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Wiring Diagram and Instructions to Wire a Single Pole Switch.

January 13, 2008

Single Pole Switch Wiring DiagramBrian asks:
Wayne I have a light in the basement that had a pull cord which broke. I want to hook it up to a switch. I need to know how to do it so the light dosent stay on all the time.
Thanks Brian

Wiring a single pole switch is pretty easy. The first thng that you need to do is turn off the power to this circuit and verify that the power is off at the light.

Let’s begin by dropping the light and let it hang on the wires. Disconnect the black wire from the light only and place a wirenut on the power supply end. Do not disconnect any other wires. Next install a 2 conductor romex cable with ground (either 14/2 or 12/2, match existing size) from the light box to your new switch box location.

In a switch in a residential application is the only time the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) permits you to use a white wire as a “hot” wire. However, you must identify the white wire as a “hot” wire. The best way to do this is either use a black permanent marker or black electrical tape. Connect the wires to your switch; bare copper to the ground screw, the black wire to one terminal and the white wire that you marked as a “hot” to the other teminal.

Now let’s go back to the light box. Here connect the ground from the new cable to the other ground in the box. Place a wirenut on them and fold them all into the light box. Next connect the black wire from the new cable to the black wire on the light. Finally, mark the white wire in the new cable as a “hot” wire and connect it to the black power supply wire. Place a wirenut on these and fold them back into the box.

Re-install your light, turn on the power and test.

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One Response to “Wiring Diagram and Instructions to Wire a Single Pole Switch.”

  1. Kurt on February 4th, 2008 3:12 pm

    I have this very same situation in my basement but there are 2 lights. I played with them and one works on the switch but one is always on. Is there a way to have the power coming to one of the light boxes and make them both work on the switch??