Help with wiring diagram

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by eric3872, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I'm hoping someone can help me with a wiring diagram or some input on a rewiring project I'm doing in my kitchen.

    I have two sets of fixtures that are on a single circuit and controlled by a single pole switch (4 fixtures total) with the fixtures at the beginning of the run. I would like to separate them so that they are two and two (each set of two fixtures controlled separately by 3-way switches). I am planning on reversing the run so that the switches are at the beginning rather than the fixtures. Can I splice the run before the switches so I can control each set of fixtures separately, or do I need a new run back to the panel to control the second set of fixtures?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    First we would have know HOW you are getting power to the switch at the "beginning of the run", then whether you have the proper wiring to separate the fixures, and if not how will you install the necessary wires.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    The answer might also change slightly if you have individual conductors in conduit, vs. NM cable which might have 2 or 3 conductors in it's sheath.
  4. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Currently the 4 fixtures are wired with 14/2 BX from a 20amp breaker with the single pole switch at the end of the run. I will rewire if necessary back to the breaker box, but I'd like to use the single circuit on the 20 amp rather than using another slot. I'm hoping to splice the power source before the switches and gang the two 3-ways.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  5. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I have some 12/3 MC cable laying around, but I might buy some new NM for ease of installation.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    You cannot have 14ga wire on a 20A breaker, so that would be the first thing you must address.

    You will need a separate run of 12/3WG between each set of 3-way switches.
  7. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Thanks Cacher Chick. I am planning on replacing the 14/2 with 12ga wire. So, you are saying I cannot have two sets of 3way switches on a single feed from the 20amp circuit? I'd need to run them each on individual circuits?
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    No, you can have whatever you want on a single circuit (within some certain limitations, and a few lights isn't one of them!), but that if you have a 20A breaker, you can't have anything being fed by 14g wire. The CB protects the wiring from overheating, not the things connected to it (eg., putting a 200W lightbulb in a lamp only designed for a 60W max).
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,259
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If the wiring is all 14ga, it would be easier to switch to a 15A breaker than it would be to replace all of the wire in the circuit.

    In any case, to use 3-way switches to operate the lights from 2 separate locations, between those switches you will need to have conductors for the hot, neutral, & traveler + an equipment grounding conductor.

    All of the switches can be fed from the same circuit, but you need 4 wires running between the switches for each set of lights.
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