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appleye1 03-06-2011 03:12 PM

New Pilot Light Switch - Neutral From Another Circuit OK?
I have a 2 gang box which currently has a 3-way switch on one circuit and a single-pole switch on another circuit. I'm changing the single-pole switch to a single-pole switch with a pilot light (which is on when the light is on.) But the switch needs a neutral. My question is can you pigtail off the neutral from the other circuit that is already in the box?

I've tried it and it seems to work, but I am leery of it.

joed 03-06-2011 03:36 PM

No you can not.

appleye1 03-06-2011 04:00 PM

Thanks. I'll fish a new wire then.

I assume it is probably against code, right? And although it seems to work it must have dangers or downsides correct? Can anyone explain what those are?

iminaquagmire 03-06-2011 04:04 PM

Current flows back to the panel on the neutral. Connecting the neutral from another circuit means more current flowing back on the circuit than it was intended to handle.

appleye1 03-06-2011 06:07 PM

Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the info.

Jim Port 03-06-2011 06:08 PM

Another reason is to prevent heating from not having all of the circuit conductors run together.

bobelectric 03-07-2011 03:39 AM

And... When somebody gets Zinged from a circuit they "Know" is off! The neutral is hot.

joed 03-07-2011 08:23 AM

Current overload is the main concern. The breaker is on the hot wire. So if each breaker is running 15 amps and one of the neutrals goes open then the remaining neutral caries the full load of 30 amps.

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