Tapping into an electric circuit

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I need electricity for a ceiling fan. In my attic, I found an existing wire that powers a light switch. I want to run a new wire from the existing wire to the ceiling fan. How do I tap into the existing wire?
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wrote:

that powers a light switch. I want to run a new wire from the existing wire to the ceiling fan. How do I tap into the existing wire? With an accessible junction box. Best bet is likely to run new wire from the light switch. (unswitched)
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On Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:01:31 +0000 (UTC), Red Green

Depends if it line switched or drop switched. Drop switched won't work
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The power may be running to the light, and the wire going to the switch might only be a loop used to break the circuit to the light. If that's the case then you can't tap into it there.
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On Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:07:52 -0600, Mark Storkamp

So tap into the light then. It's not rocket science either way. The point is, it HAS to be done at a box. You can't "vampire" it - and the box needs to be accessible.
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On Jan 11, 5:15pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Agree, that's the essence of it. If he's found a cable that is not switched, ie live all the time, in the attic, he would typically need two new boxes. You cut the cable and put one box on each end, with a new piece between them to re-connect the existing circuit. You usually can't use just one because their isn't enough existing cable there to make it work with one box.
The cable for fan power can then come off either box. For most applications, I'd then just use one of the remote control packages for the fan. That way you don't need to run cable into the wall, install switch, etc. Just run power in the attic over to the ceiling fan. Use the remote to control it. They also have a wall mount holder to keep the remote in if desired.
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On Friday 11 January 2013 22:15 snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in alt.home.repair:

Do we even know where the OP lives (ie which electrical regulations are in effect)?
I agree that screw terminals, regulation or no regulation, need to be accessible - screws can loosen over time.
However, local regulations *may* permit:
1) http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/ASJ804.html - spring loaded "maintenance free" joints.
2) Crimps - done with a correct ratchet tool and not the piece of tin from some car radio shop. Granted, not much help with a 3 way tap.
3) Soldered joints, insulated in heatshrink and boxed.
The British IET 17th Edition regulations permit all the above. I have no idea about the US NEC, or canadian regs.
Soldered joints are an art though - the conductors should be mechanically bound prior to soldering - eg ferrule or overlapped and a thin copper wire used to lash them. It's not good enough to just blob them together.
Regarding where to tap:
I can't imagine the OP's jurisdiction has any more different ways of wiring lighting than the UK. So...
Switch: May have a permanant live/hot. But no neutral.
Light fitting: May be used as a junction box so may have live/hot. neutral and switched live/hot in which case it is possible.
Or it may just have switched live and neutral and the junction box with live and neutral is somewhere else.
So the OP needs to possibly find the main feeder cable and joint into that?
Does the fan require a ground/earth and is there one present in the lighting circuit?
===============
Also - do local regulations permit fans running from lighting circuits? How many amps does the fan take? It's probably OK, but the question needs asking.
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Yes, you have a point. I should have qualified my answer with the fact that it applies to most of the USA. Also many places require a permit to do that work, though most are done without one, required or not.
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wrote:

Until very recently ALL of the above were forbifdden by american and canadian code. In some areas the "vampire" clips formerly allowed in mobile homes are now also allowed in permanent residential installations - although I would NEVER use them - even in a trailer.

Or may have both

Unlike UK "ring circuits" there is no "feeder" per se. All circuits have "home runs" to the service panel, where they are protected by a breaker (or in some cases , still) a fuse.

In all recent (last 40 years or so) north american installations the ground is there and required.

The fan draws less than most lights - and in all North American codes lighting and ancilliary loads can be shared on the same circuit.
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On Saturday 12 January 2013 18:24 snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in alt.home.repair:

Like these:
http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Connectors__Cables___Tools/DC_Connectors/Scotchlok.jpg
?
If so - oh dear... I have used them in a car, in the old days. But they have no place in house wiring.

Possible slight confusion?
Ring circuits are for sockets and make a peculiar (but valid if conditions are met) claim that you can use nominal 20A rated cable for a 32A protected circuit based on there being 2 paths back to the fuse box.
Lighting, in the UK, has always bee "tree wired" - ie one or two cables leav ethe fuse/breaker and then branch all around the place until every subcircuit on a lighting circuit has been fed.
I'm curious - do you really bring 5-15 cables back to the fusebox for a single lighting circuit if you have 5-15 switched sets of lights? Or do you put a lot less lights on a single breaker?
Me: I'm running with 2 circuits (pretty normal for a UK house), both 10A (regs permit 6A, 10A and 16A - 6A is most common, and 16A is usually for commercial premises).

Curiously, if you go back to even the 1980's in England, (change was between the 15th to 16th Editions of the regs IIRC) not every point on a lighting circuit needed an earth provided *unless* the fitted was Class I (ie earthed). This of course was a bugger if a double insulated fitting was swapped out and a Class I installed.

OK - thanks for that. Pretty much the same then.
--
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wrote:

No, not like that at all - but just as useless, in my opinion

My house has a small panel - it's only got 16 circuits. 2 of those feed the range, 2 feed the drier, 2 for the AC, So 10 15 amp circuits left.for the rest of the house. Not sure what the code limit is now as far as how many lights or outlets on a circuit, but there are about 25 outlets and lights combined in the house, plus 2 exterior oulets and 2 exteriour lights, plus the garage.
A typical circuit would run cable from breaker to an outlet, on to another outlet, then on to a couple of lights, with drop switches - or on to a couple of light switches, feeding one or two lights per switch.

2 10 amp circuits in UK provide the same power as 1 20 amp circuit in America.. No way you would ever get away with that little power in an American or Canadian home.

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On Saturday 12 January 2013 21:01 snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in alt.home.repair:

Ah - so your lighting and socket circuits are combined. Think I've seen something similar in Switzerland.
In which case it makes sense. Our word for that type of socket circuit is "radial" (to differenciate it from "ring"). It is a permitted circuit, usually 16A or 20A but can be done at 32A, but the required cable size becomes prohibitive at 32A. However, we would never combine lighting at sockets on the same circuit - although by the regs, it could be done with a 16A breaker - but never is.
A typical old style house would have 2 lighting circuits (lighting only plus odd things like bathroom extractor fans) - one upstairs, one downstairs.
Then typically 2 32A ring circuits - upstairs and downstairs.
Then a cooker circuit, another for shower etc.
My house, done to my own design and wired by me (I hold some qualifications and the correct test instrument, so my building inspector is happy for me to sign my own work off) has:
2 indoor lighting circuits at 10A each, north end and south end
4 32A rings for sockets
1 45A circuit for backup heating (if gas boiler fails)
1 10A outdoor lighting (RCD/GFCI more likely to trip due to bugs and damp)
1 16A "radial" for a couple of outdoor sockets (own circuit fo rsam ereason as above).
1 32A workshop (well, big shed) supply, if I ever get around to it.
That's fed off a 100A 230V incomer.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca submitted this idea :

2 X 10 amps in UK = 2 x 10 x 230 = 4600 Watts
1 X 20 amps in US = 1 x 20 x 120 = 2400 Watts
According to my calculator. :-?
--
John G



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wrote:

Sorry - I meant one 10 amp circuit in UK provides same power as 1 20 amp in USA, and NO WAY would you get away with that little power ( 2 circuits) in a house in USA or Canada.
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On Sunday 13 January 2013 04:40 snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in alt.home.repair:

That was just lighting (in the UK example).
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wrote:

Insufficient even for lighting in MANY North American homes. - but as I noted, here there is no such thing as a "lighting circuit" in MOST cases. The only time you would have a "lighting circuit" would be if you had massive Low Voltage Control or dimmer panels - basically theatre lighting.
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On Jan 13, 1:23pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

What exactly is a lighting circuit? If it's just a circuit that has only lights on it, then it's not all that unusual,' is it? You could add a circuit to run 4 outside flood lights for example. I agree most circuits you're going to find don't have just lights, but it's not all that unusual either or limited to the the couple of cases given.
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On Sunday 13 January 2013 18:23 snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in alt.home.repair:

Blimey - what do you run - kW halogen tubes?? ;->

That's very useful to know. When all you've seen is lighting cicuits seperate from sockets, it's not obvious that it's not the only way :)

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wrote:

Not uncommon to have 10 50 watt halogen pots in one room (family room, for instance) and 300 watts or more in the kitchen, plus 15 or more 30 watt bulbs in a dining chandelier (another 450 watts +/-) and 100 watts or more in each of, say, 3 bedrooms - then another 120 watts or more at the vanity in each of 2 or 3 bathrooms, Add hall lighting, and front (1 60 watt at the door and 2 75watt floods at the garage) and rear entry (3 75 watt floods) exterior lighting, plus lighting in the living room,and den - plus pssibly a home office or sewing/crafts room and you have 2 15 amp lighting circuits more than maxed out add 'em up, - since each 15 amp circuit is only good for 1440 watts maximum (80% of rated load) . There is a maximum of 12 lights per 15 amp circuit according to code Code also requires a minimum of 1 15 amp circuit per 600 sq feet of floor area - for mixed mode circuits. As an Electrician, my late father planned for a maximum of 8 "loads" per circuit - that was lamp fixtures or outlets - didn't matter.

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On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 13:23:00 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Huh? I have several lighting circuits and am adding more.
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