Wiring Question

My home was built in the 40's with a lot of junction wiring located in the light fixture areas.
Bedroom, during a remodel, we put a double gang box in so I could have a switch for a closet light. Wiring for that is in. (this was 3 years ago, some family things put off completion, and my installer isn't available). Today I pulled out the working switch for the room light. It had 2 hot wires (looks like in one sheath). No neutral wires seen.
I took off of the top wire to the switch, placed a new black wire to the top connection on the switch and one to the hot. (using wire screw) Light works. I then took another new black wire to the hot/new wire (using a wire screw) put that to the top of the new switch. Took the black from the new wiring to the closet to the bottom of the new switch.
This leaves a neutral from the new wiring to the closet light with no where to go. And the closet light does not work in this configuration.
I have replaced several switches, outlets over the years, first time I've come upon this issue.
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hard to see what you are doing with this, perhaps a 3-way switch part is in use. or, maybe the power is already top fed hot at the light's fixture box on the ceiling and you are just using the wall switch to interrupt the hot or neutral as if using the wall switch to replace the function of a ceiling pull chain switch. you need an inexpensive meter to see what's live in the ceiling box and it will allow you to correctly install hot to the center bulb terminal and neutral to the threaded bulb shell.
faq at: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wiring/part1 /
bizee wrote:

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It's unclear what you have in the box. I understand you have a working room light switch, and you want a closet light switch. Currently there are two wires on the room light switch, so what else is in the box?

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bizee wrote:

You've pretty much got it figured out already. The neutral lead from the closet light HAS to get connected to the neutral of the circuit powering the existing room light.
That should be easy enough to do if there's an attic space over the bedroom and you can get at the boxes the light fixtures are in and run a new piece of cable between them. If you can't get at those boxes from above then you're in for some fun and games and maybe a little wall and ceiling patching too.
What you've got now is a power source coming into the existing room fixtures box with it's neutral connected to the neutral side of that fixture and the hot side brought down to that existing switch and then back from that swich to the hot side of the fixture. Remove what you've done already so things are back the way they were.
You'd be well advised to use the same setup for the closet light. Bring a hot and neutral feed into it's box, tapped off what's available in the existing fixture's box and wire the closet fixture as I described above, using the pair of wires your installer put in to bring the hot side through your new switch and back to the fixture. There won't be any wires connected directly between the two switches.
Don't forget to check and/or make a proper ground connections at the closet fixture box.
And, I believe those things you called "wire screws" are probably what the rest of us would call "wire nuts", 'eh?
Good luck,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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Does the closet light work when you turn BOTH switches on?

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http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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Don't know about if it will work with both switches on, will check tomorrow.
Yes, I meant wire nuts.
I cannot easily get to the bedroom light fixture, if not, then I'll just not have a closet light for now. Knowing the guy that did this, I cannot imagine he didn't run a line to the ceiling fixture when the drywall was off. (we did not replace ceiling drywall, the attic is full of blown insulation).
Thanks all for the replies!!
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bizee wrote:

Well, if he did run power into the closet fixture box, expecting to just put a switch across that new pair of wires in the switch box, you can test for that pretty easily without having to buy a meter. Do this:
Put a 15 or 25 watt bulb in the closet fixture, flip the circuit breaker off and connect* a 100 watt bulb across those two new wires your installer left you, then flip the breaker on. If the low wattage closet bulb lights, you're in Fat City and all you'll have to do is connect the new switch across that pair of wires in the new switchbox.
If that test doesn't light the closet lamp (even dimly), then you're in for some more complex work.
* If you don't happen to have a bulb socket handy to do that with, you could connect a common plug receptical across those wires, put a 100 watt bulb in a table lamp and plug the lamp into the receptical, making sure the lamp's switch is ON.
HTH,
Jeff
(we did not replace ceiling drywall, the attic is

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