Ran new wire to old Switch Box

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Jmaclicious
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Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:08 am

Hey, just ran a new power feed to a switch box upstairs in order to get rid of a junction box in the basement ceiling so i can drywall (this switch box feeds power for lights and outlets) However it was all the old black wiring that didn't have a ground wire and has paper type material in it.. Should I do anything special with the new ground wire in the 14/2 i ran (currently I just wire-nutted it inside the box) Thanks again :mrgreen:

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:15 am

If you have a ground that cannot be connected to anything, just fold it and tuck it neatly to the back of thd box. If you have a tiny wirenut, you could put that at the end of the wire but it's not necessary.

Never trim it to the sheath! Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

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emtnut
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by emtnut » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:02 am

Can't remember if you are in Canada or US.

If Canada, then even our plastic boxes have a ground strap in them.
Either way, if it is a metal box, then bond the box.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:22 pm

Yeah if you can attach to the box, you may as well, whether the ground conductor actually supplies ground or not.

In the US you'll need to find a 10-32 screw to screw into a tapped hole in most metal boxes. If the box is non-metallic, just fold the wire as I described above.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:37 pm

emtnut wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:02 am
Can't remember if you are in Canada or US.

If Canada, then even our plastic boxes have a ground strap in them.
Either way, if it is a metal box, then bond the box.

In canada :), that wire was a PITA to get in but i did it, i didn't want to destroy the finished wall considering the store that sells the paint is no longer around so i ended up fishing it through an existing connector, however it was super tight to get the wire through considering the old wire thats in the connector was more bulky than a new-age 14/2 and I didn't have much access/room to wiggle around (it looked like a typical 3/8" 1 screw connector), got the wire through but hopefully won't be an issue down the road. Im also looking to do a similar thing to another switch box in the back, however this time it will be a single 14/3 going through the connector which hopefully won't be as difficult.

This is what the connector looked like, sheathing got a little pinched trying to get it in, hoping it’ll still be okay and not too tight. I could move it around ever so slightly but it’s not like I’d be able to pull it out with ease.

after a bit of research, I found that the specs for this connector used is a Zinc Die Cast Locknut suggested use for a single 10/3.
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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:34 pm

It's not ideal, as you implied, but it'll do. You are allowed one or two 14/2 or 12/2 NM cables per "port" on a box, so legally you're in the clear. As long as the insulation of the conductors is not compromised within the sheath, if you just have a slight rip it's fine.

Interestingly our 14/2 and 12/2 Type NM-B cable here in the states still has that paper in it. I don't think Canadian Type NMD cable has paper in it, at least not 14/2 or 12/2.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:50 pm

Aaron wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:34 pm
It's not ideal, as you implied, but it'll do. You are allowed one or two 14/2 or 12/2 NM cables per "port" on a box, so legally you're in the clear. As long as the insulation of the conductors is not compromised within the sheath, if you just have a slight rip it's fine.

Interestingly our 14/2 and 12/2 Type NM-B cable here in the states still has that paper in it. I don't think Canadian Type NMD cable has paper in it, at least not 14/2 or 12/2.

Awesome good to know, i was worried incase it was pinching too tightly and would cause a problem, however everything is working so im happy. Also Im trying to figure out what to do with my backstairs code light. So currently power wire goes into code light then it DID split into 2 different junction boxes for that switch i just re-wired, so as of now it has Power from panel to the Basement code light a 14-3 from the light to a junction box, then 14-3 to the basement switch, and from this junction box there are 2x 14-2's that go upstairs to the back door 3 gang switch that controls exterior light, back door light, and the 3-way switch basement light, but it also feeds power to my kitchen lights, rec-room light and outlets. The wiring to the 3 way switch is a 14/2 and the white has black marker on it.

I plan on running new power wire, swapping out the light fixture, relocating the basement light switch. Also I have a new junction box I can use thats hidden in the closet instead if i can just keep the 14/2 on the current 3-way switch and tie into it from there to avoid cutting walls upstairs if possible, if not and in order to meet code I can cut the wall in order to do the work necessary as I plan on repainting this area at some point.. what is the best way I should try to wire this. I have ideas, but I keep getting confused because of the loads of unneccseary junction boxes that are finally coming to an end.
Last edited by Jmaclicious on Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:38 pm

Sorry I cant make heads or tails of what you wrote or your pics. The best thing to do is to draw a diagram of the wiring as it exists and then a diagram of what you want so the comparison can be made at a glance.

Note where sources of power exist.

Also, dedicated junction boxes should be avoided as much as possible with new wiring. Make junctions in fixture, switch, and receptable boxes instead.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:12 am

Aaron wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:38 pm
Sorry I cant make heads or tails of what you wrote or your pics. The best thing to do is to draw a diagram of the wiring as it exists and then a diagram of what you want so the comparison can be made at a glance.

Note where sources of power exist.

Also, dedicated junction boxes should be avoided as much as possible with new wiring. Make junctions in fixture, switch, and receptable boxes instead.
Sorry for bad pics. I tried to draw an example but may not be good.

Current set up:
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And how I would like the position to be:
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I have a junction box in the closet because previously my kitchen fridge and few upstairs outlets were connected to an outlet in my old laundry room. But I couldn’t run new wire without gutting my kitchen so I just converted the old outlet into a junction box and stuffed it into the closet so I can hide it and keep it accessible. And I could use it if needed as the 2x 14/2 wires going to the upstairs switch would reach if I had to cut them. I just want the easiest less mess pass inspection route as possible. Ideally I’d like to run power to switch then 14/3 between the switches then a 14/2 to the light. But the way it’s set up it’s a mess and I’d just prefer to do whatever will get me through the inspection.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:02 am

Ok, well looks like you know what you want to do. I'm not sure what question you have?

I can say it's usually pretty tough to move circuits around when they're behind drywall. Sometimes you can swing one circuit to tie into another in an accessible spot, but this really isn't often done unless it was done wrong in the first place.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm

Aaron wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:02 am
Ok, well looks like you know what you want to do. I'm not sure what question you have?

I can say it's usually pretty tough to move circuits around when they're behind drywall. Sometimes you can swing one circuit to tie into another in an accessible spot, but this really isn't often done unless it was done wrong in the first place.
I guess pretty much I just want to know if the 2x 14/2's going to the upstairs switch is necessary, could I just run a 14/2 power wire to the first switch in basement, 14/3 to the code light, and then 14/3 from the light to the upstairs switch, but could this 14/3 also be used to power the other 2 switches? That way i could drill a hole into the wall to access the connector piece, pull those 2x 14/2 wires out and slip a single 14/3 in there. Kind of like this picture, but would I just pigtail from the black in the last switch for power for the other switches in my upstairs box?
Image

Or should I just run 14/2 power to either one of the switches, a 14/3 to the next switch, and then a 14/2 to the light. (first option would be less destructive as I could drill a smaller hole to access the connector to loosen it up, pull the 2 wires out and slip a 14/3 in there) Second option I would have to open up the wall a bit to add a second connector.
Or this
Image

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:14 pm

Okay, well I can't comment on what is necessary for you or not. I can tell you that if you have two 14/2 cables that are on the same circuit (breaker) that supply constant power and are running in parallel from point A to point B, then yeah, it's redundant. You just need one 14/2 cable.

But if they're on separate circuits, there may be a reason for that. If they power receptacles as well as lights, they may exist to balance 15 amp loads in your panel. Do you have reason to believe your existing wiring is all wrong?

I know you want to rewire as optimally and least invasively as possible, but I'm not sure anyone can help you with that without actually being there in person, seeing your situation, and really understanding it in real detail.

There are a few ways to run 3-way switches, some of which you posted... you just have to figure out what you already have wired, what you want, and apply it to your scenario.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm

Aaron wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:14 pm
Okay, well I can't comment on what is necessary for you or not. I can tell you that if you have two 14/2 cables that are on the same circuit (breaker) that supply constant power and are running in parallel from point A to point B, then yeah, it's redundant. You just need one 14/2 cable.

But if they're on separate circuits, there may be a reason for that. If they power receptacles as well as lights, they may exist to balance 15 amp loads in your panel. Do you have reason to believe your existing wiring is all wrong?

I know you want to rewire as optimally and least invasively as possible, but I'm not sure anyone can help you with that without actually being there in person, seeing your situation, and really understanding it in real detail.

There are a few ways to run 3-way switches, some of which you posted... you just have to figure out what you already have wired, what you want, and apply it to your scenario.
The switch that has both 14/2's going into that box are all on the same 15A breaker, If i run the 14/3 from the light to this switch as shown in the picture is the black considered the hot still to pig tail the other two switches together with this wire? I dont see a black mark on that white wire there but the picture shows the black and white getting nutted together at the light. The basement isn't finished yet, so I am still just trying to complete the rough wiring for inspection and this is the last piece to clean up.

Before the power came into the light and split two ways (one to a junction box in the ceiling that which then went to a few basement outlets and into a switch at my front door to control the exterior light, my rec-room front door light, a rec-room outlet, bedroom outlet; and the other junction box came into the 3 way switch and then went upstairs to my backdoor switch which powers the backdoor light, back exterior light, kitchen light, as well as the remaining 3 rec-room outlets. I got rid of the first junction box so that first section is now on its own circuit, just working to get this one put on its own now.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:25 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
The switch that has both 14/2's going into that box are all on the same 15A breaker,
If both those 14/2s have *constant* power to the switch box AND you know for a fact they're on the same circuit, then yes, they're redundant.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
If i run the 14/3 from the light to this switch as shown in the picture is the black considered the hot still to pig tail the other two switches together with this wire?
In a 3-way switch scenario, typically red and black are the "traveler" wires, they are connected to the brass screws of the switch. That relates to the second diagram you posted of a 3-way switch circuit scenario, and is the one that I recommend for new-construction wiring because it's easy to understand and the color scheme and terminal connections are consistent in both 3-way switch boxes. Also no marking of the white wire is necessary because it's always neutral. Best of all, 14/2 goes to the light which makes for a very unambiguous connection for the fixture.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
I dont see a black mark on that white wire there but the picture shows the black and white getting nutted together at the light. The basement isn't finished yet, so I am still just trying to complete the rough wiring for inspection and this is the last piece to clean up.
You will have to test for power on those spliced leads to really understand without a shadow of doubt your circuit design. If there *is* power on that white wire, it should be marked with a black marker to indicate it *may* carry power depending on the switch position of a 3-way switch. This indication is missing in your first diagram pic! there should be a black mark on both the fixture side and the switch side.

It is VERY typical for electricians and non-electricians alike to neglect this marking.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
Before the power came into the light and split two ways (one to a junction box in the ceiling that which then went to a few basement outlets and into a switch at my front door to control the exterior light, my rec-room front door light, a rec-room outlet, bedroom outlet; and the other junction box came into the 3 way switch and then went upstairs to my backdoor switch which powers the backdoor light, back exterior light, kitchen light, as well as the remaining rec-room outlets. I got rid of the first junction box so that first section is now on its own circuit, just working to get this one put on its own now.
Ok. Sounds good. ;)

Typically a modern house will have its lights all on couple or a few circuits, and they're almost always 15 amp. (In Canada it may actually be required to be 15 amp.)

Receptacles ideally should be on their own circuits, segregated from lighting circuits. You typically have a mix of 15 amp and 20 amp circuits for receptacles.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:03 pm

Aaron wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:25 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
The switch that has both 14/2's going into that box are all on the same 15A breaker,
If both those 14/2s have *constant* power to the switch box AND you know for a fact they're on the same circuit, then yes, they're redundant.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
If i run the 14/3 from the light to this switch as shown in the picture is the black considered the hot still to pig tail the other two switches together with this wire?
In a 3-way switch scenario, typically red and black are the "traveler" wires, they are connected to the brass screws of the switch. That relates to the second diagram you posted of a 3-way switch circuit scenario, and is the one that I recommend for new-construction wiring because it's easy to understand and the color scheme and terminal connections are consistent in both 3-way switch boxes. Also no marking of the white wire is necessary because it's always neutral. Best of all, 14/2 goes to the light which makes for a very unambiguous connection for the fixture.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
I dont see a black mark on that white wire there but the picture shows the black and white getting nutted together at the light. The basement isn't finished yet, so I am still just trying to complete the rough wiring for inspection and this is the last piece to clean up.
You will have to test for power on those spliced leads to really understand without a shadow of doubt your circuit design. If there *is* power on that white wire, it should be marked with a black marker to indicate it *may* carry power depending on the switch position of a 3-way switch. This indication is missing in your first diagram pic! there should be a black mark on both the fixture side and the switch side.

It is VERY typical for electricians and non-electricians alike to neglect this marking.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:48 pm
Before the power came into the light and split two ways (one to a junction box in the ceiling that which then went to a few basement outlets and into a switch at my front door to control the exterior light, my rec-room front door light, a rec-room outlet, bedroom outlet; and the other junction box came into the 3 way switch and then went upstairs to my backdoor switch which powers the backdoor light, back exterior light, kitchen light, as well as the remaining rec-room outlets. I got rid of the first junction box so that first section is now on its own circuit, just working to get this one put on its own now.
Ok. Sounds good. ;)

Typically a modern house will have its lights all on couple or a few circuits, and they're almost always 15 amp. (In Canada it may actually be required to be 15 amp.)

Receptacles ideally should be on their own circuits, segregated from lighting circuits. You typically have a mix of 15 amp and 20 amp circuits for receptacles.
awesome thanks for the response, I think im just going to open up the wall a little bit to fit a connector through and run it like the 2nd way like you suggest, easier, and less complications for the future if i can keep the white as a neutral :D

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:22 pm

Here's that circuit diagram fixed for you. Yes, the white wire on one of the 3-way switch legs is acting as current-carrying conductor, so it should be marked accordingly! (Highlighted below.)

xLarge-3-way-switch-3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.4M3S8JN4zX.jpg
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You can always test for the presence of current on any conductor by touching one test lead to the wire in question, and the other test lead to a ground source. You know the ground is constant, and the other wire either has power or it does not.

Operate your switches to see if this changes... then draw out your circuit and compare it with the diagrams. Figure out your wiring scheme accordingly.

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Aaron
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Aaron » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:28 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:03 pm
awesome thanks for the response, I think im just going to open up the wall a little bit to fit a connector through and run it like the 2nd way like you suggest, easier, and less complications for the future if i can keep the white as a neutral :D
Yeah it's easy to develop a tunnel-vision with these things where you decide you can't open a wall at any cost. But then the workaround becomes more of a PITA than just doing it the way you WOULD do it if you DID open the wall.

I've patched walls in my 1890 house dozens of times for electrical upgrades and mods; it really doesn't faze me anymore.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by emtnut » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:03 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:03 pm

awesome thanks for the response, I think im just going to open up the wall a little bit to fit a connector through and run it like the 2nd way like you suggest, easier, and less complications for the future if i can keep the white as a neutral :D
You really need to draw out the circuit before you do anything. It involves opening all the boxes and seeing what is connected to what/where. Good to take lots of clear pictures too in case something goes wrong.
The 2 x 2/14 may be travellers and also power for something else ? If you're planning on changing that to 14/3 you could have issues.
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Jmaclicious
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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by Jmaclicious » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:02 pm

emtnut wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:03 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:03 pm

awesome thanks for the response, I think im just going to open up the wall a little bit to fit a connector through and run it like the 2nd way like you suggest, easier, and less complications for the future if i can keep the white as a neutral :D


You really need to draw out the circuit before you do anything. It involves opening all the boxes and seeing what is connected to what/where. Good to take lots of clear pictures too in case something goes wrong.
The 2 x 2/14 may be travellers and also power for something else ? If you're planning on changing that to 14/3 you could have issues.
Sweet just finished getting it going, so far so good! Also considering my upstairs plugs aren’t grounded and I’m getting an “open ground” reading on tester, is it okay to install a GFCI outlet on the circuit even though it’s connected to lighting. Or should I not worry about trying to change the first outlet out ? Or would it be better to replace the 2 different circuits with GFCI breakers even though those are much more costly.

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Re: Ran new wire to old Switch Box

Post by emtnut » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:37 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:02 pm
Sweet just finished getting it going, so far so good! Also considering my upstairs plugs aren’t grounded and I’m getting an “open ground” reading on tester, is it okay to install a GFCI outlet on the circuit even though it’s connected to lighting. Or should I not worry about trying to change the first outlet out ? Or would it be better to replace the 2 different circuits with GFCI breakers even though those are much more costly.
Yes, you can install a GFCI recept OR breaker on the whole circuit.
If your wiring is old, sometimes you will have problems with the GFCI tripping because of ground/neutral shorts or with shared neutrals from other circuits.

If that happens, you have to look at ALL the boxes on the circuit and fix the problems ... Or install separate GFCIs at each location.
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