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Old 09-05-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Does the (relatively) new NEC requirement of having a grounded conductor present at light switches (i.e. - no more switch loops) apply to these door jamb switches? These are pretty cool.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Does the presence of an earth wire,
make it NOT a switch loop ?

Me thinks it is still a switch loop !

And if the electric door jam is metal construction
then having a ground is a good thing !

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Old 09-06-2012, 12:36 AM   #3
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax
Does the presence of an earth wire,
make it NOT a switch loop ?

Me thinks it is still a switch loop !

And if the electric door jam is metal construction
then having a ground is a good thing !
I said groundED conductor, not groundING conductor. I'm talking about the energized post-load conductor. Some refer to it as the neutral conductor. Its white or gray in color. You're talking about the equipment bonding conductor. It's green colored or bare copper.

I believe the latest NEC requires the presence of a grounded (neutral) conductor at switches, essentially forbidding the use of a switch loop. I'm curious if it applied to all switches.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:47 AM   #4
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


I would think that it's only intended to apply to normal gang-boxes with manually activated switches, but the language of the code might be construed to apply to any switch, including those. I think if it doesn't reside in a box then that doesn't apply though. So if the switch has a junction space then it probably doesn't require a neutral.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


I'd be curious also as I just installed a "4-way" switch in between 2 existing "3-ways" but located about 20 ft away from them, off in a different direction. So I only ran 2 12-2s to the 4-way, rather than 2 12-3s. No neutral. Used only one of the grounds for the 4-way to avoid a ground loop.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:50 AM   #6
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


I believe you can still have switch loops, but instead of running a 2 wire you have to run a 3 wire (hot, switched hot, neutral).
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:18 AM   #7
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by philS View Post
I'd be curious also as I just installed a "4-way" switch in between 2 existing "3-ways" but located about 20 ft away from them, off in a different direction. So I only ran 2 12-2s to the 4-way, rather than 2 12-3s. No neutral. Used only one of the grounds for the 4-way to avoid a ground loop.
There is nothing wrong with a "ground loop" and all the ground wires must be connected together at all locations, including different circuits.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:20 AM   #8
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmran View Post
Does the (relatively) new NEC requirement of having a grounded conductor present at light switches (i.e. - no more switch loops) apply to these door jamb switches? These are pretty cool.

Attachment 56922
Simply use a 3-wire cable, and cap off the unused neutral conductor. You still have a switch loop, only it's not a so-called "2-wire" switch loop.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:24 AM   #9
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


So do they now require a bonded neutral at all light switchs ?

Might not be such a bad thing,
with the increased use of electronic controls
neutrals are now required more often.
And with more and more diyers tagging extra recepticules
on anywhere the neutral will be handy.

So you where refering to the old two wire switch loops
which had no neutral as being phased out !
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
So do they now require a bonded neutral at all light switchs ?

Might not be such a bad thing,
with the increased use of electronic controls
neutrals are now required more often.
And with more and more diyers tagging extra recepticules
on anywhere the neutral will be handy.

So you where refering to the old two wire switch loops
which had no neutral as being phased out !
As I 'understand it', it means you can't use the old method of running your power to the light fixture and then then your 'switch loop' down to the switch (like my house is done). Incoming power has to go to the switch box....along with the neutral and ground.

Personally....I find this just as about as easy....and since I plan to do some 'automation' of lights in the future.....having a neut and ground at the switch box is a good thing.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlmran View Post
Does the (relatively) new NEC requirement of having a grounded conductor present at light switches (i.e. - no more switch loops) apply to these door jamb switches? These are pretty cool.

Attachment 56922
No, would not be required for those. The reasoning behind that requirement is for the occupancy sensors, some timer switches, etc. I don't believe you could fit one in that enclosure.

Switch loops can still be used, just run a 3 wire, if the switch is easily accessible, from unfinished wall behind the switch, open cavity above or below, then a grounded wire is not required.

EDIT: guess i should have read all replies

Last edited by Gac66610; 09-06-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:15 AM   #12
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by philS View Post
I'd be curious also as I just installed a "4-way" switch in between 2 existing "3-ways" but located about 20 ft away from them, off in a different direction. So I only ran 2 12-2s to the 4-way, rather than 2 12-3s. No neutral. Used only one of the grounds for the 4-way to avoid a ground loop.
How did you do this while keeping the conductors from the circuit grouped? The way you wired it is quite non-complaint and quite possibly very unsafe.
This is a classic case of knowing how to make it work but it still not being right.

Also, "ground loops" are not an issue in circuits like this, and again you created an unsafe condition by not using one of them.

Care to give us some details on just how you wired this?
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #13
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
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. See related ROP

Exception: The grounded circuit conductor shall be permitted to be omitted from the switch enclosure where either of the following conditions in (1) or (2) apply:

(1) Conductors for switches controlling lighting loads enter the box through a raceway. The raceway shall have sufficient cross-sectional area to accommodate the extension of the grounded circuit conductor of the lighting circuit to the switch location whether or not the conductors in the raceway are required to be increased in size to comply with 310.15(B)(3)(a).

(2) Cable assemblies for switches controlling lighting loads enter the box through a framing cavity that is open at the top or bottom on the same floor level, or through a wall, floor, or ceiling that is unfinished on one side.
By the letter of the code it would be required, but I'd be damned if I would run one. Those switches SUCK, and the compartments is small enough.
IMO the intent of this code section does not apply to this application.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
By the letter of the code it would be required, but I'd be damned if I would run one. Those switches SUCK, and the compartments is small enough.
IMO the intent of this code section does not apply to this application.
Now you've diverted me. What sucks about these switches?
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #15
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No more switch loops - does it apply?


The boxes are TINY and they have to be mortised into the door jamb. If the walls are finished it is a pain to snake down and sideways to the door jamb.

I like relays and magnetic low-voltage switches.

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