multiple rooms on one circuit

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caliban33
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:19 am

multiple rooms on one circuit

Post by caliban33 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:02 am

2nd floor reduced.jpg
2nd floor reduced.jpg (70.44 KiB) Viewed 102 times
bedroom4 ceiling light.jpg
bedroom4 ceiling light.jpg (88.59 KiB) Viewed 102 times
Hi all,

I tried finding an answer to this in the forum but was unsuccessful. if you refer to the blueprint I have attached, the following are all on the same 20A circuit: switch & light in en suite, switch & outlets in bedroom 4, switch and outlet in bedroom 3. ceiling lights were added to bedrooms 3 and 4 (prior to me buying the house). The ceiling light in bedroom 4 was in an odd location, so I moved it 4ft away to the centre of the room. The 2nd pic shows the wiring of the light fixture before I moved it. First I found it weird that white wires were joined with black wires, but if you look closely, black tape was wrapped around one of the white wire. So I assumed it was my hot wire and that's why it is connected to the 2nd black wire, making the other set of black/white my neutral. BTW, the single capped black wire is actually a ground wire wrapped in electrical tape (found it like that). Anyway, I put everything in a junction box, and ran new wires 4ft to the new ceiling light location. When I turned the power back on I only have power to bedroom 3, and outlet of bedroom 4 adjacent to bedroom 3. No power to bedroom 4 switch , and en suite. Any help figuring this out would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!


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Aaron
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: multiple rooms on one circuit

Post by Aaron » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:14 am

So the black tape around the white wire usually (should) indicate that it's coming from a switch. The black wire of the same cable sends current down to the switch, and when the switch is turned on, the current gets relayed back up the white wire. Since the white wire is NOT a neutral, the black tape around it indicates this. So this wire is often the hot that gets connected to the light's black wire. The light's white wire gets connected to the REAL neutral entering the box (the white without black tape).

If you are extending the light, then you would just wire your extension wire the same as you would wire the light--tie the black to the white-with-black-tape, and the white to the white. Then in the new box, black to black and white to white.

A ground wire should not have electrical tape on it... it should just be bare copper. I would remove that tape to avoid confusion.

Let us know if you have it set up this way... you may need a circuit tester for troubleshooting.

caliban33
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:19 am

Re: multiple rooms on one circuit

Post by caliban33 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:49 am

HI Aaron,

Sorry for the delayed response here. You were right about the switch wire. I also removed the tape around the ground. Unfortunately the light were still not coming on. I took readings with my tester and I was only getting 109V at the light. I wasn't able to figure out why.

I traced the power back to the supplying outlet. The voltage was fine there. So, since part of my project was to install a new ceiling light in a closet, I pigtailed from that point on and replaced all the wires to the old switch and ceiling light. everything works fine now.

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Aaron
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Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: multiple rooms on one circuit

Post by Aaron » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:55 am

caliban33 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:49 am
Sorry for the delayed response here. You were right about the switch wire. I also removed the tape around the ground. Unfortunately the light were still not coming on. I took readings with my tester and I was only getting 109V at the light. I wasn't able to figure out why.
You had 109V and not around 120V? That would be concerning. You should either have voltage or no voltage. If you do have voltage it should be 120V +/- 5V.
caliban33 wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:49 am
I traced the power back to the supplying outlet. The voltage was fine there. So, since part of my project was to install a new ceiling light in a closet, I pigtailed from that point on and replaced all the wires to the old switch and ceiling light. everything works fine now.
That's very odd... so the wire where you tested 109V has been removed completely and replaced?

I can't think of why that would occur... unless there was a dimmer switch in the circuit or something, and you didn't have it at full brightness? Still, I would think most lights should still work at 109V even.

Anyway.... all's well that ends well. Glad you figured it out.

caliban33
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:19 am

Re: multiple rooms on one circuit

Post by caliban33 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:31 am

Yes I replaced the entire thing from the outlet to the switch with new cable. My readings were 117V after doing that. I am not an electrician, so I really don't know what was going on there. it was easier to simply redo the whole thing than troubleshoot it. fishing the new cable was very easy.

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