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Old 12-17-2008, 01:04 PM   #1
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Three way lights detached building


I have a detached garage being fed with 4 conductors (3#6, 1#8 copper thwn) in 1" grey pvc. I also have a seperate 3/4" liquidtite line for phone, alarm and garage door opener wires. I wish to add some three way switches and lights. I plan on having a light and switch at both the garage and the house.

Can I run my common and traveller wires in the 1" conduit? Do I have to also run a seperate neutral for the lights?

Thanks

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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Three way lights detached building


Yes you need a separate neutral for the lights. It together with the accompanying hot wire for the lights is in the same conduit or cable and is a downstream branch to the power feed for example at a subpanel in the detached building.

You may not power something using the hot line out in the detached building and tie to the neutral back at the main house.

Example: First 3 way switch in detached building powered by feed out there. Travelers and unswitched power (switch loop) going to main house where second 3 way switch is. Switched power with own neutral from first 3 way switch box to light on side of detached building and continuing to second light on side of main house.


Last edited by AllanJ; 12-17-2008 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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Three way lights detached building


Thanks AllanJ. I thought I'd need one neutral as well.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Three way lights detached building


I don't think you can mix feeders and branch circuits in the same conduit. So, what I am saying is "you will need to run another branch circuit for the switch loop".
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:42 PM   #5
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Three way lights detached building


Now I'm confused.

What you are saying JV is I need another conduit and cannot run my feeder wires and my switch wires in the same conduit?
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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Three way lights detached building


Oops, I'm not sure you can't run the switch loop and the feed to the detached building in the same conduit.

But you don't need a separate branch circuit from the main building for the lights, just a separate conduit perhaps. Actually with rare exceptions such as feeds of different voltages there should be only one feed (or branch circuit) going between any two buildings.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:20 PM   #7
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Three way lights detached building


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
I don't think you can mix feeders and branch circuits in the same conduit.
Code reference please.

I have ran a 3 way loop as you plan to do. Run it as a switch loop extending back to the house (common and two travelers, plus ground for switch)

The setup is only illegal if you power the 3 way switch circuit from the house.
The reason is that the garage would be fed with more than one source. A building is only allowed 1 feeder. (or service) (there are exceptions, none of which apply)

Hope this helps
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:48 PM   #8
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Three way lights detached building


You are allowed to run both branch circuit and feeder conductors to a detached garage in the same conduit. You are not allowed to run feeder or branch circuit conductors in the same conduit as service conductors NEC 230.7.

You need to be careful applying this one feeder or one branch circuit to a detached garage thing. The NEC is not merely written for residential garages. It is quite common to have multiple feeders to a detached structure in industrial applications. Remember there are 5 exceptions in article 225 that allow more than one supply to a detached structure or building.

Running a three way switch set-up to the garage along with a feeder would fall under 225.30(D). Different uses
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:51 PM   #9
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Three way lights detached building


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You are allowed to run both branch circuit and feeder conductors to a detached garage in the same conduit. You are not allowed to run feeder or branch circuit conductors in the same conduit as service conductors NEC 230.7.

You need to be careful applying this one feeder or one branch circuit to a detached garage thing. The NEC is not merely written for residential garages. It is quite common to have multiple feeders to a detached structure in industrial applications. Remember there are 5 exceptions in article 225 that allow more than one supply to a detached structure or building.

Running a three way switch set-up to the garage along with a feeder would fall under 225.30(D). Different uses
I agree 100%, nothing wrong with a feeder and a 3-way setup at a separate structure.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:35 PM   #10
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Three way lights detached building


He wants a light on the garage AND the house. He will need to run a neutral with the three way wires. That's an extra wire to remember that is required to make this work.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:51 AM   #11
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Three way lights detached building


Thanks guys!

So I get this right, it is allowed to run my garage feeder wires and my switch loop wires and a neutral wire for this set-up in the same conduit, as long as I take my feed from the detached garage.

One other question, the garage feeder currently runs from one breaker panel to another in the conduit. Is it ok to splice these proposed underground switch wires in the panels and convert to romex (pass through) or do I need to install junction boxes, splice and remove the wires at the jb's and not go through the panels?

Our inspector does not do electrical inspections, but uses an outside source. This project will not start until the weather breaks and I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row now.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #12
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Three way lights detached building


Quote:
Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Thanks guys!

So I get this right, it is allowed to run my garage feeder wires and my switch loop wires and a neutral wire for this set-up in the same conduit, as long as I take my feed from the detached garage.
I dont care where you feed it from as long as the grounded conductor goes along for the ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
One other question, the garage feeder currently runs from one breaker panel to another in the conduit. Is it ok to splice these proposed underground switch wires in the panels and convert to romex (pass through) or do I need to install junction boxes, splice and remove the wires at the jb's and not go through the panels?
You can use the panel as a junction box.

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