Switch Loop

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by derick2011, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Nov 15, 2011 #1

    derick2011

    derick2011

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    I finished off an eave. There was a light in the middle of the eave. I put a light on the back wall and front wall, with a switch at the end. I took the light out that was in middle of eave and pigtailed black-to-black and white-to-white in the junction box. I ran cable to back wall for light, then to front wall for light, then to switch.

    I am confused as to how exactly to wire for a switch loop. So I have two lights before the switch. Do I make the switch at the first light in the series. Also, for the first light in series that gets the switch, if there is a black and white wire coming out of the light fixture, how do the wires connect to the fixture? Black to Black, white to black, does it matter? I made a diagram on powerpoint, I can not upload. I can email directly.
     
  2. Nov 15, 2011 #2

    joecaption

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    The lights should have been wired black to black and white to white excpt the one closest to the switch. That one gets white to white and the black gets run down to the switch, connected to one side and the other side runs back up to the light and connected to the black. Often times you run reguler romax down to the switch and just wrap the white with black elec. tape so you know it's a switch wire and then you will have a ground to connect.
     
  3. Nov 16, 2011 #3

    derick2011

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    Alright, I want to make sure I got it. Junction box for last light: cable coming in from power source: white wire connected to white wire from light; black wire pigtailed with black wire running to switch. White wire coming from switch pigtailed with black wire from light. Correct?
     
  4. Nov 16, 2011 #4

    derick2011

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    When I wired it like that, the light closes to the switch worked off the switch. The light between the power source and light closes to the switch did not work off the switch and was always on.
     
  5. Nov 16, 2011 #5

    derick2011

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    what does it mean when you flip the switch and both lights come on but one goes out after a split second and is dimly lit (if you flip the switch off then on again the first light may go out then the other one is lit)? Using CFLs.
     
  6. Nov 16, 2011 #6

    derick2011

    derick2011

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    I attached a wiring diagram i found in book. I can't figured out how to wire for two lights. I tried doing this what's in the picture for the light closes to the power source. Connect black wire to white and white to white from light.

    Then in the next junction box (light closes to switch) doing this: pigtailing white wires from switch and power source together. Black wires runs to top of switch and connects to black wire off light.

    I can see how the current flows. Power comes into the bottom of the switch and leaves top. When I wire it like this though I get the: only one light works problem and flipping switch on and off again the other light now works and the first doesn't thing.

    I tried wiring it so I pigtailed all black wires together all the way to switch, then connected white wires to light to and from lights. I got the one light thing again.

    switch loop.jpg
     
  7. Nov 16, 2011 #7

    nealtw

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    If the power is coming into the light fixture and then to the switch.
    Pig tail power black to switch white switch black to lamp black and second light black
    Pigtail power white to lamp white and second light white.
     
  8. Nov 16, 2011 #8

    joecaption

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  9. Nov 16, 2011 #9

    JoeD

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    Did you run 14/3 between the two lights? You can't control two lights with a switch loop without using 14/3 between the lights.

    This drawing has three light but two is the same.

    multilightswloop.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  10. Nov 16, 2011 #10

    derick2011

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    No I did not use 14/3. its 14/2. Did you see the wiring diagram attachment. They used 14/2. but u are saying if its more than one light on a switch loop you got to use 14/3? Damn. Curious, what is the deal with both lights coming on and then one going out and flipping the switch off/on could reverse them? using CFLs.
     
  11. Nov 16, 2011 #11

    JoeD

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    Your diagram only has one fixture. It changes when you go to more then one fixture. You either need to connect the switch to the first fixture or use 14/3 between the fixtures.
     
  12. Nov 16, 2011 #12

    joecaption

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    Is it a reguler switch or a dimmable one. Reguler CFL's can not be controled by a dimmer switch. There are new ones out that can be but it will say right on the box.
     
  13. Nov 16, 2011 #13

    joecaption

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    You only need 14-3 if it's a double pole switch. If it's not then 14-2 with ground will work fine.
     
  14. Nov 17, 2011 #14

    derick2011

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    Neal that is how I wired the circuit, and I am getting the only one light working thing at a time. I can't figure it out. I'm going to try different bulbs. If that doesn't work I am going to use the 14/3 bn lights
     
  15. Nov 17, 2011 #15

    derick2011

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    regular single pole switch, CFL are not dimmer capable.
     
  16. Nov 17, 2011 #16

    joecaption

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  17. Nov 17, 2011 #17

    JoeD

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    Wrong with two fixtures you must use 14/3 between them.
     
  18. Nov 17, 2011 #18

    JoeD

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    I already told you and made a diagram. You MUST use 14/3 to make it work the way you have describe the wiring with power to the first light then the second light then the switch.
     
  19. Nov 17, 2011 #19

    nealtw

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    Thanks Joe, went back and read it more carefully. What Joe is saying is you need another wire to bring power to the switch or at least to the light closest to the switch and that would be 14/3.
     
  20. Nov 18, 2011 #20

    joecaption

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    I went back and read all the post from the org. poster. Looks like he's just trying to turn on more then one light with just one switch. There's no 3 conductor wire needed to do that. If I'm wrong and that's not what he's trying to do please forgive me.

    Light Switch Wiring Diagram - Multiple Lights
    For some reason in this picture there showing the bare ground as a yellow wire, which in new code for 12 DC volts in boats so the 110 and 12 volt DC ground do not get crossed but the rest of the diagram is right.
     

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