pull through a new piece of 14-3 cable to get the neutral in the box that you will need to be able to power a new switched outlet.

A new cable is needed because, as well as the "unswitched hot" and the "switched-hot return" to the light fixture, the box must have a full power service including Hot (Black), Neutral (White) and Ground (Bare Wire).

However, to do this job safely, there are several things you must first check:

  • Do your local wiring codes allow you to fit a new socket outlet in the intended place?
  • Is the breaker protecting the lighting circuit not already overloaded by its existing lights and any extra outlets that are already in place?
  • Will the load to be applied to the new outlet be no more than 5 amps?

    Even if the new outlet is to be the normal 15 amp size, a higher load current (amperage) than 5 amps could dangerously overload the existing wire size of the lighting circuit.

    Such overloading is a common cause of house fires!

Do the following:

1. Turn off the breaker controlling the switch.

2. Remove the switch from the box.

3. Identify the supply Hot Black Wire (Call it B1)

4. Remove B1 from switch and label in some way so you'll remember what it is.

5. Undo the wirenut in the box which will typically have two white wires unless the box is also being used as a junction box and there may be more than 2 white wires.

6. Get a piece of the same gauge white wire long enough to reach the new outlet to make a new pigtail - strip about 3/4 in from each end - and add it to the bundle of white wires connected together. (You may need a bigger wire nut.) Make sure that all wires are solidly connected.

7. Make two black wire pigtails long enough to reach the new switch and outlet and connect one end of one of them to wire B1 using a wirenut.

8. Connect that black wire pigtail to one terminal of the new switch and the other black wire pigtail to the terminal on the outlet that has a brass-colored screw.

9. Connect the new white wire pigtail to the terminal with the silver-colored screw on the outlet.

10. Connect the black wire from the new outlet to the terminal on the other side of the new switch.

11. Make a new ground pigtail and connect it from the bare wire in the box to the green screw on the new outlet.

Warnings

Make sure all connections are tight and no bare wires are exposed.

Make sure you have identified the supply B1 wire correctly. If not you will create a switched outlet as well as whatever you were switching before.

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As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.

Before you do any work yourself,

on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,

always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.

IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOB

SAFELY AND COMPETENTLY

REFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

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Related Questions


Piggyback off the box for the existing light. Run a wire from the existing junction box to a new junction box (which is placed wherever you want the new fixture). Then, in the existing box, connect the wire coming from the switch, the wire for the existing fixture, and the wire for the new fixture together using wire nuts. Wire up the new fixture, and presto, you have two fixtures on a switch where there was only one before.

If you are adding the pull chain to an existing fixture then the pull chain switch should have two wires. Wire nut either one to the hot wire coming in and the other to the black wire of the fixture.

A typical motion detector has three wire on it. Black, White and Red. To install this on an outside light it get wired as follows. The White wire is the Neutral. It gets attached to the White feed wire and the white wire that hoed to the light. The Black wire feed power to the motion detector. It attached to the Black feed wire coming from the house. The Red wire on the motion detector is the switched wire. It get attached to the black wire coming from the light fixture. -------- Is the existing light fixture a decorative one? I ask because having been in security biz for long time, it's important to know the difference YOU WANT in your motion light (from a regular decorative fixture.) The purpose of a motion sensored light - for security purposes - is to startle the perp. when a bright light suddenly shines on him. You want him to think you're inside and you turned the light on him so he will run for the hills. Criminals don't like to get caught in the spot light or encounter homeowners. So that light should be VERY Bright and light up the space like daytime. You need a bright flood light, directed to cover a specific entrance area or door. You want it pointed down over the area so he is forced to put himself right where the light will hit him which is going to be close to the door or entrance he plans on using to enter the house. If light shines up and across a distance, it is easy to duck under it and move among the shadows. Any other type of fixture will not give you the results you want.

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Going for the switch to the fixture; there should be a "switch leg" colors will be orange yellow brown or purple purple is normally a travler but you never know :P Hook up the hot ie black red or blue to one side of switch and the "switch leg to the other side of the switch that's it for that...Now at the fixture there will be the same color switch leg where you will hook up the power to the actual fixture there will be two or three wires coming out of fixture hook white to white and whatever color your switch leg is to the black coming out of fixture and ground to ground if so used the ground will be green in no ground going back down to the switch then on the mounting bracket there should be a green painted screw strip the green wire out of fixture rap it around the green screw and then tighten it down and there your hooked up!!

Connect the white and black wires back on to where the other black and white wires connected. There should also be a green pigtail coming out of the fixture which will be the ground. If it has a chain, then the wire running through the chain will be the ground wire.

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You would have to provide more info to be certain what your problem is. Typically a black and white wire would connect to the two wires on the light fixture. The fixture should also be controlled by a switch that "breaks" the black (Hot Wire) to turn off the fixture. If you have a volt meter you can see if there is 120Volts between the black and white wires with switch on. If there is a single white wire going to fixture (Neutral), where is the "black wires tied" to. Maybe one of the black wires has broken off the fixture.

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Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz supply service.Turn off the power to the light at the main circuit breaker panel. You will be working on a ladder if light is on ceiling so be careful. A non metal ladder is preferred when working with electricity.Remove the fixture such that the wires connecting it to house power are accessible. In some cases it might appear that the fixture could hang from the wires coming from the ceiling, but do not rely on this. It is best to support the fixture while working on the wires.There will likely be three wires connecting the fixture to house wiring. Black is hot, white is neutral and bare wire is ground. Unscrew the wirenuts by turning counterclockwise and untwist the wires until all wires are free and the fixture can be removed.Ensure new fixture mounts can be used with existing mount. While supporting new fixture (Help is advised for all but smallest fixture), reconnect to the the house power with black to black, white to white and ground to ground.As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.Before you do any work yourself,on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SURE YOU CAN DO THIS JOBSAFELY AND COMPETENTLYREFER THIS WORK TO QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

First of all put your shoes on. You never see electricians working in their bare feet. This bit of insulation from the soles of your shoes could save your life one day. What you are feeling is leakage current. The yard post fixture should have a ground wire attachment point where an external ground wire should be attached. It sounds like yours is not attached. This wire should go to a ground rod at the post position. If there is no room for a ground rod and the fixture is fed from under ground feed from a distribution panel, check to see if there is in ground wire in the conduit feeding it. If the ground wire is connected at the fixture end check the distribution end and make sure it is connected there. The leakage is coming from the ballast, as a last resort if the grounding is all intact you will have to change the ballast out. If you know an electrician ask him if he would megger the ballast to establish if the ballast is at fault.

Bug spray just puts a coat of petroleum on the existing ants--there is no lasting pesticide. Put spectracide down their hole and around the parameter. If they are coming into the house through a light fixture, a chalk line around the entrance will discourage them. Also, cleaning up the source of their interest and wipe the counter so that their path disappears.

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You can attach/splice into the power feed to outlet (ways of doing this can vary with how the outlet is wired but make sure that all or part of the outlet isn't controlled by an existing switch). You can then take the hot, neutral and ground to a light fixture or to the first switch, then to the second switch. It is normally easier to do this project by taking power to the light (s) first, with 2 wire drops to the switches, from basement or attic.

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If there is a red wire in the fixture box it sounds like the fixture is three way switched. The travelers are coming from one of the two switches and the cable is going to the second switch.See related links below.

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Yes, you should be able to. (1) Make sure that the circuit breaker to that fixture is de-activated. (2) Remove the celiing fixture and unfasten the fixture from the two wires going into it from the junction box (usually held together by wire nuts). (3) Attach the wires coming from the junction box to the terminals of the new outlet you will be using. (4) secure the outlet to the junction box. (5) Re-activate the circuit breaker. If the former ceiling light was controlled by a switch, the new outlet will also be controlled by the same switch. DISCLAIMER: This instruction is for an ordinary run-of-the-mill ceiling fixture. If more than two wires are involved or the light is controlled from more than one switch, these instruction may not apply.

Preceding: Existing or coming before another or others in time, place, rank, or sequence; previous. Hope I helped you.

you would need to find the power source and take the energized leg or (hot leg) as we call it and connect it to one side of the switch and the black wire coming from the ballast to the other side of the switch

Check to see if the fixture has a sensitivity setting or switch. Perhaps it needs to be adjusted or set correctly? I'm looking for the proper settings for mine now. Here is THE ANSWER: The photo cell that senses light and darkness is sensing the light coming from the fixture being controlled. Reposition the sensor away from the light of the fixture. Or shield the sensor from the light. Ideally the sensor should be located away from the light source.

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