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Old 05-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #1
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Switched Neutral?


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Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
If they make the NEC change requiring a neutral in every switch box, that will make this project difficult.

Especially if there is no neutral in the original switch box.
Above is from another thread.

What is this? Why would they do this? I thought switched neutrals were unsafe.

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Old 05-02-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Switched Neutral?


The neutral is not to be switched, it just has to be present in the switch box. This is so that dimmers and other devices that require a neutral can be used without the common but unsafe practice of hijacking the ground as a return.

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Old 05-02-2011, 01:49 AM   #3
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Switched Neutral?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Above is from another thread.

What is this? Why would they do this? I thought switched neutrals were unsafe.
Switched neturals are illegal senice mid 1930's thru current.

That used to be common with T&K and early DC circuits { way back in Edison days }

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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
The neutral is not to be switched, it just has to be present in the switch box. This is so that dimmers and other devices that require a neutral can be used without the common but unsafe practice of hijacking the ground as a return.

That true and what more many time when someone want to add a receptale or other means you will have a legit netural in the switch box I know it can be pain in butt to arrange it but once you do run the cable or conductor in correct way you will have netural at all switch boxes.

It is a standard pratice we do that in France the code was allready in effect for the last couple years.

Keep in your mind that the codes are in effect when the states do take 2011 NEC Code requirement but you can get ahead of the code by doing it now and it will really save alot of headache but just watch out the box fill so just keep it in your mind with it.

Merci.
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:57 AM   #4
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Switched Neutral?


yeah, ok, I guess I understand the idea, but for us DIYers, it may be a pain to undertand the physical running of the wires.

I don't recall ever needing a neutral for the few dimmers I've installed. Maybe this is something to do w/ fluorescents? I've never used them for anything other than incandescents.

My location is still on the 2005 Code, but I've been doing all of my work per '08.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:10 AM   #5
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Switched Neutral?


I have allready ran into couple motion sensor which they do required a netural connection to work properly escpally true if you have CFL or LED luminaire on that motion switch as far for dimmer very few will required a netural connection.

But in France it kinda getting more common to find our motion switch will come with netural due alot of CFL or LED luminaires load.

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Old 05-02-2011, 04:44 AM   #6
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Switched Neutral?


Few devices require neutrals to operate, and the ones that do are usually advanced electronic controls like wireless networked dimmers. As Frenchelectrician said, the other good reason to have a neutral in the box is for future additions to the circuit. It's no more difficult to install this way, it just requires the use of 3-conductor cable in some instances instead of 2-conductor.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:43 AM   #7
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Switched Neutral?


How would the set up go? Should the red be the hot leg or the black? Is the white left with a wire nut?
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:55 AM   #8
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Switched Neutral?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Above is from another thread.

What is this? Why would they do this? I thought switched neutrals were unsafe.
Sparks,

You are quoting me out of context. I was not talking about switching the neutral but as others have pointed out; the requirement to have a neutral present in every switch box.

The example was adding a 3 way switch to an existing single pole that is wired as a switch loop.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:19 AM   #9
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Switched Neutral?


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Originally Posted by whatrymes View Post
How would the set up go? Should the red be the hot leg or the black? Is the white left with a wire nut?
The white would be left with a wire nut. I don't think it matters which is the unswitched hot (red or black) since both red and black are "hot" colors.

I'd use the red as the unswitched hot, though. When you have a switch leg with no neutral in the box, the black is supposed to be the switched hot, may as well keep consistent.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:48 AM   #10
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Switched Neutral?


There are a few situations involving generator transfer switches where the neutral is switched along with the hot conductors. This is done to reduce the instances where neutral and ground are bonded in more than one place.

For example the neutral and generator frame and ground cannot be unbonded on one model of generator which is feeding a subpanel. Meanwhile neutral and ground are bonded at the main panel. Without switching the neutral at the tranfer switch between main panel and subpanel, both of the above named neutral-ground bonds will remain in effect.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:22 PM   #11
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Switched Neutral?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Sparks,

You are quoting me out of context. I was not talking about switching the neutral but as others have pointed out; the requirement to have a neutral present in every switch box.

The example was adding a 3 way switch to an existing single pole that is wired as a switch loop.
rj, that wasn't my intention. I didn't understand at first, and I apologize.

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