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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    203

    Smile Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    OK THANKS Jack, appreciate the help

    While I'm trying to process in my mind how I'm going to approach this 'wiring job' let me ask you guys another general question. As I understand it the white (neutral) wire acts to "balance" the electrical system, correct? If that is correct then could I just tap into another white wire that might be easier to get to?

    The way it stands now to run the white wire from the light to the switch would involve cutting into the floor upstairs. Not impossible but very labor intensive. However last year I ran a new outlet into the kitchen and it has all 3 wires going to it. It is on its own circuit breaker. This outlet is around 4 or 5 feet away from where the light switch is. Instead of tapping into the light box white wire, couldn't I just tap into the new kitchen outlet white wire?

    Or does it have to be the white wire going to the light?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Only if the other white wire was on the same branch circuit. OTherwise you run the risk of overloading that particular neutral if it's used as a "Common" on too many circuits.

    IT's true that the nuetrals all get wired ot a common buss bar at hte service panel. But the nuutral is not "balancing" the circuit. It's in fact the return path for the electricity. The nutral completes the circuit. IN thory, you could put the swithc on the neutral or the hot wire. Electricity doesn't care what color wire you use or where the switch is located. There is either continuity, or there isn't. It also doesn't care what size the wire is or if it's overloaded.. hat why you have breakers. ELectricity will flow throuhg any size conductor, but more current = more heat since a particular size wire has a given resistant ot current flow. Generate enough heat, and the insulation melts...an/or the wire itself melts. That's why you have breakers or fuses, to prevent wires from overheating and failing.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,555

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Here is what you can do. Run 2 conductor Romex from the outlet to to the switch box. Use the Romex black wire to the dimmer Line connection, the white to the dimmer neutral connector and the the white taped wire to the light, connect the black wire from the light box to the Load connector on the dimmer. At the light disconnect both wires from the light. Connect the white taped wire to the neutral connector on the light. Disconnect the black wire from the house hot in the light box, cap the house hot and connect the black wire from the switch to the black on the light.

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

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,555

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Oh, and make sure the power is off to both the light and the outlet while you do this .
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky1 View Post
    Id just get a differnt switch than pull new wire in. unless you want to make a 10 minute job into a 6 hour job.
    Ditto that ---------
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Milan, have you tried carefully touching the two wires together to see if the light will go on & off? If it's not a "switched leg" you will blow the fuse!

    If that works, you may get by with the dimmer you have but the light (in the dimmer, if that's what the white wire is for) simply won't come on.

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

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    203

    Smile Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Here is what you can do. Run 2 conductor Romex from the outlet to to the switch box. Use the Romex black wire to the dimmer Line connection, the white to the dimmer neutral connector and the the white taped wire to the light, connect the black wire from the light box to the Load connector on the dimmer. At the light disconnect both wires from the light. Connect the white taped wire to the neutral connector on the light. Disconnect the black wire from the house hot in the light box, cap the house hot and connect the black wire from the switch to the black on the light.
    Too bad that I didn't know that you posted this, it would have saved some work. Never received an e-mail from the forum about your post. Anyway, ended up tearing the floor apart upstairs and running new 14/2 from the light to the switch. Taped the wire to a fishing pole to get the wire through the insulation I'll connect the (old) white wire to the new white going to the switch together. Ground the ground, and use the new black as the feed from the switch to the light. Then I'll tape the end of the old black wire that used to feed the light and tuck it away somewhere. I think that should take care of everything right?

    There are around 7 or 8 lights on this same fuse, so I am updating all of them at the same time. I'm just taping off the same white wire so it shouldn't be too hard, just time consuming running the wire.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    203

    Smile Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    Milan, have you tried carefully touching the two wires together to see if the light will go on & off? If it's not a "switched leg" you will blow the fuse!
    There were only two wires at the light and at the switch box. One was going from the switch to the light. The other (in the switch box) was the feed wire going to the main panel. So that would mean that the last wire (in the ceiling) has to be the white wire, right?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by MyMilan View Post
    There were only two wires at the light and at the switch box. One was going from the switch to the light. The other (in the switch box) was the feed wire going to the main panel. So that would mean that the last wire (in the ceiling) has to be the white wire, right?
    True. Have you tried touching the wires together at the switch location to simulate the switch?

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

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,555

    Default Re: Updating Kitchen Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by MyMilan View Post
    There were only two wires at the light and at the switch box. One was going from the switch to the light. The other (in the switch box) was the feed wire going to the main panel. So that would mean that the last wire (in the ceiling) has to be the white wire, right?
    Do you mean two wires or two cables? If you only had two wires at the switch box and two wires at the light box, you are dealing with K&T wiring, and a complete rewire is called for.

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

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