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Thread: DIY - Split receptacle to light switch and light fixture with 14/2?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member AJM's Avatar
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    Default DIY - Split receptacle to light switch and light fixture with 14/2?

    Can anyone suggest a fix for the following?

    My bedroom remodel included replacing the electrical switch and split receptacles with new parts. I have confirmed that all tabs are removed on the hot side of all receptacles.

    Note:I tried to install the new components exactly the same as the previous part. Clearly, I have fubared something. I can't figure out how to connect the switch and the downstream light fixture. I have shown their connections as un-terminated in my drawing.

    In this room, the light switch powers one half of a split receptacle and the overhead light fixture. The light runs to the switch, not to any receptacles. Input power comes into the receptacle box not the switch box.

    It was working but I can't figure out how since I only have a 14/2 line running to the switch and from the switch to the light. I can imagine getting power to and from the switch using the 14/2 (black and white used as hot with electrical tape on the ends) but cannot figure how to provide neutral to the light at the same time.

    Can anyone suggest how to properly power the light? I have drawn up the situation as I see it. Oddly, my red wire connecting the switched receptacle has 24.3v on it before connecting to the switch!
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    Last edited by AJM; 11-24-2009 at 09:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    It seems from your description that you have left out where the other end of the 3 wire cable is.

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    DIY Junior Member AJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    It seems from your description that you have left out where the other end of the 3 wire cable is.
    The 12/3 line runs to the other outlets in a daisy-chain. The last outlet ends the run.

  4. #4

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    All a light needs is two wires to operate. A hot and a neutral.

    All a switch needs is two wires to switch.
    (Typically [and the right way] is that the switch turns on and off the hot wire going to the light or outlet.)

    The power for these does NOT have to be run to the light electrical box and does NOT have to be run to the switch electrical box!

    You could make the connections for this in another "junction box"!

    So by looking at the outlet electrical boxes, the light electrical box, and the switch electrical box, you may not be seeing the entire set of wiring! There may be another electrical box somewhere - a junction box where the various connections are made.

    And junction boxes are *supposed* to remain accessible. Might be in the attic, basement, or could be in another outlet electrical box. Could be in an outlet electrical box in another room.

    If this is a 1 story house and you have attic access, might want to look at the wires up there and see where they go (clue).

    Note: Sometimes people don't do things like they should, so there could be a junction box hidden in the wall.

    Also if everything works as it should, then no problem right?

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member AJM's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Billy_Bob;234381]All a light needs is two wires to operate. A hot and a neutral.

    All a switch needs is two wires to switch.
    (Typically [and the right way] is that the switch turns on and off the hot wire going to the light or outlet.)
    QUOTE]

    I agree with your assesment but I don't see how to get both hot and neutral to the light and switched hot back to the switched receptacle with two wires. Wouldn't I need three?
    Last edited by AJM; 11-24-2009 at 10:02 AM.

  6. #6
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    The switch should only have black wires (hot). You shouldn't need 12-3 or 14-3 cable for what you want to do usless you are using a 3-way swith (have two switches at different doorways controlling the light/outlets).

    There is a couple ways to do it. The best way depends on the room layout.

    Basically you want to do this:

    - run 14-2 (or 12-2) from either an outlet that already has power or from the circuit breaker (depending on where you start/end your run) to your switch.

    - the black from this wire will go to the bottom terminal on the switch
    - the white will connect to the white of another 14-2 (or 12-2) cable that leads to the light or the switched outlets. (use a wire nut)
    - the black from the cable that leads to to light (or outlets) gets connected to the other teminal of the switch

    If you say start with the light, you can daisy chain from there to your switched outlets using 14-2 (or 12-2) cable. Split the tab on both sides of the outlets and connect to the top outlets is a dasiy chain fashion.

    The switch will break the connection to the hot and and kill the switched outlets and the light when you flip the switch.

    I'm not a pro, but this will work and is the way that I have typically seen it done.

    I can draw something up if it would help.

    Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Let's see if I have this correct...

    This was working before?

    You did not add anything new (outlets, switch, and light were there before)?

    All you did was replace the outlets, switch, and light fixture?

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member AJM's Avatar
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    Nukeman,

    Are you suggesting that I add another 14/2 to take power back to switched receptacle?

    If not, how do I return a switched hot back to the receptacle?

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