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Proper Wiring Of A Single Pole Light Switch
Lights and light switches are among the most typical wiring elements in a house. A single pole light switch is a reasonably simple circuit. There are various variations and different ways in which it can be wired, but the most typical (and most basic) variation has the facility supply to the switch box and a switched line from there to the sunshine.
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Basic Wiring Concepts
When wiring a single pole switch, it’s only necessary to connect the black (power side) cable to the switch. The white (neutral) wire and the bottom connection are always “on” or always connected to the sunshine, even when it’s turned off. When the switch is in its upper position (on), the facility line is connected to the switch line, completing the circuit so the sunshine is on. When the switch is in the lower position (off), the switch line shouldn’t be connected to the facility line, creating an open circuit where switch pulse return line electricity cannot flow.
Safely Working with Electrical Circuits
When working with electrical circuits, it’s critical to your safety that you simply guantee that the facility is off. If there’s more than one switch within the box, be extremely cautious of the screws on the side of the opposite switches. These are sometimes on separate circuits and can be energized even when the circuit you’re working with is turned off. It might take multiple circuit breaker to remove all power from the box.
Light Box Connections
For information on running cable into the wall, see References. Once the cable is run, install a plastic or metal box for the sunshine and for the switch, if they don’t seem to be already installed. Ceiling lights will always have a metal box because of heat buildup. Wall lights may have a metal or a plastic box. Ensure that you know what kind and size of box you’ve and verify that it’s compatible with the selected fixture. You might have to purchase an adapter (fixture bar) with the intention to mount the fixture to the electrical box. In case you are installing a fan or a fan and light combination, the box should be solidly mounted within the ceilings. Ordinary light boxes usually are not sturdy enough to carry up to the burden and vibration of a heavy fan.
Wiring the sunshine is straightforward. Connect the bottom wires first. Most light fixtures should be grounded. Metal electrical boxes have to be grounded, so you’ll likely need to attach three grounds together (from the box, from the sunshine, and from the switched power line) with a wire nut. Then push the ground wires to the back of the electrical box so they are going to be out of your way. Connect the 2 white wires together, and the 2 black wires together, then attach the fixture to the wall or ceiling per the instructions that came with the fixture.
Switch Box Connections
Wiring the switch just isn’t that difficult. Ground the box as you did for the sunshine. There ought to be four ground wires in a metal box or three in a plastic one. Push the bottom wires into the back of the switch box to be out of the way in which and to maintain them clear from exposed screws on the switch. Connect the 2 white wires together. Then connect the black wire from the facility supply to at least one terminal of the switch, and the black wire going to the sunshine to the opposite terminal on switch pulse return line the switch. Most light switches have two ways of connecting wire. Solid number 14 or number 12 wire will be stripped about 1/2″ and pushed directly into holes on the back of the switch, or you possibly can connect them to the screws on the side of the switch.
Now fold the wires into the box as you push the switch into place. Make sure that the ground wire is well clear of the back of the switch and the screws on the side of it. Use the screws supplied with the switch to attach it to the wall box. Only tighten it until the switch is flush with the wall surface. When you tighten two much to where the switch is recessed, the cover will not fit properly. Install the cover and you’re done; activate the circuit breaker and test the circuit.
In some cases, people just want so as to add a switch to an existing light currently controlled by a pull chain. In that case, there may be already power to the light, we just must run it down to the switch and a line from there back as much as the sunshine. The black wire will carry power down and the white will bring the switched power back to the sunshine. On this case the white wire will not be a “neutral” wire. It carries power back up to the sunshine. But we are never supposed to make use of white wires to hold power, so the national electrical code requires us to tape or paint your entire length of the white wire wherever it is used this manner. Black electrical tape works great for that, so does nearly any other color of electrical tape but white or green.
To make up the boxes we connect the bottom wires in both boxes just as we did above. Within the switch box both the black and the white wires (taped so that it’s now not white) are connected to the switch. In the sunshine box we leave the white wire connected to the sunshine. The black wire with power coming into the sunshine box is connected to the black wire going to the switch. The white wire that’s taped black is then connected to the black wire or power connector from the sunshine. We now have a light that’s switched. If you aren’t replacing the pull chain fixture, It’s a very good idea to remove the string from the pull chain. If someone pulls on it the sunshine will not come on on the switch.
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