Electrical Wiring in the Home/J-Box to Swtich/Rec.

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Question
QUESTION: Rewiring gameroom for friend. Wire from source to J-Box. From J-box 1 run will go out to feed receptacles & 1 run will go out to feed light fixture to light fixture, etc. which will end up @ switch. Will this work with 12/2?

ANSWER: Hi.

No, you can't run 12/2 from source to fixture to fixture to switch. You either need to use 12/3 between the fixtures, or run the switch wire to the first fixture where the power first enters the first fixture.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Would this work if I ran a 12/ 3 to J-box? Use black for source for rec. & use red for source to lights to switch? If no why not. Thanks

ANSWER:  No, the only place you would need 12/3 is between all of the light fixtures.

But the easiest way is to use 12/2 everywhere, but just run the switch wire to the first fixture where the 12/2 comes from the J box.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Not that I'm questioning you but a little confused. Switch is at far end so trying to avoid going to switch first or using 12/3 which is why I would like to feed thru fixtures first. What would be the difference if I went to j-box then to lights then to switch (Forget about the feed for rec. for now)I'm pretty sure this would work because I know you can feed from either end & it will work. If this works then I guess I could run a separate 12/2 to j-box for rec. right? Thanks again

Answer
You need 3 wires between the fixtures.  One will bring the neutral (white) wire from the J box to each white wire in the fixture.  The second will bring power to the switch. The switch needs power to operate.  The third wire is the wire that will be on when the switch is on and off when the switch is off to operate the lights.  

So, you need a wire going to the switch, a wire coming from the switch to control the lights, plus the neutral wire to complete the circuit.

It won't work any other way.  And if you finish the ceiling, you'll need to rip it out to wire it properly.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle

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Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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