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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    238

    Default Best practice wiring order

    Is there a best practice for the wiring order if connecting a light switch and electrical outlet on the same circuit? For example should the feed from the breaker go to the light switch first or the outlets? The reason i ask is because in one room the light dims when i use my drill.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,193

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    To be honest, I don't think it matters how you wire the switches and outlets on a circuit, though lighting and outlets are supposed to be on separate circuits so that when you overload an outlet and blow a breaker, you don't lose your lighting to find your way to reset it.

    Whether or not you can eliminate flickering/dimming is questionable, I think it has more to do with how the circuits are wired at the panel than how they are connected throughout the house.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,661

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    Even though it's permissible, I don't like the idea of feeding a circuit through a receptacle (where the incoming wire connects to one screw and the outgoing wire connects to another). I prefer to connect the wires with a wire nut, with a single pigtail to the receptacle.

    I'm not sure why I feel this way, it just seems like a better way to do it for some reason.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    Try plugging your drill in other places. Do you get the same dimming?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,836

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    An excessively long run of undersized wiring is most likely the problem. While it may be a 15 amp circuit line drop may have been taken into consideration.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    738

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    With 2011 Code a neutral must now be present in every branch circuit switch location, even if it's not being used, with very few exceptions. This is to allow use of an occupancy sensor in the future.

    So, running power to the switch location is now a smart move. If you have a 3 way or 4 way switch circuit you either have to run 4 wire romex or MC cable etc. or supply power to the other 3 way (and 4 ways), from the same branch circuit.

    This of course has nothing to do with your dimming problem.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Best practice wiring order

    The lights and outlets may be on individual breakers but I'd bet they share a neutral.(The white wire) If you pull a seperate ground for each circuit, the flickering should be eliminated.

    Note, If they do have a shared neutral, you can still have power on the white even though you have the breaker off. i.e. Find the feed to the room. Turn off the breaker for the outlets. Disconnect the white and see if the lights go out. If they do, you have another breaker using that neutral. You are also working live so be careful not to touch anything. You shouldn't depend on a breaker being turned off to have a dead wire anyhow. Always test the wire for voltage before you touch anything.
    Waste not, want not.
    Use it up. Wear it out. Make it due, or due without.

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