A few days ago I posted a message about running wires through a cold air
return. Here's more info about the problem. I have some exterior lights on
the second story of my house that I want to install. I need to run power to
the lights and of course add a switch. If I call an electrician, would
he/she be able to run wire down to the basement to the panel and then
install a switch on the first floor? Or, would they tap into a hot wire in
the attic and install a switch on the second floor?
They would do what/whichever was most appropriate/necessary.
Unless the lights are massive, it would seem likely adding them to an
existing nearby lighting circuit would be the logical solution, but
pulling to a first story switch location may still be some effort of course.
All depends on particulars of actual house, locations of panel, junction
boxes, etc., etc., etc., ...
Perhaps put the wiring in external conduit to the external light, with
the switch wired inside on the main floor or basement, where the wire
goes out to the condoit. I used to like AluClad wire for that kind of
job but have not seen if in about 15 years.
We would have no *specific* idea what it would take to run a wire from
the 2nd floor of your house to the panel, but in general, the answer
is "Yes, this could be done".
Any decent electrician should be able to run a wire from just about
any where in your house and put a switch just able anywhere you want
it. They may be able to tap into an existing circuit, or they may need
to run a new circuit. There are far too many details specific to your
house for us to answer with much more than "Yes, it can be done" and
"There is probably more than one way for you to get the lights and
switch(es) you want."
I suggest that you contact at least 3 electricians before deciding how
to proceed. No offense, but your question indicates a lack of
knowledge in the field of home wiring and you don't want to simply
accept the word (and price) of the first person you talk to. If you
get at least 3 quotes, I think you'll be able to determine if one or
more of them are trying to rip you off.
Check in the attic and basement if there is clearance near the plumbing vent
pipe from the basement through the roof. There may be gaps enough to snake a
wire down along the vent. Otherwise, holes can be drilled through the tops and
bottoms of walls (And offending firestops) to pass wires through. If it's a 2
story house, you would need to find a spot where walls on each floor are
directly above each other.
You might want to look at an X-10 solution. (RF control over the AC
wiring) That way you just need to find some convenient power in the
attic and you could control the lights from anywhere in the house that
you have an X-10 transmitter switch. You can also get X-10 timers and
I can do anything that you want. It all depends on what your budget permits,
how neat you want the job to be, how fast you want it done and will you
allow me to cut holes in your walls and ceilings to run wires if I can't
snake them from the basement to the attic. Is your basement finished? How
accessible is your attic?
Your best bet is to get a few electricians over and pump their brains
instead of people who cannot see your house and what your options are.
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