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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/12/2005 6:33:23 PM EDT
Blessing upon you in advance if you have the patience to wade through this; electricity is the weakest of all my weak points:

A strange construction situation is forcing me to switch two kitchen lights and two ceiling fans with lights through a double box. I brought power to the box from the breaker panel with 14/2. Each of the two kitchen lights has 14/2 going to it. Each of the two ceiling fans has a 14/3 wire going to it. The red wires in the 14/3's power the fan lights, and the black wires power the fans proper.

Can I pigtail the two kitchen light black wires and the two fan light red wires together, and then run them to one of the switches? And pigtail the two fan black wires together and run them to the other switch? i.e., have one switch turn on all four lights and the other turn on both fan motors? (Fan speed can be controlled by the pull chains.)

How do I get power to both of those pigtails? Just a little piece of wire running between wire nuts?

Thanks in advance for preventing me from burning down my house or lighting myself up so everyone can see my skeleton like in the cartoons -

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:37:41 PM EDT
How many total amps are you wanting to runoff the switches and how far was it from the breaker?
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:46:29 PM EDT
The box is about thirty feet from the panel.

I can't remember the amperage of the fans, but 15 should be more than adequate. Four light bulbs and two ceiling fans don't draw much.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:46:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 6:48:03 PM EDT by ar-wrench]
Yes you can do that as long as you don't overload your cicruit. If the 4 lights are 100 watts or less, no problem. If you have 4 500 watt lights, check your breaker rating and rewire the circuit with 12 ga wiring.

Bring one or two hot circuits to your switch box , and run from there to your lights, and fans. Just run the wiring in parallel circuits like you would several outlets on one circuit.

If this description doesn't make sense, get a book on wiring, or get some help from someone local that can do wiring.

This is all covered in the NEC book, but you knew that.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:50:51 PM EDT
Once you answer the question below you can determine if the 14 ga wire can handle the load. The
Tell us what the wattage is on each bulb and the amp draw on the fans. (and the total lenght of run back to the panel.

next question is

does your electrical code allow you to wire that way?

The answer to your question is yes- tying the all the light in circuit with one switch and the fan motors in circuit to the other switch will work. You would make the connection to the supply voltage in the J-box at the switches. i.e. jump the incoming supply from one switch to the other on the input and the just connect the respective circuits to each switch on the output. I can draw it for you and I'm sure an electrician on the board can draw it better.

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 6:52:12 PM EDT
Thanks. I don't even know what a NEC book is

I don't usually do anything electrical but run the wires, but this box is in a false wall behind kitchen cabinets and the wiring will be inaccessible once the granite countertops go on. I haven't been able to get an electrician in here and want to get things rolling, so I'm giving it a wack.

The lights are flourescents, only like 19 watts.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:02:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
Thanks. I don't even know what a NEC book is

I don't usually do anything electrical but run the wires, but this box is in a false wall behind kitchen cabinets and the wiring will be inaccessible once the granite countertops go on. I haven't been able to get an electrician in here and want to get things rolling, so I'm giving it a wack.

The lights are flourescents, only like 19 watts.



Huh

Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:06:07 PM EDT
NEC is "National Electrical Code", about 2 " thick, boring and about impossible to find just what you want in it (although it is in there somewhere).

Check the max draw on your light ballasts, it will be higher than the run rating on your bulbs. Probably ok, but check anyway.

You will have to have access to the switch box in the furure for changing the switches when (not if) they fail.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:13:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 7:15:38 PM EDT by jasondcrum]
LoL

I just drew up the diagram but I was in a hurry before I spent the time and someone beat me to it.
I didn't use Acad- I did it in paint!

Its so damn awful I am laughing as I have the wife host it. here ya go.



on top of that I did it wrong, hold on
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:21:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 7:31:38 PM EDT by jasondcrum]




BTW all connections are made in j-boxes/ junction boxes
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:21:46 PM EDT
OMG.... 14 doesnt even exist as far as I'm concerned...at least not on my jobs.. 12 is the minumim I run. get a book on wiring and read grasshoppper
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:27:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By realist:
OMG.... 14 doesnt even exist as far as I'm concerned...at least not on my jobs.. 12 is the minumim I run. get a book on wiring and read grasshoppper



The only circuit I am comfortable running 14 ga on is for the dedicated smoke detector circuit. All other lighting/outlet circuits are 12 ga.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:29:07 PM EDT
jasondcrum beat me to it, but heres what i whipped up - a note - any point that is wire nutted will need to be in a junction box - and to meet code that box needs to be accessible.

DISCLAIMER - this is not a substitute for an electrician or takes the place of a legit inspection. That said :



Top is the basic layout the lower is the schematic look at it.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:32:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 7:35:11 PM EDT by jasondcrum]
Your diagram is better drawn.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:34:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By xanadu:

Originally Posted By Rodent:
Thanks. I don't even know what a NEC book is

I don't usually do anything electrical but run the wires, but this box is in a false wall behind kitchen cabinets and the wiring will be inaccessible once the granite countertops go on. I haven't been able to get an electrician in here and want to get things rolling, so I'm giving it a wack.

The lights are flourescents, only like 19 watts.



Huh




The walls are stressed-skin panels, I can't run wire through them. I built a six-inch false wall behind the kitchen cabinets (to bring them out even with the 6" timberframe posts) and ran the wiring through there.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:35:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar-wrench:

You will have to have access to the switch box in the furure for changing the switches when (not if) they fail.



I'll have access to the box, just not the wiring. The box is in the side of a cabinet.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 7:39:19 PM EDT
Thank you for the diagrams. That's exactly what I need. I can put the junction boxes behind a cabinet I can unbolt.

The ARFCom Braintrust never lets me down.

P.S. to Realist and ar-wrench: The electrician wired my whole house in 14, except for 12 in the kitchen and bathrooms.
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