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We have two closets side by side. Ran black/white/green wires from power source to closet 1 light, then closet 1 switch, then to the closet 2 light, then closet 2 switch. Whoops. Obviously now the closet 1 switch now controls closet 2. Closet 2 switch only works when closet 1 switch is on. Should have had separate black/white power source wires to closet 2.

We live in a very old house where the flex conduit has been snaked around very tightly, and it may be impossible to run any more wires through it. Of course I could rip out all the new drywall, etc., but I would rather not.

Is there a creative way to get around our current faulty configuration? With minimal additional wires?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, you have connected the two switches in series. Just move the black wire that runs to closet 2 from the switched side of switch 1 to the hot side of switch 1.

It is a violation of the National Electrical Code to switch the neutral. 😞

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  • If I read the question right, there is only one cable leaving switch 1. Nov 19, 2015 at 22:18
  • Hi thanks for all the help. But I am not sure I completely understand your solution(s). I am not sure what you mean by moving the black wire. Nov 19, 2015 at 22:41
  • Also, I think a switch loop would work? Or not.....it sounds like these are in violation of the code to switch the neutral like that? Nov 19, 2015 at 22:42
  • You will need a switch loop from closet 2 light to closet 2 switch, if it isn't already wired that way. It's perfectly safe sound and code compliant. Nov 19, 2015 at 22:49
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    You said you had flex running in the house. Maybe you should post a diagram of how you wired it. If I get what you said in your question, you just have the hot wire to closet 2 connected to the switch leg from switch 1 instead of the hot feed to switch 1.
    – ArchonOSX
    Nov 20, 2015 at 0:29
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If the switch for closet 1 is inside closet 1, you could run wiremold from the light to the switch and add a red wire that will make the whole thing straightforward, I think you'll be able to accomplish it without switching neutral or anything out of the ordinary. This will involve extending the box for the switch and the light with a wiremold box extension, so they are going to stick out of the wall and ceiling a bit.

wiremold box extension adapter

It's expensive, and maybe way too clever, but you could install smart switches and smart bulbs and achieve what you want to without running any wires.

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  • You'd need to add a 14/3 in the Wiremold and route everything through there, decommissioning the 14/2 -- but this is the best solution so far. Nov 19, 2015 at 23:11
  • You could still use the existing 14/2 with the wiremold extensions ... Nov 19, 2015 at 23:17
  • Actually, yeah -- you'd just use the 14/3 as a switch loop and let the 14/2 feed the unswitched hot through the box. Running a single wire in raceway may or may not work -- 300.3/310.10 issues can crop up whenever you start proposing running a single wire anywhere... Nov 19, 2015 at 23:27
  • True you might as well run a white and green along with the black or red in the wiremold to avoid any issues with paralleling. It will add less than ten dollars and ten minutes to the job. Nov 20, 2015 at 10:18

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