How Outlets Switches and Fixtures Should be Wired
How to Wire Outlets with Lights: Wiring connections that involves a Light Switch Wire and Electric Outlets.
Wiring Methods for Outlets and Lighting
Electrical Question: I have a switch box that was already wired with a single pole switch that runs three florescent fixtures in my basement.
- The switch’s power source was tapped from an outlet box on the opposite side of the wall.
- The power comes to the switch first then to a junction box mounted on the floor stud for the main floor where three Romex cables are pigtailed together and run to each fixture.
- I want to tap into the single pole switch box and feed the circuit upstairs into the bedroom to run a ceiling fan. I originally wanted to jump into the junction box, but as I found out everything there is controlled by the switch.
- When I tested the wires already in the plastic switch box I find a white wire from the power source attached to one screw terminal on the switch and the white wire to the junction box attached to the other terminal screw on the switch.
- The two black wires are wire nutted together and the ground wires are wired together. After I shut off the power I removed the switch, separated the wires and turned the power back on to test. The black wires wire-nutted together tested hot.
- The white wire that was connected to the bottom lug of the switch also tested hot, and the other white wire showed nothing.
- Is the switch currently wired correctly (the lights appear to work correctly)? Can I tap into the switch to take power to the upstairs bedroom to control the ceiling fan?
This electrical question came from: John, from Ortonville, Michigan.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question John.
How to Make Sure The Wiring Methods for Your Outlets and Lighting are Correct
- This question reveals that the switch is wired to switch the neutral and not the hot.
- Switches should be wired to switch the hot and not the neutral.
- It would be best to identify all of the circuit wiring and then changed so the neutral is not being switched.
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This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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