DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   Always Searching for Something (

Fireguy5674 08-05-2014 07:01 PM

Always Searching for Something
I have a wiring dilemma. I have a friend who redid most of his kitchen and now he asks for wiring help. There is a light above the sink which formerly had a pull chain on it. The new fixture they want there, of course, does not have a switch built into it. Because the walls are now finished and it would be a major project to get a wire to a switch, I though a remote switch might be the answer. However, I have been unable to find a simple battery operated off/on remote switch that would fit in an outlet box and have a receiver to control the light fixture. There is an existing box in the wall but there are no wires in it. I can probably get power to that box, but not a wire to the light. Does anyone have a suggestion where to find something like that or a better solution to the problem?

nealtw 08-05-2014 07:25 PM

You want to find out where that wire is coming from. Turn that breaker off and see what else goes off with it, and then start the search. When you find the soarce you may be able to route a switch. If it comes from an outlet in the kitchen you may be able to use a shared outlet,switch in the original box.

Fireguy5674 08-05-2014 07:51 PM

The problem is there are four wires coming and going in the box where the fixture was mounted. They are all tied together. I can try separating them to find the source wire, but I am not sure they will want to give up any of their few counter outlets. Of course they only have a 100 amp panel and it is full with dual wires on some breakers. I could maybe get a wire up the wall to put in a new counter outlet, but nowhere to get a new circuit. As you can tell it is a mess.
I did finally find a wireless switch and receiver but it is $150.00. New technology with no batteries. Very nice but ouch!

nealtw 08-05-2014 08:26 PM

You are thinking way to far ahead. There is always things that can be done. The quick and easy would be a motion switch in the ceiling about a foot away from the fixture. Is there an attic space above? Is this an outside wall. How is the backsplash finished?

bud16415 08-06-2014 05:50 AM

I have used surface mount wiring that run in a track for stuff like this. Some of the track is paintable or the track can hide under soffit or something. Just another idea.

Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair

Fireguy5674 08-06-2014 10:00 AM

I thought about surface mount wire races, but the window trim above the sink extends from the upper cabinet on one side to the cabinet on the other side. I would have to run wire race down the trim and I am afraid that would look really tacky. Maybe I can get inside the cabinet and out the bottom, not sure. The box I want hang the fixture on is in the bottom of the soffit above the cabinets over the sink with a window to the outside and the cabinets are on an outside wall obviously if there is a window. There is an attic above and a basement below. The soffit and the backsplash are finished with 3/4 tongue and groove 2 1/2" wide and painted white. I am going to go back and do some more wire chasing etc today. I am afraid the roof pitch will not allow me to get to the outside edge in the attic and still be able to work. The motion switch is another way to go, I was just hoping to have a conventional off on when I got done.

nealtw 08-06-2014 02:51 PM

Ok, this is how I would do it. If the box for the light is the old style with the knock out on the side The valance above the cupboards is empty so you can run a wire in there. Cut a hole in the top of the next cuboard and go right thru so you can get your hand up there and catch the wire. Drill another hole for the wire to come down at the back inside of cupboard and thru the shelf and drill a hole into the wall at the back of the cupboad and in the backsplash cut a hole for the switch box, the kind that have the tabs for mounting from the front. Cover the wire inside the cupboard with that track that Bud was talking about ,repair the hole in the top of cupboard

beachguy005 08-06-2014 04:03 PM

Where is the empty switch box in relation to the sink and cabinets? Was it wired into before? Was it fed from the top or bottom if it was? If it's in a typical location, under the end cabinet near the sink, you may find cutting a hand hole in the top of the cabinet to access inside the soffit on the switch side is best. Remove the light and existing ceiling box if possible. Ideally it was originally wired from the top but you'll need to see if the top plate was bored for wiring but you may be able to just fish a length of romex up through the switch box and pull it into the soffit. Then run it over to the light fixture box as a switch leg.
The soffit is just an empty box mounted horizontally along the wall. It's open to the studs in back and finished on the face.
If you cut a hand hole in the top of the cabinet patch it with a glued on piece of 1/4" luan plywood the same size as the inside of the cab.

Fireguy5674 08-14-2014 11:44 AM

Ok I finished the project yesterday. :clap: Great suggestions from everyone by the way. Thanks. I was able to get the knockout out of the side of the octagon box in the bottom of the soffit. Then I fed the wire through that into the soffit area. I went to the attic and the roof had enough slope I was able to belly crawl out through the rock wool (still scratching) insulation and get to the wire from the top. Obviously the soffit was open to the attic. I had checked it out before hand. There was another switch for a vent fan next to the window over the sink and the outside wall had no insulation. (Good for me, bad for them.) I removed the switch box from the wall and fed the wire down. Because I had room, I cut the wall out to accommodate a 2 gang, old work, switch box and installed the new light switch next to the old fan switch. The switch will be in a much handier spot than it would have been had I used the existing box. The whole house is a wiring mess. In the process of chasing wiring for another issue I discovered two separate circuits tied to a 30 amp double pole breaker so all that got redone as well. It had the dishwasher, the washing machine, the vent fan, an outside receptacle and originally a garbage disposer all on that circuit or circuits however you want to classify that. House was probably built in the 30's or 40's. Most of the wire is still the old cable with the black woven material for an outside sheath. It is due for a complete rewire.

nealtw 08-14-2014 05:19 PM

That wire was still used into the sixties I think, the older of it had a ground wire that was half the size of the black and white.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:07 AM.