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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3107
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Had a corner of a sun room with a 4 gang switch box - birds

Customer Question

Kevin-
Had a corner of a sun room with a 4 gang switch box - birds ate the wall and most of the wiring to the box. Wires going to sun room, dining room (adjacent), and ceiling fan in living room (adjacent). I have done wiring before and have the supplies to rerun the wires, but am having difficulties with determining what goes to what. The switch box was already a rats nest. What I need is some help with how to wire the switches and also a question about hot wires coming in. Can you help?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Since multiple wires enter the switch box, a multi-meter that also has a built0in audible continuity tester will be required to identify the circuit feed and the switched loop wires that extend to lighting or a switched receptacle.

2) How many wires and wire colors enter the switch box?

3) Is the sun room wiring not protected with conduit or with wood? All conductors need to be protected by some form.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It looks like there are 7 wires into/out of the box. Wires were inside the sheet rock, run through the center of studs, but the birds ate through the drywall and up to the studs in some cases. Here is my question:The switch box is in a corner of the room, (faces outside the room, into the hall) about chest level. There is an outlet below it at ankle level. There are two 12-2 cables emerging from the stud at the bottom near the outlet. Both appear to be hot when the breaker is on. There are also two 12-2 cables at the top of the wall (same stud), about 8 feet up. Both also appear to be hot when their breaker is on. Of these, one goes to the adjacent dining room light fixture and the other goes somewhere I can't determine. I know one of these hooks up to a switch in the box to turn on the dining room light. Why would both of these be hot? Since one goes to the light, I would expect it to be dead since it isn't hooked up via the switch.
Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

1) If all reside on the same circuit, then 1 cable pair is always live or hot and the other cable pairs splice to downstream receptacles or will feed a wall switch.

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

1) The house wires need to be identified using a multi-meter that also has a built-in continuity feature. If 1 circuit feed, then only 1 cable in the box will always be live whether switched or not.

The remainder of the cables will either feed wall switches and/or downstream devices such as receptacles or other switches. The continuity tester can identify where the other cables feed to. Process of isolation and elimination by using a meter:)

2) Improper splices or improper device terminations can easily cause other downstream devices not to work.

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks...............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks................Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 4 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

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