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Old 12-04-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
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three way switch wiring


in wiring a three way switch, can the sections of wiring which call for 12/3, be replaced with 12/2 with an extra wire ran along side it? i am under the impression that the only wire that can be out of conduit is romex?

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Old 12-04-2008, 05:57 PM   #2
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three way switch wiring


You definitely may not run a single conductor exposed, perhaps wrapped around a 12-2 Romex cable. (14-2 for 15 amp circuits)

I think you can run two 12-2's as opposed to one 12-3. One cable would have the travelers, the other cable would have one conductor unused.

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Old 12-04-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
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three way switch wiring


yes i was thinking of using two 12/2's. (i have some left over, but i would have to buy 12/3) could i cut open a 12/2 romex and use the black wire inside? it wouldn't be totally expossed like if i were to use the ground wire. a friend of mine did this and i don't think it right?
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:19 PM   #4
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three way switch wiring


Wiring in walls needs to be in an approved raceway or approved cable. If you don't want to spent money to buy 3 wire, use 2 2 wire cables... Unless saving $50 for 100' of 12-3 is worth possibly burning you house down.

When you start to pull the conductor you will most likely start striping the insulation off, if you have a metal box the romex clamp will possibly strip the wire causing a ground fault.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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three way switch wiring


thats what i thought. thanks. my friend will be unhappy when the inspector comes back!
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:38 PM   #6
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three way switch wiring


Also, every wire and cable must be identified on its insulation as to what it is. The outer jacket of a romex has the info about what is inside of it. If you pull one of the wires out to use separately, the individual wires usually do not have the required markings so you shouldn't use it.

310.11 Marking.

(A) Required Information. All conductors and cables shall be marked to indicate the following information, using the applicable method described in 310.11(B):

(1) The maximum rated voltage.

(2) The proper type letter or letters for the type of wire or cable as specified elsewhere in this Code.

(3) The manufacturer’s name, trademark, or other distinctive marking by which the organization responsible for the product can be readily identified.

(4) The AWG size or circular mil area.

FPN: See Conductor Properties, Table 8 of Chapter 9, for conductor area expressed in SI units for conductor sizes specified in AWG or circular mil area.

(5) Cable assemblies where the neutral conductor is smaller than the ungrounded conductors shall be so marked.

(B) Method of Marking.

(1) Surface Marking. The following conductors and cables shall be durably marked on the surface. The AWG size or circular mil area shall be repeated at intervals not exceeding 610 mm (24 in.). All other markings shall be repeated at intervals not exceeding 1.0 m (40 in.).

(1) Single-conductor and multiconductor rubber- and thermoplastic-insulated wire and cable

(2) Nonmetallic-sheathed cable

(3) Service-entrance cable

(4) Underground feeder and branch-circuit cable

(5) Tray cable

(6) Irrigation cable

(7) Power-limited tray cable

(8) Instrumentation tray cable
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewhart View Post
yes i was thinking of using two 12/2's. (i have some left over, but i would have to buy 12/3) could i cut open a 12/2 romex and use the black wire inside? it wouldn't be totally expossed like if i were to use the ground wire. a friend of mine did this and i don't think it right?
Generally it is easier to remove the jacket from the Romex type cable prior to inserting the end into the box. Strip off at least 6 inches of jacket. The end of the jacket must protrude inside the box enough to be held by the box clamp. Tie the ground wire to all of the other grounds in the box. It is suggested that any unused conductors not be clipped off but rather have ends taped individually and coiled up inside the box for future use.

With proper installation, Romex cable jacket is not harmed by metal box clamps designed for it, and fiber bushings are not needed. Should the jacket in the middle of a cable run get torn, that cable is no longer legal to be strung inside the wall.

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-05-2008 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Should the jacket in the middle of a cable run get torn, that cable is no longer legal to be strung inside the wall.
Really? I thought you could repair it with tape.

If this is true, it's got to be the most violated rule ever.

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