Please Critique My Wiring Diagram

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by eric3872, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I am about to start rewiring the lighting in my kitchen. Right now I've got four lights on one circuit controlled by two separate single pole switches (two sets of two lights, each with a separate switch). Currently it's set up with 12/2 wire to the first fixture with the switches at the end of the run. What I'd like to do is add a third set of lights so the setup would be as follows:

    Light Number one: One Fixture, One dimmer switch (easy enough)..

    Light Number two: Two lights and a 3-way dimmer

    Light Number three: Three lights and another 3-way dimmer.

    I'd like to keep the power feed from the panel at the first light and distribute everything from there if possible. Otherwise, I'll have to tear out the whole ceiling. Please see the link below for the diagram. I would really appreciate any suggestions.

    http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0CbuXLlq4aNnHQ

    Attached Files:

  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Carolina
    no it will not work and needs a lot of help which i don't have time to do right now
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Supply one of the three ways with the power for the circuit and install three conductor (black, white, red) between the two switches and two (black and white) to the light.

    What you have drawn will not work and will only trip the breaker when you flip one of the switches.

    The white conductor when used as a neutral or connect to the neutral is never connected to the switch. It is possible to use the white wire as a colored wired but it must be identified by tape, paint, sharpie or something so it is no longer white.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,043
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    His drawing is VERY convoluted, but if you enlarge it and trace the wires, it will work. It may NOT be the most "elegant" system, however.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Carolina
    It took me a while to figure out how to make it large enough to see good but you are correct. My bad
  6. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Thanks for the responses. Any thoughts on how to simplify this? I've thought about running the power to the switch first rather than the fixture but that will involve longer runs and a lot more ceiling demo.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,043
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It would "simplify" it immensely if there were some way to run some wires directly rather than using all those wire nuts which will "Fill up" the J-boxes quickly. Your drawing is somewhat vague, but you only want ONE dimmer switch on a circuit. If you use two, assuming they are NOT hi-tech versions operating a central dimming control, they will be cumulative and you will only be able to raise the brightness to the level of the one with the lowest setting.
  8. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Thanks for the info. I've got two sets of these lutron 3 way dimmers. They are a master and slave configuration. I guess I assumed if each set was controlling a separate fixture, they wouldn't interfere with each other even if they were in the same circuit.
  9. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    You'd best check the wiring diagrams for your dimmers carefully. Many 3-way dimmers require the presence of a neutral in at least one
    of the switch locations, and your system doesn't seem to provide for that.
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Carolina
    If it is going to be inspected and I hope that it is and you are under the 2011 cycle of the NEC it is required also. This is the reason for post three
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,043
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    "Being in the same circuit" and "controlling different fixtures" are two different things so we would have to know what you mean by those terms.
  12. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    I understand. I'm going to run the power through the power through the switches. I've decided to split this up into two circuits and will follow your advise from post three.
  13. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Right now there are two lights on the same circuit. They are controlled by two separate single pole switches. I want to put them both on three ways and be able to control them independently. It sounds like having more than one 3 way on a circuit is not a good idea so I will wire another circuit and re-route the power through the switches. Right now the lights are at the beginning of the run with the switches at the end. I was hoping to avoid having to rewire.
  14. eric3872

    eric3872 New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    new york
    Ok... Here's my plan B. I've revised the diagram. I'll have to spend some more time demoing the ceiling but I've got an extra slot I can use, so I'm going to use two circuits. I'll run 2 wire cable to the switches and 3-wire between dimmers. The lights will be at the end of the run. I need to splice the first circuit for the two separate lights. Please have a look. Thanks. 20130203_143458.jpg
  15. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    It's fine. Procede as planned.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,043
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I want to put them both on three ways and be able to control them independently. It sounds like having more than one 3 way on a circuit is not a good idea

    IF they are NOW independent, then they will still be independent after you install the 3 way switches. You can put as many 3-way switches "on a circuit" as you want, you just can't have more that 2 controlling any given set of fixtures. In addition, it makes no difference whether the switches are at the beginning, middle, or end of the lighting "string", as long as the two switches have power and are connected together before sending the power to the lights. What you are "saying" and what you "mean" may be two different things, or you are not understanding the wiring circuitry the way you should.
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