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Im trying to wire some can lights. There is a switch box that goes to an existing can light to which I want to run some 14/3. The reason I want 14/3 is to keep the existing can light on a separate switch and the new ones on their own switches.

There is 14/2 running to the existing can light. I want to replace the old 14/2 with 14/3. Could I attach the new 14/3 to the old 14/2 and pull the 14/2 out, replacing it with 14/3? Would it work?

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No. The original wiring was stapled many times to framing, and likely passes through one or more small holes in wall plates. You simply cannot pull it like a fish tape.

The best bet is usually to carefully remove the switch box by cutting the nails with a rotary tool, poke your new cable down from the attic, and install a new "old work" switch box.

  • Do you just leave the old cable in place? Bring it in to the new box and wire nut each end? – mmathis May 1 '17 at 14:59
  • No attic access. 1st floor. Only a cavity for access. – Keith May 1 '17 at 15:04
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    I agree this is the best way to update the wiring. Some times if I can't get to the nails I break up the old box as they are usually plastic. Metal ones get left inside the wall. I have done this many times without damaging the sheetrock or existing wiring. No staple is required on the fished in cable inside the wall. – Ed Beal May 1 '17 at 15:08
  • @Keith, we can't really offer more advice with what we (don't) know about your home. The original question was answered. If you have another one, go ahead and make a new post. Don't forget to upvote or accept any helpful answers. – isherwood May 1 '17 at 15:19
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    @Keith I think the point here is that the wiring to the light stays intact. If you want to add new lights on a separate switch, there's no need to involve the wiring to the other can. If I understand, you just need to run 14-2 from the new switch to the new lights. It sounds like you will need to make holes. Work like this is often best paired with a new coat of paint. Some eggshell mug spray texture can be a real help too. – JimmyJames May 1 '17 at 18:50

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