Two 2-wire Cables Legal In Three-way Circuit? - 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 03-26-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


I have two unused switches in a wall (installed for future use, never used). Each has a 14-2 cable running to a box in the unfinished basement, where they were intended to connect to a future load. Power is supplied from the wall box where the switches are. I want to install a three-way switch in place of one of them, leaving the other unused. It's difficult to get to the base of the wall to pull in a 14-3, so I'd like to avoid that.

Can I legally use the black wires of the two 14-2s as the travelers, and both whites as the neutral, to the box in the basement, where I'd wire the rest of the circuit conventionally?

Terry

Advertisement

TerryR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Yes you can do that, but it is a PITA, and on the offside if the next person that comes along is not aware of how it is wired, there could either be some fireworks, or a whole lot of cussing, when they can not get the circuit to work. Make sure that you code which wire is the traveler.

Advertisement

__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?

Last edited by gregzoll; 03-26-2012 at 10:04 PM.
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 252
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


don't think so.300.5(I) says conductors of the same ckt and where used grounded conductors and grounding conductors shall be installed in same cable or raceway.I know we can't do it here...
oleguy74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oleguy74 View Post
don't think so.300.5(I) says conductors of the same ckt and where used grounded conductors and grounding conductors shall be installed in same cable or raceway.I know we can't do it here...
You can run two runs of Romex for a three way, but it becomes a PITA as I already stated, due to the next person will not know how it is hooked up, and try to do something differently. This actually becomes a gray area under that section.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 11:15 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 252
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


well do what you want.
oleguy74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
Licensed Electrician
 
k_buz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 4,343
Rewards Points: 2,006
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oleguy74 View Post
don't think so.300.5(I) says conductors of the same ckt and where used grounded conductors and grounding conductors shall be installed in same cable or raceway.I know we can't do it here...
The wires between two 3 way switches aren't classified as a circuit, they are a switch loop.
k_buz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 252
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


if you say so.a three way is not a switch loop.
oleguy74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 07:20 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,975
Rewards Points: 2,046
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


However two cables (14-3 and 14-2) running between the same two boxes may be needed to comply with the latest National Electric Code regarding providing a neutral in each switch box. A homeowner or electrician might not find it convenient to obtain 14-4 Romex for 3 way switches.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 03-27-2012 at 07:23 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 08:16 AM   #9
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oleguy74 View Post
if you say so.a three way is not a switch loop.
Well then. Show all of us how it is not.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oleguy74 View Post
well do what you want.
It is a legal way of doing it, and fits within the code.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 08:38 AM   #11
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,338
Rewards Points: 3,470
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Certain wiring configurations of three ways are switch loops. The ones with power feed at the fixture are switch loops. The ones with power feed at one switch going to second switch and then fixture are not switch loops.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #12
A "Handy Husband"
 
rjniles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Carolina Low Country
Posts: 4,224
Rewards Points: 2,358
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


While I agree it is done and not many inspectors will gig you for it, I do not think it meets the requirement of 300.5(I). Switch legs are part of the circuit.

Additionally the requirement in NEC 2011 to carry a neutral to all switch boxes will eventually enforce the use of 4 wire cable (14/4 or 12/4). Running 2 cables to get the neutral to all switch boxes will be deemed a violation of 300.5(I).
__________________
Location:
Coastal South Carolina
rjniles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 09:17 AM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 441
Rewards Points: 252
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


in most situations,a switch loop,the use of the neu.side of a 12 or 14-2 is used for hot to sw and black returns to load.useing a single pole sw.to three way from a fixture box,you only need to sw the hot so neutral is not carried to sw box to carry power as a hot so unless you use the neu as part of switched hot, this not a switch loop.just my view. as to weather or not it is deemed ok for you to do it or not is fine just as said not a good method.
oleguy74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 09:25 AM   #14
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


I do not see how this will be a violation of 300.5(i). I just looked at it, along with the other two sections that go along, and no where do I see that it will be in violation.

As for switch loops, that will and always has been the nature of the beast, especially when people start introducing technology, due to their lazy butts can not get up and turn on or off lights.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #15
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,393
Rewards Points: 2,448
Default

Two 2-wire cables legal in three-way circuit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by oleguy74
in most situations,a switch loop,the use of the neu.side of a 12 or 14-2 is used for hot to sw and black returns to load.useing a single pole sw.to three way from a fixture box,you only need to sw the hot so neutral is not carried to sw box to carry power as a hot so unless you use the neu as part of switched hot, this not a switch loop.just my view. as to weather or not it is deemed ok for you to do it or not is fine just as said not a good method.
Yes, it is not a good method of getting the job done, but it meets code guidelines, and I am stressing on the word guideline.

Advertisement

__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?
gregzoll is offline   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
Mixing 14/2 and 12/2 wire on one circuit? dekohl Electrical 12 03-13-2012 08:19 AM
Sharing Neutrals on the same phase electro Electrical 30 08-12-2010 03:10 PM
Decommissioning old armored wire circuit toddmanqa Electrical 6 12-04-2009 09:55 AM
Tying in aluminum wire to copper wire...legal? safe? I_think_I_conduit Electrical 2 11-06-2009 06:38 PM
hooking up dryer....bronx ny code SURFBUG Appliances 6 10-14-2008 10:41 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts