Simple Wiring Issue - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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
Attached Images
 

Advertisement


Last edited by PortlandQGuy; 06-01-2012 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Adding diagram
PortlandQGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
Member
 
kevinp22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 323
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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

Advertisement


Last edited by kevinp22; 06-01-2012 at 03:02 PM.
kevinp22 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to kevinp22 For This Useful Post:
a_lost_shadow (06-03-2012), JulieMor (06-02-2012)
Old 06-01-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 221
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by PortlandQGuy View Post
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
goosebarry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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!
PortlandQGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to PortlandQGuy For This Useful Post:
kevinp22 (06-01-2012)
Old 06-02-2012, 01:20 AM   #5
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,164
Rewards Points: 2,120
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp22 View Post
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.
stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to stickboy1375 For This Useful Post:
kevinp22 (06-03-2012)
Old 06-02-2012, 02:29 AM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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.
PortlandQGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #7
Cruising into the sunset
 
JulieMor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 477
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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."
JulieMor is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to JulieMor For This Useful Post:
Johnny'sHotDogs (06-02-2012)
Old 06-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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.
PortlandQGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: IL
Posts: 858
Rewards Points: 732
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
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."
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?
curiousB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #10
Pure Genius
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton OH
Posts: 223
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Simple Wiring issue


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

Last edited by Dierte; 06-02-2012 at 07:18 PM.
Dierte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,164
Rewards Points: 2,120
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dierte View Post
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....
stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
Pure Genius
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dayton OH
Posts: 223
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375

He wasn't trying to wire a 3 way....
Thats what i get for skimming over posts
Dierte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 07:26 PM   #13
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,164
Rewards Points: 2,120
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dierte View Post
Thats what i get for skimming over posts
No problem, I just thought I would mention it...
stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
Cruising into the sunset
 
JulieMor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 477
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousB View Post
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.
JulieMor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #15
E2 Electrician
 
stickboy1375's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 5,164
Rewards Points: 2,120
Default

Simple Wiring issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
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.

Advertisement

stickboy1375 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Issue with thermostat wiring for baseboard heater jschell Electrical 3 01-30-2011 08:30 AM
GFI wiring issue voless Electrical 4 10-20-2010 02:37 AM
Simple wiring problem (I hope) Burt1664 Electrical 7 12-19-2009 07:49 AM
Thermostat Wiring issue swampdawg_101 HVAC 20 11-21-2008 12:01 PM
Century Home Wiring Issue fradam1976 Electrical 14 05-07-2008 02:53 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts