How to Wire More than One Light Switch
Wiring Light Switches Electrical Question: The house is pre 1965 and I have a hot that comes in to a 4 gang box and feeds a light in a dining room. So a black and white in and black and white out to the light. Wiring for Light Switches Owen asks: The house is pre […]
Wiring Light Switches
Electrical Question: The house is pre 1965 and I have a hot that comes in to a 4 gang box and feeds a light in a dining room. So a black and white in and black and white out to the light.
Wiring for Light Switches
The house is pre 1965 and I have a hot that comes in to a 4 gang box and feeds a light in a dining room. so a black and white in and black and white out to the light.
I am adding cans to the adjacent room and want to use that hot coming in but can?t figure out the neutral wires.
Currently the switch that is for dining light has power at bottom of switch and the white is supposed to go to light.
Here is the problem, the 2 new lines I sent out to the cans and a fireplace spot light are on dimmers and since they share the power in from dining room, how do I connect the switch for dining light and still collect all white (neutral) lines? When I turn on the light now I have zero power to the cans and when I turn off the light I have power to cans?
My load line (white) that exits the switch for the dining light is home runned with all white wires in box.
I am making a simple mistake but can not walk myself out of the scenario.
The pic attached shows the box pre switches, right side is kitchen light that grabs power from 1 line to its left. The lines to the left are cans and spot.
Thanks for your time.
This electrical wiring question came from Owen in Novato, California.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Owen.
Wiring Light Switches
Application: Run More Wiring for Light Switches.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Dimmer Switch, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Dimmer Switch should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in your specific area of California. A permit and inspections may also be required.
Run More Wiring a Dimmer Switch in a Kitchen
This electrical wiring project is about Wiring Switches in the Kitchen of a Old Home.
Let’s make a few observations:
We see that it appears that we have all of the wiring that we need.
I do see that the wire are not stapled within 12 inches of the box.
This can be easily corrected by securing the wires to the wood studs.
Light Switch Wiring
From what you have described, there could be a misunderstanding about the circuit wiring, and the roll of the neutral wire.I placed some links below that lead to some wiring diagrams that may help you.Typically, when I am wiring switches from a single source of power that is in the switch box, the neutrals are spliced together, they are not attached to the switch.Then I add pigtails to the power leg (black wire), one for each light switch, then the black wire to the light fixture attaches to the second screw on the light switch.It is basically the same when wiring dimmer switches.The ground wires are all spliced together, and pigtails added for each light switch.
We see here that Owen is attempting to get the switches wired correctly, however from what he has told me, I see that there is still some confusion.
See the next photo and you may see my concern.
A neutral wire from the neutral splice group is attached to a light switch, and this will cause a direct short and a tripped circuit breaker.
Below is the wiring diagram that Owen sent me, and I can see that the wiring will be incorrect as seen in his diagram. It appears that this is a series method of wiring, and this is incorrect, in fact the wiring connections to the light switch will produce a dead short between the hot power wire and the neutral wire.
Incorrect Series Wiring
One indication of incorrect series wiring will be light fixtures that re dime, and not at the full light levels.
Typical Light Switch Wiring
I have produced this diagram to show an example of how two switches are wired from a single power sources in the switch box. Additional switches may be added as well if there is enough circuit capacity for the additional load.
Owen (and everyone else) Here are some Specific Resources that may Assist You with your Question:
Identifying The Cause Of a Dimming Light Circuit
What is causing my lights to be dim? How to Identify and Fix the Cause of Dim Lights, Dim Lights may be a Indication of an Electrical Problem, How to Check Electric Circuit Wiring.
Troubleshooting Light Switch Wiring
I just changed a light switch and lost power to my outlets, what did I do wrong? How to Check Light Switch Wiring Connections, Common Light Switch Wiring Problem and Solution.
What is The Purpose of the Neutral Wire
The Purpose of the Neutral Wire in Electrical Systems: What is the purpose of the neutral wire and the difference between the ground wire and the white neutral wire.
The Shocking Truth About Neutral Wires
Why am I getting 120 volts from a neutral wire? Why There May be Voltage on a Neutral Wire. Some of the worst shocks I have ever received while working on live circuits was from neutral wires, here is why and How You Can Prevent Electrical Shock from a Neutral Wire.
See More about Run More Wiring a Dimmer Switch
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagram
Fully explained 3 way dimmer switch wiring diagram will take the mystery out of wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
The following Video will Describe How to Install Recessed Lights:
Flush Recessed Lighting Video
This electrical video shows the basics of installing Flush Lights and Recessed Lighting presented by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
The following will provide detailed information about installing Recessed Lighting:
Installing Recessed Light Fixtures
How To Install Recessed Lighting
Installing recessed lighting for your home electrical improvements. Discover how recessed lighting can enhance the mood of any room in your home.
Home Wiring Projects
Installing electrical wiring projects for safety and home improvements.
See more about Home Wiring for California
The following may also be helpful for you:
Electrical Wiring Video #2
Home Electrical Wiring Videos about this Topic and More
Learn more with my Home Electrical Video Course:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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