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Old 10-11-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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can you review this diagram




This is a circuit in my basement. It comes from the panel as 14-2 romex, comes into this junction box where it connects with old, braided 2-wire that feeds four basement lights and one receptacle in the dining room. Before the wiring reaches the first light it enters a junction box where it's spliced back into 14-2. The lines coming out the top of the diagram go to a receptacle where there are currently capped (the receptacle is wired into another circuit). The ground wire on the romex coming in is just bent aside and hanging.

The receptacle containing the unconnected wiring is the receptacle where my television, receiver, tivo, ps3, etc is plugged in and is currently ungrounded so I'd like to run romex to this receptacle and tap into the ground in this junction box. With that in mind, would this be the correct way to wire this?


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Old 10-11-2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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can you review this diagram


The way this is drawn would be a short. The hot and neutral are connected. And the wire leaving the top of the box has no neutral connection.

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Old 10-11-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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can you review this diagram


Are you talking about the first or second diagram?
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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can you review this diagram


Modifiying an ungrounded circuit is against code. Since you have modified it, you need to upgrade the entire circuit to a grounded circuit.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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I haven't modified anything. The first diagram is the existing state.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jheavner View Post
Are you talking about the first or second diagram?
Both diagrams show a black wire tied to the white in the home run that loops out on the left and comes back to tie to the black in the home run. The white from the cable in the top ties to nothing but the loop on the left, in the first diagram. Maybe I'm not getting what it means.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:14 PM   #7
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can you review this diagram


Maybe there is a switch loop here that the OP hasn't diagrammed or pointed out? I can't imagine why you'd have a loop like that (cable out to devices, and back to the same j-box).

But yes, in the current diagrams (yes both of them) there would most definitely be a short circuit.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:00 PM   #8
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I can't really see the loop that goes out. I know it goes into the ceiling lights in the basement and up into the receptacle because that's what turns off when I flip the breaker and I can see it go into a junction box and the first ceiling light. I'm not necessarily indicating hot and neutral by black and light grey in the diagram. I am assuming black is hot but the wiring could be reversed coming back into the junction box. All points on the circuit are hot, would that be the case if there was a short? I just quadruple checked and it's wired like the diagram.

Here's a an image showing the white and black spliced together.


here's another image of the front. You can't really see the wire coming from the top but it's there.


What I really want to do is utilize the unused ground to the receptacle fed by the wiring coming out of the top. I realize it that isn't up to code but obviously this whole thing is a mess.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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The romex should be attached to the box with a proper clamp, like the un-grounded wires are.

Is there a switch that controls the lights or are they all pull-chain? If there is a switch that controls the lights that would explain the black/white connection.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:41 PM   #10
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More violations. You need a cable clamp on the cable on the right. The cable on the right needs to fastened down with 8 inches of box. You need at least 6 inches of wire in the box. Is that box screwed down or is it just flying in mid air hanging off the cables?
It doesn't matter who did it. It is still a violation to modify unground circuits.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jheavner View Post
I can't really see the loop that goes out. I know it goes into the ceiling lights in the basement and up into the receptacle because that's what turns off when I flip the breaker and I can see it go into a junction box and the first ceiling light. I'm not necessarily indicating hot and neutral by black and light grey in the diagram. I am assuming black is hot but the wiring could be reversed coming back into the junction box. All points on the circuit are hot, would that be the case if there was a short? I just quadruple checked and it's wired like the diagram.

Here's a an image showing the white and black spliced together.


here's another image of the front. You can't really see the wire coming from the top but it's there.


What I really want to do is utilize the unused ground to the receptacle fed by the wiring coming out of the top. I realize it that isn't up to code but obviously this whole thing is a mess.
You are missing a cable clamp on that. Although not code that I know of except maybe in a neat and workmanlike manner the box isnt level. Also that metal box must be grounded. To me it screams HACK JOB.

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Old 10-11-2008, 06:47 PM   #12
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You are missing a romex connecto on that although not code that I know of except maybe in a neat and workmanlike manner the box isnt level. To me it screams HACK JOB.
Look like another cable running behind the box. I don't think the box is even fastened to the joist.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #13
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Yes, there is a switch. Duh. I don't know how I forgot that. There are four recessed lights controlled by a single pole switch.

Yeah, it should be clamped. What's more annoying is that it runs from the clamp on the left approximately 5' to an old work box drilled into the floor joist where the old wire is nutted to romex. If I had to guess I'd say there was once a single bulb in the room on a pull and this is the original run to it. I have no idea why the idiot that did this didn't replace this piece of run with romex and ground all of it. If you look at the second picture, the romex running behind the JB is the wire for the switch.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:52 PM   #14
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Look like another cable running behind the box. I don't think the box is even fastened to the joist.
The box isn't fastened to anything. It is "floating". You would be amazed at what is either not attached to anything or lying on top of the drop ceiling. This is just some of what's exposed or available above the drop ceiling. I shudder to think what's covered by drywall.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:01 PM   #15
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While it is true that it is a technical violation to modify or extend an ungrounded circuit, I personally wouldn't consider it a huge problem if you were maybe to change that box out to something bigger, say 4" square, 2-1/8" deep, and fastened it to the joist. What I think you have is a switch loop. But, which wire is the loop and which is the power? Is the wire with the ground really coming from the panel?

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