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Thread: Help with wiring diagram

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member eric3872's Avatar
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    Default Help with wiring diagram

    I'm hoping someone can help me with a wiring diagram or some input on a rewiring project I'm doing in my kitchen.

    I have two sets of fixtures that are on a single circuit and controlled by a single pole switch (4 fixtures total) with the fixtures at the beginning of the run. I would like to separate them so that they are two and two (each set of two fixtures controlled separately by 3-way switches). I am planning on reversing the run so that the switches are at the beginning rather than the fixtures. Can I splice the run before the switches so I can control each set of fixtures separately, or do I need a new run back to the panel to control the second set of fixtures?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    First we would have know HOW you are getting power to the switch at the "beginning of the run", then whether you have the proper wiring to separate the fixures, and if not how will you install the necessary wires.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    The answer might also change slightly if you have individual conductors in conduit, vs. NM cable which might have 2 or 3 conductors in it's sheath.

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    DIY Junior Member eric3872's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    First we would have know HOW you are getting power to the switch at the "beginning of the run", then whether you have the proper wiring to separate the fixures, and if not how will you install the necessary wires.
    Currently the 4 fixtures are wired with 14/2 BX from a 20amp breaker with the single pole switch at the end of the run. I will rewire if necessary back to the breaker box, but I'd like to use the single circuit on the 20 amp rather than using another slot. I'm hoping to splice the power source before the switches and gang the two 3-ways.
    Last edited by eric3872; 02-25-2012 at 09:31 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member eric3872's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    The answer might also change slightly if you have individual conductors in conduit, vs. NM cable which might have 2 or 3 conductors in it's sheath.
    I have some 12/3 MC cable laying around, but I might buy some new NM for ease of installation.
    Last edited by eric3872; 02-25-2012 at 09:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    You cannot have 14ga wire on a 20A breaker, so that would be the first thing you must address.

    You will need a separate run of 12/3WG between each set of 3-way switches.

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    DIY Junior Member eric3872's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    You cannot have 14ga wire on a 20A breaker, so that would be the first thing you must address.

    You will need a separate run of 12/3WG between each set of 3-way switches.
    Thanks Cacher Chick. I am planning on replacing the 14/2 with 12ga wire. So, you are saying I cannot have two sets of 3way switches on a single feed from the 20amp circuit? I'd need to run them each on individual circuits?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    No, you can have whatever you want on a single circuit (within some certain limitations, and a few lights isn't one of them!), but that if you have a 20A breaker, you can't have anything being fed by 14g wire. The CB protects the wiring from overheating, not the things connected to it (eg., putting a 200W lightbulb in a lamp only designed for a 60W max).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If the wiring is all 14ga, it would be easier to switch to a 15A breaker than it would be to replace all of the wire in the circuit.

    In any case, to use 3-way switches to operate the lights from 2 separate locations, between those switches you will need to have conductors for the hot, neutral, & traveler + an equipment grounding conductor.

    All of the switches can be fed from the same circuit, but you need 4 wires running between the switches for each set of lights.

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