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Old 10-05-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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4 wire cable configurations


Just finished a conversation about 3 way switch wiring (a common topic on this forum) and realized that the most of common methods for 3 way cabling will not be in complaince with the requirement to provide a neutral in every switch box. The use of 4 wire cable seems to be the only solution. 4 wire cable comes in 2 configurations;

xx-2-2 2 hots, 2 neutrals (red, black, white, white with red stripe)

xx-4 3 hots, 1 neutral (red, black, blue, white)

xx = wire gauge (colors are Southwire Corp. others may vary)

Which configuration do you plan on stocking? or both?

Do you think the restriction on remarking a hot color as a neutral may be removed?

Do you think the restriction on using multiple cables for one circuit may be removed? (EX: using 2 2 wire cables instead of a 4 wire cable)

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Old 10-05-2011, 09:48 AM   #2
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4 wire cable configurations


If the wiring is run power to SW1-SW2-L1 you will have the neutral. No need to re-identify a conductor or for a 4 wire cable.

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Old 10-05-2011, 11:24 AM   #3
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If the wiring is run power to SW1-SW2-L1 you will have the neutral. No need to re-identify a conductor or for a 4 wire cable.
That is true but it is the only configuration (that I can see) that will work. On retro work, if you have a and existing single pole switch that you want to add the 3 way, you will have to find a way to get a neutral to the new switch. In fact if you have a switch loop at the original switch, you need to get a neutral to both switches. Makes me wonder how vigorously this requirement will be enforced.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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4 wire cable configurations


1, I think the new neutral rule is BS.

2. I think the restriction for remarking small conductors is BS.

3. Who says you cannot use 2 12/2 cables. 300.3(B) allows this for non- ferrous/romex/NM-B apps in 300.3(B)(3). Poor wiring method, but illegal?
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:04 PM   #5
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4 wire cable configurations


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1, I think the new neutral rule is BS.

Kinda but just look our European side we have same issue as you guys have so that is no connires on this one .,, due some of the motion switch or timers did use the EGC for " netural " useage and you should see how often I get service calls in France with tripped main RCD (GFCI with 100 ma setting )

2. I think the restriction for remarking small conductors is BS.

I went thru the same thing as well but I go one step further use the coloured shrink tube which we do that all the time in France but tape or marker is ok basically the same methold what you got in state side.

3. Who says you cannot use 2 12/2 cables. 300.3(B) allows this for non- ferrous/romex/NM-B apps in 300.3(B)(3). Poor wiring method, but illegal?Pfft .,, I have see the same as well both in state side and France so we done the same but not the best useage as you mention especally with three/four way switch useage

My answer in Bleu of course

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Old 10-05-2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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4 wire cable configurations


Quote:
Originally Posted by Code05 View Post
1, I think the new neutral rule is BS.

2. I think the restriction for remarking small conductors is BS.

3. Who says you cannot use 2 12/2 cables. 300.3(B) allows this for non- ferrous/romex/NM-B apps in 300.3(B)(3). Poor wiring method, but illegal?
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
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4 wire cable configurations


Start with a typical question and answer:

Q: I want to put an electronic timer where a switch loop switch used to be and there is no neutral.

A: You need to string a neutral.

So I run a new 12-2 (14-2 if 15 amp circuit) to the switch box.

End result: A 3 conductor cable and a 2 conductor cable running between the same two boxes in a 3 way setup. The 3 conductor cable has the travelers for the 3 way (or 4 way) switches and the 2 conductor cable has the neutral.

Other than box fill problems and other than some 3 way dimmer setups that can be done without 4 wires, this gets around the need for 4 conductor cable, no?

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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-05-2011 at 04:37 PM.
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