How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike Your Own Question

Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2742
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
11762411
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Mike is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I want to add a new light and switch to an existing switch

Resolved Question:

I want to add a new light and switch to an existing switch box. The existing switch doesn't look to be in line with the power source but at the end of the line (one black wire, one white wire and a ground) rather than black into the switch and black out again with the neutral passing through. How do I get power to the new switch and lights?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
How are the wires connected to the switch? How are the wires from the currently installed light fixture connected to the wires in the box?

Edited by Mike Pettinato on 11/23/2009 at 5:30 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
one white wire and one black wire, each connected to one of the terminal posts on the switch.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Great... that confirms that you don't have a neutral in this box and will need to jump power from the light box or another location. Assuming you would like to get power from the light fixture junction box, I will need to know how the wires are connected in that box.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't know how it is wired at the junction box. I haven't opened it. what should I look for when I do?
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Just tell me how the wires are connected. You should have at least two cables coming into the box (each cable consisting of one black and one white - disregard grounds for now), maybe more, I'll need to know how they are connected to each other and what color wires the light fixture wires are connected to.

Edited by Mike Pettinato on 11/23/2009 at 6:37 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm not at home. I have my husband looking and will let you know shortly.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok, the current switch runs lights. coming in to the box is 1 white wire and one red wire. the white wire is conneced to the 2 white wires coming from the fixtures. the red wire is connected to 2 white wires and one black wire headed to the switch. the 2 black wires from the fixtures are hooked together and to 1 black wire going to the switch.
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok... can you try explaining it without explaining where the wires are going, I'm having trouble following your explanation. Can you just tell me how many wires you have coming into the box and how they are grouped together? You should have insulated cables that have mulitiple wires coming out of them. Is this not the case?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

coming in there is 1 insulated cable with a red and white wire. everything else is individual wires.

 

white wire in connected to 2 white wires (one from each fixture)

 

red wire in connected to 2 white wires and 1 black (that go back out of the box)

 

2 black wires on the fixtures are connected together with one additional black wire (that goes back out of the box)

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Ok great, it appears that the red wire in the box is "power" and the white wires that the light fixture white wires are connected to is "neutral". These are the wires that you'll want to tap into to get power at your new fixture. You'll need 14/2 (if this is a 15amp circuit) or 12/2 (if this is a 20amp) circuit. This cable will have a black and a white wire plus a ground. Black connects to the bundle with the red wire and white connects to the same white wire the light fixtures are connected to. You'll run this cable to your new light fixture box. Then run another cable from this light fixture box to your switch. At your switch you simply connect white to one screw, black to the other screw, and then your ground to the green ground screw. At the light box you connect the black wire to the white wire going to your new switch. This leaves one black and one white wire, which connect to your light fixture, black to black and white to white

Regards,
Mike
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

can I run the power to the switch first and then to the fixture?

 

Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Sure, if that is an easier run for you, you absolutely can. In that case you would just connect the white wires together in your new switch box and secure them with a wire nut. That would leave you with the two black wires which both connect to the switch, one to one screw, the other wire to the other screw. Then at your light fixture, connect black to black, white to white, and ground to ground. As you can see, this is the more straight forward method and is desirable if it's not overly difficult to run a wire to your switch and then from the switch to the light fixture.

Regards,
Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2742
Experience: Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
Mike and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector