3 recessed lights, switch at end?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ironspider, May 9, 2015.

  1. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    Greetings all, I have been having a hell of a day trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong with wiring these three recessed lights I installed today. Basically I have power coming in at the third can via 14/2. Then I have a 14/3 between that third can and the second can, another 14/3 between the second can and the fist can, and then 14/2 down to the switch.

    I've found a couple of pictures of how this wiring should happen but the last method I've gone with left me with a strange setup. Basically it had it so that can #1 was always on and when I flipped the lightswitch, can #1 would turn off and cans 2 and 3 would turn on. So I figured I could just remove that first can from teh diagram (which had 4 cans) and the resultant diagram should be correct. But it's not. every time I flip the switch on, the circuit pops.

    So what am I doing wrong with the following diagram (yellow squares are the wire connectors)? Thanks!

  2. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Aug 31, 2011
    Electrical/Embedded Software Engineer, Retired
    Des Moines, WA
    What you are showing should function correctly. My wild guess is that the white and black from the switch are mistakenly connected to white and black at the can.

    To meet recent code (NEC), you need to run the 14/3 all the way to the switch -- the neutral must be available for a future electronic dimmer/control/timer or whatever.

    Permits & inspections, right???
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your DrAWING is correct, therefore, you must not have wired the fixtures the way you drew it. In fact, it sounds like you have a 3-way switch if it turns some one and others off when you operate it.
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