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JACUSTOMER-0ix4l2x2-, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Master Electrician with over 26 years experience
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I want to add a new light switch for under cabinet lighting

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I want to add a new light switch for under cabinet lighting in the kitchen. I want to put it next to the garbage disposal switch (swap 1 gang to 2 gang). should i draw power from that switch or run a line to an outlet close by?

mstr_elec :

Hi, My name is Tony. From an electrical code standpoint, the garbage disposal should be on it's own circuit. It would be better to tap off an outlet close by. Depending on the circuit breaker that the existing outlet is on (15 or 20 amp) will determine the correct wire size to use. If it's a 20 amp breaker, you should use 12 gauge wire. If it's old it may be on a 15 amp circuit. In that case you use 14 gauge wire.

Customer:

it's older and i have already run 14 gauge. Also the lights are LED. there will be 5 of them, but the total Wattage will be 24.


 


now i need a little help with the wiring. There is already 2 lines coming into that outlet box. I'm assuming one is supplying the power and the other supplying power to somewhere else. how would i make my connection to draw power?

mstr_elec :

You want to tap of the wires going to the outlet. If the outlet already has 2 white and 2 black wires on it, You can remove the black wires, twist them together, add your new black, and a small pigtail to the existing outlet (so now you only have one black wire to the outlet), and cap the splice you are making with a red wirenut. Do the same for the white wires.

mstr_elec :

If the outlet only has one black and one white, you can simply tap off the other screws of the outlet.

Customer:

There is 2 white and black. so before i add any new wires i can pig tail those pairs and into one and my existing setup will work. I can then add my switch and have a line from the newly available spots on the outlet to the switch. From there I pig tail the blacks and pig tail the whites and connect them to the switch. Does this sound correct?

Customer:

If something is not clear just let me know


 

mstr_elec :

For the most part. The new switch will have 2 black wires. One from the splice and the other going to the light circuit. The white going to the lights will just go to the white splice. (I.E no whit wires to the switch. )

Customer:

Tony


 


I seem to have it working. i did a test run with one light to the switch and tested the outlet. i did realize the outlet is on a 20amp so on the pig tail i will use 12 gauge, but do i need to use 12 gauge also from the switch to the low wattage lights also or the 14 will be ok?

mstr_elec, Electrical Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience: 30 years in the electrical and control industry
mstr_elec and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
#14 will be fine from switch to lights according to NEC.
JACUSTOMER-0ix4l2x2-, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 16
Experience: Master Electrician with over 26 years experience
JACUSTOMER-0ix4l2x2- and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

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