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Old 07-03-2008, 08:46 AM   #16
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Househelper and Theatertech85

Yes I see what you have said and I missed the part about using a neutral in the 3-gang box at the house I also thought this garage was attached but is not and he is wanting to bury uf for the switch leg. So I am in agreement that he should just power the pilot light three way at the house and run a 3 conductor uf to the garage threeway..no issue.

So where does the 4 conductor cable he specifically stated he was using come into play if he is running a 3 conductor uf for the cable between switches?????

He did say in his first post that power was in the garage. He could, if he would like, bury the 4 conductor cable if it is long enough and rated for direct bury. If he has NM-b 4 conductor then he is out of luck (can't bury it). Color code for 4 conductor cable is usually black,red,blue,white (neutral), and bare ground.

Theatertech85

I don't always show the ground wire in my drawings. I forgot to state that the ground was not shown. So I will correct the drawing. Sometimes when I draw something in a hurry I forget that part. Cable always has an understood ground so there are 5 wires in a four conductor cable....4 conductors..... 3 hots,one neutral and a bare ground. I couldn't find an image of 4 conductor but below is 2/2 with ground the only difference is one of the whites is blue. I believe he has 4 conductor with ground because he makes a strong statement to that effect.


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Old 07-03-2008, 10:15 AM   #17
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Stubbie, where did you find that wire? I have never seen that NM before! That would work, however is not rated for underground use even if it was in conduit. I have heard of 4 conductor with ground where its a bare ground white, black, red and blue, but I have never seen this NM in person before. When I completely re-wired my garage, I put in 3 sets of 3 way switches (garage main lights, garage work lights, and single pedestrian door outside light) I designed it such that it was all on the same circuit and used standard 3 conductor plus ground. However, that special NM would have been nice for the outside light, as the light is directly above the switch box, so consequently I had to run power to that box (it was originally done this way any way, just with a standard single pole switch). In case anyone is wondering "why" on 3 sets of 3way switches, outside light and work lights were getting left on, and wanted switches by the house door (in an attached garage) to shut off these other lights. Then added a pilot light 3 way by the outside door to turn on the main garage lights when walking in through the garage.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:13 AM   #18
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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Theatertech85

I don't always show the ground wire in my drawings. I forgot to state that the ground was not shown. So I will correct the drawing. Sometimes when I draw something in a hurry I forget that part. Cable always has an understood ground so there are 5 wires in a four conductor cable....4 conductors..... 3 hots,one neutral and a bare ground. I couldn't find an image of 4 conductor but below is 2/2 with ground the only difference is one of the whites is blue. I believe he has 4 conductor with ground because he makes a strong statement to that effect.


grounds are never included in diagrams. Reason being....... there would be no point. Just connect all your grounds together
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:41 PM   #19
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Hi Jim

Yes that is true about drawings however in a DIY format not everyone is schooled in that regard and it becomes important to remind them of a equipment ground not being shown.

I apologize for misreading post #5 the fact he stated he wanted to use 4 conductor focused me on that being the cable between his pilot switches.

At anyrate I guess he isn't going to use it.

Theatertech85

You are correct if the op has nm 4 conductor he cannot bury it. 4 conductor nm has been around for a long time but is usually only found at supply houses and not the big box stores. 2/2 with ground (shown in the images I posted) is relatively new I believe and was brought out to provide two circuits and two neutrals to bedrooms due to afci requirements. It used to be we ran a multiwire when we needed two circuits but with the afci requirement we can't share a neutral.

Say I wanted to ask you something about stage lighting. When you set up outdoors say to light a stage for a band, is gfci required for your receptacles? Seems they would be tripping all the time and I don't see anything in the NEC articles that require gfci for stage lighting.

Also how do you guys do your distribution wiring? Do you have feeders to distribution panels with duplex plugs or twist locks? And circuit breakers mounted on those panels or how do you do the ocpd for your lighting cable runs?
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:43 AM   #20
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


As for the ground not being shown, I knew that it wasn't but the reason I stated that is you showed 4 total wires in your diagram between the two switches, and there was still no ground. Meaning that wire would have to be a 5 wire cable not 4, so in that diagram it would not be possible to do that with 4 wires (with one being a ground) like is in standard 3 wire plus ground.

Stage lighting does not require GFCI outlets or breakers. If its a big lighting setup, we use the 36 channel dimmer rack, which takes 4 cams in the back (ground, neutral, line 1, line 2) on 2/0 stranded wire (yes 100' x 4 conductors of this is VERY heavy). All the lighting OCPD is done at the Dimmers, as the power switches for each output is a circuit breaker; 3 rack mounted dimmers, with 12 channels each.

Stage power and amp racks it gets a little iffy. The generator the company owns, has 3 50 amp spider boxes which has single 20 amp outlets (not duplex) with GFI's mounted in the box right next to them, and all on their own 20 amp breakers. I believe 6 20 amp circuits, and one 240 volt 30 amp circuit (only a 3 wire, so no 120/240). The breakout boxes are daisy-chain able, but share the same double pole 50 amp breaker on the generator. We have had some nuisance tripping on some of the GFI's on occasion, and I think we narrowed it down to being a faulty GFI (was only used for sound power). We rarely use the 100 amp sub panel for anything on the generator, since it requires it to be tapped, and its pointless with the 50 amp spider boxes (that and the cable is made up of 6 and 8 gauge wire, not exactly sized properly). When power is provided at the location, we usually use the 100 amp panel and tap right in, that 100 amp panel does not have any GFCI's in it at all (I know, I didn't wire it).

If you want to know more, send me a PM and I will tell you more, I already feel like I kinda hi-jacked this thread....
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:33 AM   #21
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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Stubbie, your drawing would require a 5 wire cable to complete. It would require a Ground, Neutral, plus 3 hot wires (two travelers, plus a common); and you cant use the ground as the neutral wire. I am guessing this 4 wire cable the op has is 3 wire + ground (bare ground, white, black, red). Unless the op is running conduit the entire distance from switch box to switch box, and pulling individual wires through the only logical way to do this would be what HouseHelper and I have suggested is to power the garage light from the house side of the circuit.

The grounds are never drawn for picture clarification. And no one ever includes the ground as a conductor count. Examples. 14-2, 14-3, etc, etc,....
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:52 PM   #22
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Yes chris75 I know that, but referencing the fact that the op has a 4 wire UF cable, its not going to be this fancy 5 wire cable. The drawing stubbie had was already at 4 wires and still didn't include a ground, meaning it would have to be a 14/4 w/g making it 5 wires total. I am not new to electrical wiring, I have been doing electrical work since I was about 7 years old. I have done plenty of work with electrical wiring and have worked on some complex setups. I was just trying to indicate that the diagram would need to be done with a 5 wire cable, when the op clearly stated he only has a 4 wire cable (which is 1 less than 5).

So now are we done with drilling in the fact that most electrical drawings don't show the ground for simplicity?
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:06 PM   #23
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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So now are we done with drilling in the fact that most electrical drawings don't show the ground for simplicity?

I certainly hope so......

My interest in stage lighting is directed at my good friends son ( 21 years young) who wants very much to have a career or business in theater/stage lighting. He has over the last couple years spent his last dime on stage lighting trusses and jacks and lights of all sorts and a nice new tandem trailer to haul all the stuff in.... Of course dimmer racks and programing software. He has his first job in a few weeks at a bar-b-que contest lighting an outdoor stage for a live band. First he is going to put on a fireworks show (he is also a class one pyro-technician) and set up his equipment for a family gathering the week before his job.

So I was going to refer him here to open a thread and was wondering if you would assist him with his questions.....and mine of course...

I hope you will hang out here on the forum over time as you offer a area of expertise that I at least am not overly familiar. Any forum is better with professionals from different areas of skill.

I don't think you hijacked the thread....I think I steered it to the left when it should have went to the right.....

Stubbie
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:39 PM   #24
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Stubbie: Thank you, your wiring diagram was exactly what I was going to do.

theatretch85: Yes, it's 14-4 NM cable (Romex) and I got a 250 foot roll of it at a local electrical supply house. It costs more but it's great for not having two separate lengths of 14-2.

Househelper: Thank you, your suggestion is an excellent one. I will simply take the feed from the house side and thereby save myself one 75-foot length of wire.

By the way, for those that were wondering whether I was using UF (direct bury) cable: I did that in the past (10-3 UF) when I brought power out from the house to the garage; but this time I am burying gray PVC conduit. This means I won't be using any NM or UF cable; it will be THHN wire inside the conduit.

Thanks again to all for the advice.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:02 PM   #25
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


So I guess you get to admire your 4 conductor nm for a while..... I'm glad things worked out. I had a bit of trouble understanding your intentions when you said you wanted to use 4 conductor cable but almost always those of us here on the forum eventually get it figured out. To your credit using 4 conductor nm-b was exactly what you wanted had you had the right configuration and a little different installation requirement.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:25 PM   #26
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Stubbie my Father is a Ford mtr company retiree UAW Local 588 and my brother in law currently works at the chicago heights stamping plant local 588. My Father was a QC inspector. Brother in law is currently Material handler. Not sure what my brother in law seniority is i'm thinking 76 or 77 or 78 seniority. My father before retirement had 56 seniority. Brother in law had a sweet job and they eliminated it. So now he is material handler. He hooks up the the racks at the end of the line and pulls them where they need to go.

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Old 07-04-2008, 11:32 PM   #27
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


Yes I have met a few people from 588 at meetings in Detroit years back...I'm retired now. Sorry but i just can't pull the names out of my head right now. My seniority was 1974, Local 249 Claycomo, Missouri Assembly and then transferred to Kansas City Parts Distribution.
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Old 07-05-2008, 12:26 AM   #28
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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Originally Posted by SaxTeacher View Post
By the way, for those that were wondering whether I was using UF (direct bury) cable: I did that in the past (10-3 UF) when I brought power out from the house to the garage; but this time I am burying gray PVC conduit. This means I won't be using any NM or UF cable; it will be THHN wire inside the conduit.
Just to make sure you meant "THWN" not "THHN" in that conduit. Since its still considered a "wet" location it needs to have the "W" in the label which makes it rated for a wet location.


Stubbie, yes I would be more than happy to provide any assistance I can in the way of stage lighting and power distribution. Either put up a new thread or send me a message either way. I haven't been on here all too often, but i'll make it a point to check back more often.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:13 AM   #29
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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Yes I have met a few people from 588 at meetings in Detroit years back...I'm retired now. Sorry but i just can't pull the names out of my head right now. My seniority was 1974, Local 249 Claycomo, Missouri Assembly and then transferred to Kansas City Parts Distribution.
Claycomo, missouri assembly is that where they use to make the mercury mystique at Meaning is that kansas city missouri assembly plant? I use to have a mercury mystique bought it new got the a plan because of my father being a retiree and it was made at kansas city assembly this is why i asked.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:00 AM   #30
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Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light


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Claycomo, missouri assembly is that where they use to make the mercury mystique at Meaning is that kansas city missouri assembly plant? I use to have a mercury mystique bought it new got the a plan because of my father being a retiree and it was made at kansas city assembly this is why i asked.
Yes you have it right.

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