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Old 10-23-2008, 02:57 AM   #16
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


Those brass screws on switches and plugs are pretty easy to touch to something they shouldn't.

Sometimes, when I'm working on something I know someone is going to be fiddling with after, i.e. the home-owner, tile-setters doing a backsplash, painters, etc..., I take some electrical tape and wrap it around the plug or switch so it covers the screws on the side.

Heck, sometimes I'll even do it if there is a mess in there, it's in a metal box, and there is just a lot of playing around I need to do.

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Old 10-23-2008, 10:36 AM   #17
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


So while I had light to see into the switch, it appeared that the switches are wired in parallel. It looks like there are 5 black wires nutted together and I'm assuming those are the hots. Unfortunately I blew the dimmer (and lost my nerve) before I could further examine the wiring. If I get home before dark I'll kill power and pull it out again. If the hot coming in is bonded to to the three hots for the switches and the hot going to the downstream receptacle then I should be able to separate them and see which two leave the box and one of those is the hot coming in and one is the downstream hot, right? At that point I can just pull one off, cap it, restore power and see if I have power to the switch. If I don't, then it's the other one.

Am I missing something here?
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:40 PM   #18
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


Sounds good to me, Just an FYI, power in usually comes in through the top of the box, and can exit through the top or bottom. Sounds like you only have two possibilities so it shouldn't take long to figure out which one is which.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:21 PM   #19
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatretch85
The hot blade would be the shorter blade in the extension cord. Definitely make sure the power is off first!

If you turn the power off the hot blade will be neither one!
I think he meant to check continuity between the hot blade on the cord and the wires in the box.. It's a clever idea, theatretch.
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Old 10-23-2008, 04:39 PM   #20
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Sounds good to me, Just an FYI, power in usually comes in through the top of the box, and can exit through the top or bottom. Sounds like you only have two possibilities so it shouldn't take long to figure out which one is which.
That's if the person who wired the box paid any attention to that rule.
Is that in the NEC, or just a good rule of thumb?
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #21
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


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That's if the person who wired the box paid any attention to that rule.
Is that in the NEC, or just a good rule of thumb?
Neither, really. It just happens to turn out that way alot. Power can and does come into a box from any way that the electrician could get it there.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:15 PM   #22
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Is a junction box my only/best solution?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
I think he meant to check continuity between the hot blade on the cord and the wires in the box.. It's a clever idea, theatretch.
Yes I did actually, sorry I didn't make it more clear in my post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KE2KB View Post
That's if the person who wired the box paid any attention to that rule.
Is that in the NEC, or just a good rule of thumb?
That's why I said Usually the power comes in from the top of the box. Most houses I have ever seen all the wire is strung through the attic and dropped down the walls to the switches and outlets. So it would be logical to think that the power in would come from the top. In that the OP is only dealing with two outside cables in the box, it won't take long to figure out which one supplies power and which continues on in the circuit.

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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Neither, really. It just happens to turn out that way alot. Power can and does come into a box from any way that the electrician could get it there.
Very true! Sometimes its easier to run power through an un-finished basement ceiling up the wall to a new outlet than it is to run it down the wall.

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