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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Question Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light



    We're replacing some switches, and unfortunately didn't take proper notice of the way it was wired before.

    Here is what we've got:

    We have 2 lights and 2 switches -- one switch operates one light, the other switch operates the other light, no problem. The power goes into the first light, then to the first switch. The white wire is recoded as black, so we've wired both black wires to the first switch, and one black to the second switch. On the second switch, we have the black wire coming in from the power, and another black wire going out to the second light. What do we do with the second light's white wire? The two switches are in the same electrical box.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    BHT

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    I,m sorry but your disciption is unclear. Could you be a little more clear in what wires you have and where they go.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    Also......is one of these two switches a three-way switch perhaps?

    IOW, is there a second switch in another location somewhere for one of these two light fixtures you're referring to?

    Or is there just one switch for each of the two light fixtures and those two switches are the ones you're dealing with?
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-10-2007 at 09:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    I'm also having a little trouble picturing the circuit you're describing. Could you please detail how many black / white wires at each location?

    If I understand your description so far, the white from the second light should go the white from the panel, but I am not sure from your description how it gets back to the first light box (where the panel white comes in).
    Last edited by bp21901; 11-10-2007 at 10:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    Post Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    Sorry for being unclear...

    The power is coming in to the first light - not sure if it's directly from the panel or part of a larger circuit. From the light to the first switch, there are 2 hot wires (the white recoded as black) and one neutral. The wire from the second switch to the second light has one white, one black and one neutral.

    Both switches are single pole; one switch operates only one light;

    bp21901 - you suggest the white from the second light should go to the white from the power, but that white was recoded as black.

    Hope this is more clear -- and thanks for your tiime!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    Where is the white (neutral) from the panel? I believe that is what will be connected to the other side of both lights. Unfortunately I am not picturing your description well enough to say for sure which that is in your scenario.

    Your hot from the panel will go through each switch before returning to its individual light. That is what I was thinking was the "recoded" white wire. The black from the panel is tied to the black going to the switch, the recoded white is on the other post of the first switch going back to the first light.

    Sorry, but I am struggling with the mental picture on this one.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    I'm still a little confused ... maybe it's just me

    Typically the "power through light" configuration is something like this :

    hot and neutral from the service panel goes to the light fixture junction box.

    The white neutral from the service panel is tied directly to the light fixture.

    The black hot from the service panel will be tied (wire nut ) to the white (recoded as black) of a 2 wire drop that extends to the switch.

    At the switch :

    the white (recoded as black from the light fixture junction box) will be attached to the top terminal.

    The black wire ( from the 2 wire drop) will be attached to the bottom terminal and the other end gets attached to the light fixture.

    So with this type of wire configuration there would be no need for any other wires at the switch junction box.



    What wires are at the 2nd light fixture junction box?

    Are there any outlets in the room that aren't working?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    Big Head,

    I get the impression that what you're calling a "neutral" is actually a bare copper wire. Yes?

    When you say you connected one of the black wires from the first switch to the second switch.....did you add a piece of wire to do this....or was that piece of wire already present?

    Or....was the piece of black wire you used to connect from the first switch to the second switch already present.....stripped in the middle AND also had a bare end as yuk-yuk inquired about?

    Do you have an electrical test meter of some sort there? If so, remove all the wires from the switches......then stick the common/ground test lead from the meter into the grounding slot of a nearby duplex outlet or to the bare copper wire in the current box. Now probe all the insulated wire ends that are associated with these two switches with the other lead. (Make sure your meter is set to test 120VAC) Is there more than one hot wire?
    Last edited by goldhiller; 11-11-2007 at 01:55 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    I get the impression that what you're calling a "neutral" is actually a bare copper wire. Yes?
    Good point ... what exactly are the wires? There maybe some confusion to what the OP refers to what is what.


    When you say you connected one of the black wires from the first switch to the second switch
    Did I miss this ?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Power->Light->Switch->Switch->Light

    I wasn't reading any jumper from switch1 to switch2.

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