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PortlandQGuy 06-01-2012 02:33 PM

Simple Wiring issue
 
1 Attachment(s)
So I've been wiring an addition that I built on my house on my own. When I was doing this I failed to realize that if I wanted to wire two lights to one switch I needed to run 14-3 between the lights if the switch was at the other end of the run from the source power. That being said, I just put up sheet-rock and painted and am really reluctant to cut into the freshly painted new rock.

What I'm wondering is, since I have the ability to ground both the 1st light(through the 14-2 that brings the power to the run), and the second light (through the box that contains the switch, it's a 2-gang box with a second switch for a different light, and therefore a ground wire there), could I theoretically use the ground wire between the first and second lights to carry the neutral from the switch? I'm worried about it because it's not shielded (only has paper, and in the yellow housing).

I would just jump my source from the other switch that is in the same box, but it is a three-way and doesn't always have power.

I have attached a diagram of what I have for convenience. It is pretty rudimentry and only shows what wires I have where, but should give an idea of what I'm looking at.

TY

kevinp22 06-01-2012 02:58 PM

Portland Guy,

You absolutely, positvely cannot do this. This was the main impetus behind the code change in 2011 requiring neutrals at switches

The scary part is that it would physically work, but it is unsafe

goosebarry 06-01-2012 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PortlandQGuy (Post 933913)
could I theoretically use the ground wire between the first and second lights to carry the neutral from the switch? I'm worried about it because it's not shielded (only has paper, and in the yellow housing).

You answered your own question. Neutral wires do carry current and cannot be exposed.

We love NEC 2011

PortlandQGuy 06-01-2012 10:19 PM

Thank you!
 
Thank you both for your responses. I knew it would physically work but was leery about safety.

Knowing this I will find a way to fish 14-3 between my lights, or fish my source to my switch.

Again, thank you!

stickboy1375 06-02-2012 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevinp22 (Post 933920)
Portland Guy,

You absolutely, positvely cannot do this. This was the main impetus behind the code change in 2011 requiring neutrals at switches

The scary part is that it would physically work, but it is unsafe

Thats not why they require neutrals at switches, but what the OP wanted to do is just a plain code violation.

PortlandQGuy 06-02-2012 02:29 AM

That's exactly why I asked. I'm just a DIYer and don't know the intricacies of the code. So far we've passed all our electrical inspections just fine (Service upgrade, rough-in elec.), and since I don't know, I wanted to ask people who did, instead of browsing through 1000 some-odd pages of code.

So again. Thank you for answering, and I'm glad I asked.

JulieMor 06-02-2012 09:02 AM

Opening up the drywall and doing it right would give you some peace of mind.

For all you who think we Chicago area sparkys are nuts for installing conduit, here's one of many reasons why we love it. "Just pull in another switchleg." :thumbup:

PortlandQGuy 06-02-2012 03:42 PM

Got to say, in hind-sight, that would have been the way to go. Not looking forward to tearing into/repairing the drywall. There's always next time though.

curiousB 06-02-2012 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieMor (Post 934437)
Opening up the drywall and doing it right would give you some peace of mind.

For all you who think we Chicago area sparkys are nuts for installing conduit, here's one of many reasons why we love it. "Just pull in another switchleg." :thumbup:

I agree conduit is great for changes like this but you have conduit fill and box fill issues that can creep up as you add wires to existing conduit.

Secondly is the cost build a house. Probably $5-10K more labor to use conduit over Romex for an average sized house. You can rip out a lot of drywall, repair, and repaint for $10k.

Lastly is the safety or should I say perceived safety. I'm not aware of any statistics that say Chicago has statistically lower electric fires than other parts of the country. Years of data, millions of homes to compare but nothing saying it is safer.

In the end it is simply a union driven mandate to drive more trade work to union workers. Now IL is driving fire sprinklers into residential single family construction. Another $10-15k tax on new construction. Where is the runaway fire data to justify this?

Dierte 06-02-2012 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PortlandQGuy
Got to say, in hind-sight, that would have been the way to go. Not looking forward to tearing into/repairing the drywall. There's always next time though.

Disregard my post. I skimmed over your post and thought you were trying a 3 way. Anywho things happen and drywall is cheap

stickboy1375 06-02-2012 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dierte (Post 934676)
Hind-sight would have been to research how to correctly wire a 3 way before you roughed in

He wasn't trying to wire a 3 way....

Dierte 06-02-2012 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stickboy1375

He wasn't trying to wire a 3 way....

Thats what i get for skimming over posts

stickboy1375 06-02-2012 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dierte (Post 934723)
Thats what i get for skimming over posts

:) No problem, I just thought I would mention it...

JulieMor 06-03-2012 10:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by curiousB (Post 934649)
I agree conduit is great for changes like this but you have conduit fill and box fill issues that can creep up as you add wires to existing conduit.

Secondly is the cost build a house. Probably $5-10K more labor to use conduit over Romex for an average sized house. You can rip out a lot of drywall, repair, and repaint for $10k.

Lastly is the safety or should I say perceived safety. I'm not aware of any statistics that say Chicago has statistically lower electric fires than other parts of the country. Years of data, millions of homes to compare but nothing saying it is safer.

In the end it is simply a union driven mandate to drive more trade work to union workers. Now IL is driving fire sprinklers into residential single family construction. Another $10-15k tax on new construction. Where is the runaway fire data to justify this?

I've done a lot of electrical estimating in my career. When I compared Romex to conduit, the conduit added about $2-3K to the cost of a 2500 Sq/Ft house. Also, in my career, I've had several friends ask me to come over and explain why their wall puts out an electrical shock (drywall nail or screw into the hot of Romex). That doesn't happen with conduit.

While the unions may have had an influence on keeping conduit in the local codes, I'm pretty sure the conduit concept began when homes formerly lighted with gas fixtures were converted to electricity and they used the abandoned gas pipe to pull wires through to the new electrical fixtures.

Regardless, the idea of running extension cords through your house just seems wrong. But that's coming from someone who has worked with conduit from day one.

As far as the sprinklers, I agree, it certainly seems its mandate was generated by those who benefit. Still, you have to ask yourself why commercial and industrial applications have "forever" been required to install conduit and sprinklers. Just because they can afford it? Because there are more people's lives at stake? Because there was a catastrophe and new laws were enacted to prevent another one?

We hated seat belts. We hated air bags. They both save lives and reduce injury. And I wouldn't call the data supporting their use "runaway". It's just that every life is precious.

stickboy1375 06-03-2012 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieMor (Post 935141)
Also, in my career, I've had several friends ask me to come over and explain why their wall puts out an electrical shock (drywall nail or screw into the hot of Romex). That doesn't happen with conduit.

.

Okay, lets not start a conduit war here, but that statement is ridiculous... and I'm not saying another word about it. :)


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