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Old 12-17-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
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Wiring question


I'm in the process of adding some lights. See diagram below.

My question is. In the switch box for S3 and S4.... Do I connect all the neutrals together? This is all the same circuit, so I'm pretty sure that I do, but I just wanted to make sure.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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No. Keep them seperate.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Wiring question


Those neutrals can all be wire nutted in the location with switch 3 and 4. You could actually eliminate one of the neutrals I have marked with a green "X".

What is the "floating" red wire for at the junction box and the switch 1 and 2 location
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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What is the reason? Is case there ends up being a loose or open neutral in the S1&S2 box?

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #5
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Why do the junction box? Route the power to the S1-S2 box, then continue to the S3-S4 box along with the 3-way wiring. You end up with an extra neutral wire, but unless you use 4 conductor cable or conduit, that can't be helped.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Those neutrals can all be wire nutted in the location with switch 3 and 4. You could actually eliminate one of the neutrals I have marked with a green "X".

What is the "floating" red wire for at the junction box and the switch 1 and 2 location
The red wire is just an extra wire. When I first moved in (and knew nothing of wiring), I had a light installed by an electrician and he ran 14/3 to S1, which controlled L1 and two other lights which I am removing. Now I just have the reds capped.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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Why do the junction box? Route the power to the S1-S2 box, then continue to the S3-S4 box along with the 3-way wiring. You end up with an extra neutral wire, but unless you use 4 conductor cable or conduit, that can't be helped.
S1 and L1 already existed. the 14/3 wire from the junction box terminated at an old junction box, which I found was actually powered by a 20 Amp breaker. The run from Panel to S1 is the longest run, so I just ran new power to new junction box close to old one--on proper 15Amp circuit.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:55 AM   #8
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To avoid confusion at a later date and also prevent undesirable neutral sharing should the branch circuit configuration and breaker assignments be changed, when two power feeds (cables, groupings of conductors) with neutrals enter the same box (here, S3-S4), do not combine the neutrals. In addition, the neutral for each downstream continuation or subcircuit is to be connected only to the neutral of the incoming cable whose hot wire powers that continuation.

For the diagram, keep everything as shown.

Light #1 is a typical source - switch (S1) - light configuration.
Light #2 is a typical 3 way source - switch (S2) - switch (S3) - light configuration.
Lights #3 and #4 are in a typical source - switch (S4) -light (L3) - light (S4) configuration.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-17-2012 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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To avoid confusion at a later date and also prevent undesirable neutral sharing should the branch circuit configuration and breaker assignments be changed, when two power feeds (cables, groupings of conductors) with neutrals enter the same box, do not combine the neutrals. In addition, the neutral for each downstream continuation or subcircuit is to be connected only to the neutral of the incoming cable whose hot wire powers that continuation.

For the above diagram, keep everything as shown.

Light #1 is a typical source - switch (S1) - light configuration.
Light #2 is a typical 3 way source - switch (S2) - switch (S3) - light configuration.
Lights #3 and #4 are in a typical source - switch (S4) -light (L3) - light (S4) configuration.
Thanks for the help! That makes sense. So, if at the later date the source circuit for S4-L3-L4 was ever changed, this removes the chance for error that the neutrals in box for S3/S4 would be connected even though on separate circuits.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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There is nothing wrong with this:
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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There is nothing wrong with this:
OK. I already ran the wire from S2 to S3, including a neutral wire. Actually I already ran all the wiring except for that from S4 to L3 and L4.

In hindsight I guess I could have saved a few bucks and only ran 2 conductors from S2 to S3
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #12
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OK. I already ran the wire from S2 to S3, including a neutral wire. Actually I already ran all the wiring except for that from S4 to L3 and L4.

In hindsight I guess I could have saved a few bucks and only ran 2 conductors from S2 to S3

The cable from S2 to S3 are traveller wires. No need to carry a neutral with that pair as there is already a neutral at the S3/S4 location.

whats done is done.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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The cable from S2 to S3 are traveller wires. No need to carry a neutral with that pair as there is already a neutral at the S3/S4 location.

whats done is done.
I decided to add S4 later, so I guess at the time I was doing it correctly--carrying the neutral from S2 to S3 to L2.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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Wiring question


Because the OP has already strung the wires, the following is for eavesdroppers only (click picture to enlarge).
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-17-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Because the OP has already strung the wires, the following is for eavesdroppers only (click picture to enlarge).
Just to be sure, as you laid out above, the way I have it is OK, just keep the neutrals separate in box of S3/S4?
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