1

In my bathroom there was originally a ceiling light on a switch & a vanity light with a pull chain. I bought a vanity light to wire onto a switch & tried to wire it to work independently of the ceiling light. When I removed the old vanity light the neutral wire was connected with 2 other neutral wires so I just assumed that it was likely the ceiling lights neutral & the neutral going to the breaker. So, I just put the new lights neutral onto it. I ran a new wire from the light to the switch load screw & just reconnected the 2 black wires that were formerly connected to the old vanity light's power to themself. I am using the Wago lever nuts to join wires together instead of the twist nuts. To add a hot line wire I just spliced it into the hot line wire going to the original switch. The problem is now the vanity light will only turn on if the ceiling light is also turned on. Previously the pull chain vanity light could turn on independently of the ceiling light.

Edited for clarification & to add crude diagrams of wiring as requested.

Ok, so I didn't really know how to just add the information requested in one of the answers other than by editing my original question, my apologies if this is not the method I'm supposed to use. I tried to find it on in the FAQs but wasn't finding any other way to do it. I'm also sorry I wasn't able to respond quicker. I don't really have any software more suitable for making a diagram so I was left with using MS Paint to do a crude sketch of the wiring. The diagrams are not to scale & the first one will be the diagram of the old wiring with the pull chain vanity light while the 2nd one is the diagram of the new wiring with the switch connected vanity light.

Old Wiring Diagram Old Wiring Diagram New Wiring Diagram New Wiring Diagram

In the Old Wiring drawing:

  • Rectangle A = Toggle Switch
  • Circle B = Ceiling Light
  • Squircle C = Vanity Light
  • Diamond D = Dual Grounded Outlet
  • Black Lines = Black Electrical Wire
  • Blue-ish Lines = White Electrical Wire
  • Red Line = White Electric Wire serving as Toggle Switch A Load Line to Ceiling Light B
  • Black Stars = Spots where electric lines are connected together.

In the New Wiring drawing:

  • Square E = 2nd Toggle Switch for Vanity Light
  • Orange Line = Black Electric Wire serving as 2nd Toggle Switch E Load Line to Vanity Light C
  • I forgot to add this but behind Vanity Light C the Orange Line should be connected with the black wire coming out of Vanity Light C in a 3rd star behind the light.

So, first off I should say that these drawings are not to scale in any way.

Now, as is pretty noticble the only electrical line that is fully connected to anything is the Orange Line in the new drawing because I am the one that ran it. On all the other ones I do not know exactly how they are ran because as I stated they go through the walls & I had already put 3 holes in the wall as is & I didn't want to put another half dozen or so to trace it in between every stud. The studs had holes drilled through them large enough for the wires to be ran through but the wires prevented me from being able to see through the hole to see how it continued on through the other side. The probably odd path that the Orange Line takes in the new drawing is due to me cutting through a wall corner at one part & the the semi-circle part of the path is me coming out in the top part of a closet wall to run it down & back into the wall half a foot later to reach the light.

This was the way I did it to again avoid putting a hole in the wall in between every stud to run it the entire wire along the original wirings path & instead use just the holes in the wall that were either already there:

  1. Previous vanity light hole
  2. Hole where the first toggle switch was

Or the holes I newly had to make:

  1. New vanity light hole since I raised its height on the wall up
  2. Hole on outside bathroom wall behind Toggle Switch A
  3. Outside bathroom wall on other side of first stud beside Toggle Switch A to see for wiring purposes.
  4. Eventually a new slightly higher on the wall for Toggle Switches A & E to be added in a new work dual gang box.)
2
  • 3
    Pictures of all the wiring involved, especially the pics you took of how things were when you started (you took before pics, right), edited into your question, will help a lot.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:10
  • 1
    Never assume a white wire is neutral. But from your description of things you tried, I strongly suggest you stop doing electrical work before you hurt yourself. Get an electrician or at least an experienced friend. Sep 28, 2022 at 12:02

1 Answer 1

3

Let's go all the way back to the original setup.

the pull chain vanity light that was originally on there was capable of being turned on without the ceiling lights being switched on

The ceiling light wire on the switch had the black wire for line power

This means you have 2 "line" sources in the bathroom. One is in the ceiling light box. The other is in the vanity light box. They might be spliced at the vanity, but it sounds like that wasn't traced yet.

If you ran "a new wire" from the vanity to the switch, you don't have a new switch loop. Since you already identified a hot wire coming from the ceiling, you should be able to use that and you won't need a 2nd switch loop.

Assuming all of your other info is accurate, you've simply connected the wrong wire between the two switches. If you had connected a "line" wire to both switches, then both switches would work. If you connected a "load" wire to both switches, then the switch having the "line" power must be turned on for both lights to turn on.

I think you need to take out both switches and re-identify which wire is your "line". You might find out it's not really the black wire from the ceiling.

The ceiling light wire on the switch had the black wire for line power, but it used the neutral wire in the same sleeve as the load power out to the light.

NEC 200.7(C)(1) forbids the black wire from being the "line power" in a switch loop where the white wire is not "neutral". The white wire must be re-identified, and it must "be used only for the supply to the switch."

You might also realize there are other wires crossed somewhere in the switch box. Those are the most likely problems.

If all else fails, then you need to go back to those 3 white wires, figure out if there are 3 corresponding black wires, and make sure you know which is what.

Edit

Based on your new diagrams, switch "E" is connected wrong. Ceiling light "B" makes no sense and is likely not as depicted here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.