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Old 12-29-2011, 06:27 AM   #1
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4 Way Switches in new code


Question

Will I need to run something other than a 12/3 wire between my three way/four way/three way switch legs due to the new code requiring a common,or does the third (common) wire in the 12/3 suffice.

Thanks in advance for your replies,and I hope everyone had a good holiday.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
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4 Way Switches in new code


To meet the NEC 2011 code you will need 4 conductors plus ground.

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Old 12-29-2011, 06:53 AM   #3
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4 Way Switches in new code


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To meet the NEC 2011 code you will need 4 conductors plus ground.
Wanna tell me why? Only one neutral required.

12/3 would be sufficient- 2 travelers plus a neutral.

404.2(C) Switches Controlling Lighting Loads. Where switches
control lighting loads supplied by a grounded general purpose
branch circuit, the grounded circuit conductor for the controlled
lighting circuit shall be provided at the switch location.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:21 AM   #4
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4 Way Switches in new code


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles
To meet the NEC 2011 code you will need 4 conductors plus ground.
Ye what would you do with the fourth wire?
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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4 Way Switches in new code


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Ye what would you do with the fourth wire?
Not required, but it could be a hot for a receptacle or such later.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:34 AM   #6
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4 Way Switches in new code


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Not required, but it could be a hot for a receptacle or such later.
Well of course I can run 12-3 or 12-4 all over my house just to have extra wires, my point was he said code requires it! Now code doesn't require it so youll have it just in case!!
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:17 AM   #7
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4 Way Switches in new code


It could be 12/3 or 12/4, depends on how it's wired. You may not always have 2 travelers and a neutral with 12/3.

You need a neutral in the box in case you ever put in a switch that requires a neutral. That's why the code change.

Check with your AHJ to be sure. Fortunately MA has an exemption on this part of the code.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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4 Way Switches in new code


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Originally Posted by Code05 View Post
Wanna tell me why? Only one neutral required.

12/3 would be sufficient- 2 travelers plus a neutral.

404.2(C) Switches Controlling Lighting Loads. Where switches
control lighting loads supplied by a grounded general purpose
branch circuit, the grounded circuit conductor for the controlled
lighting circuit shall be provided at the switch location.
3 wires gives you 2 travelers plus the wire that will connect to the common at the far end, not a neutral. That 3rd wire can be a constant hot or the switched hot to the fixture. 4th wire will give you a neutral at the 4 way and the far end 3 way.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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4 Way Switches in new code


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3 wires gives you 2 travelers plus the wire that will connect to the common at the far end, not a neutral. That 3rd wire can be a constant hot or the switched hot to the fixture. 4th wire will give you a neutral at the 4 way and the far end 3 way.
This would depend on the wiring scheme. A xx-3 cable can supply the two travelers and a neutral.
The wire off the common can come off the last switch.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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4 Way Switches in new code


All you need is 3 wire plus your ground.
here is an easy diagram to follow.

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses...ariations.html
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #11
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4 Way Switches in new code


Does the OP live in an area that has adopted this code change?
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:58 AM   #12
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4 Way Switches in new code


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This would depend on the wiring scheme. A xx-3 cable can supply the two travelers and a neutral.
The wire off the common can come off the last switch.
Jim,
Rethinking, I realize my answer was based on the power feed and the fixture wired from one of the switches. If the power is at one switch and the fixture is at the other end, 3 wires is enough.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:10 AM   #13
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4 Way Switches in new code


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles

Jim,
Rethinking, I realize my answer was based on the power feed and the fixture wired from one of the switches. If the power is at one switch and the fixture is at the other end, 3 wires is enough.
Now that makes I little more sense
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:01 AM   #14
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4 Way Switches in new code


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Jim,
Rethinking, I realize my answer was based on the power feed and the fixture wired from one of the switches. If the power is at one switch and the fixture is at the other end, 3 wires is enough.
I knew you knew this but wanted to clarify that some wiring schemes you could be sorrect but that with others a xx-3 was sufficient.

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