08:05PM | 10/02/06
Member Since: 10/01/06
3 lifetime posts
My small bathroom has a vanity light and a light above the toliet. The vanity light runs through the light above the toliet then down a stud to a light switch. How can i seperate the two lights and have two seperate switches? The wires are a white, black, and a bare copper and its 110 power.


06:19AM | 10/03/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
To do this you need to be able to fish wiring in the walls and attic and remove and replaces the existing box with the switch (and maybe also at the lights).

If you have boxes in the ceiling and there is no attic above then it become more complicated .

Or need to remove and replace the wall finish (drywall in most cases).

If you are able to one of those then you need to indicate if power comes to the switch box or the light box.


Otherwise you should call an electrican. Make sure that they are familar with OLD WORK.


09:23AM | 10/03/06
Member Since: 10/01/06
3 lifetime posts
the power must come through the light fixture above the toilette. there is an open attic that i can track the wires. there is only one wire running from that light down the wall to the switch. the vanity light comes into the light above the toilette. I have a new switch box and two new switches, how do i have seperate wires for the two lights so i can hook up the two switches.


12:37PM | 10/03/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
You want to remove the existing box and replace it with a two gang box.

In most cases they are either plastic or metal with nail that attach them to the studs.

You can cut the nails with a single ended hacksaw or a sawzall with a metall cutting blade.

Pull the wire out of the box. It is usually too are to get it out of the wall without doing damage so just let it drop into the wall.

But first make sure that there is not another stud on the other side that would keep you from installing the large 2 gang box.

The you will want to run a new 14-3 or 12-3 cable from the light fixture above the toilet.

The orginal cable will be abandonded.

Get an OLD WORK two can box and run the cable into it and install in the wall. You will need to enlarge the opening for it.

This is the closes that I could find for a schematic.

The white wire in the 3 wire cable should be remarked with black tape to indicate that it is a switched leg hot.

The black will connect to the light. The red will connect to the black for the cable that runs to the vanity light.


01:53PM | 10/03/06
Member Since: 10/01/06
3 lifetime posts
So far it makes sense, i need a new wire that has basically two hots, a white and a bare. looking off the diagram i am not sure about the vanity light. there are a white, black and bare wire from the vanity. I see the red wire ties into the black to give the vanity light power. What do i do with the bare and white wire from the vanity. also the diagram it looks like i share the white wire in the switch box for the vanity light? Thanks for responding


02:14PM | 10/03/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
The white wire in the 3 wire cable is now being used as a HOT, thus each end should have black tape on it to indicate that it is not being used as neutral. This is called a switch leg.

At the box over the toilet the 3 wire black connects to the black for that light, the red connects to the black for the vanity light.

The white for the power cable, the white from the the light and the white in the cable to the vanity light are all connected togther.

Just as it is now.

Functionly all you are doing is to move the black wire in the cable from the existing connection (black from switch and other light) to the red wire from the switch.

Actually it is a little more because you are disconnecting the old 2 wire cable and added the 3 wire cable.

But first get a book or two on basic home wiring. I like Black and Deckers' Complete Home Wiring.

You will find these in the home imporvement stores and bookstores.



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