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Old 05-10-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
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Wiring through light...


Hello:

I have a few walls open while remodeling a bedroom in my home. I have some armored cable that feeds the 2nd floor stairway which I would like to replace. From what I posted a while back, I was told to stay away from wiring through the light.
Here's what I would like to do:
I have a 20Amp circuit feeding 2 ceiling fans with lights, 3 hi-hats and 3 outlets in 2 bedrooms. The line runs through the attic. I would like to add a junction box in the attic and splice into this wire to feed the light in the stairway and thenfrom the light to the first switch and a 3-way wire from that switch to the other.

Is this ok since there is access to the junction box or should the power go from the juntion box to the switch first?

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Old 05-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Wiring through light...


You can do either, but new codes require a neutral wire at switch locations.
IMO, it is better to run power to switch 1, 3 wire to switch 2, then 2 wire to light fixture.

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Old 05-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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Wiring through light...


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You can do either, but new codes require a neutral wire at switch locations.
IMO, it is better to run power to switch 1, 3 wire to switch 2, then 2 wire to light fixture.

Can I run the power to the first switch, then to light, then on the secon switch? Would be a lot easier then running it to switch 1 then downstairs to switch one then back up stairs for the light....

I found this diagram.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:27 AM   #4
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Wiring through light...


You would still need a neutral wire at switch #2.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Wiring through light...


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You would still need a neutral wire at switch #2.
So the only way to be to code today, the light needs to be at the end of the circuit? No other way?
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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Wiring through light...


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You would still need a neutral wire at switch #2.
JB.... While you are addressing the issue... any idea of NEC logic requiring neutral with a switch loop.....just curious

Thanks

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Wiring through light...


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You would still need a neutral wire at switch #2.
What is the rationale behind needing a neutral at the far end of a S-L-S lighting scenario?

In an S-L-S scenario, the 14/3 only carries 2 travelers (to) and 1 switched hot (from) that last switch. Adding a neutral would not gain you anything at all. You could do this by upgrading to 14/4, but without a constant hot at this location, the neutral is useless for adding a non-switched outlet or a downstream device.

In a normal switched loop I could see it as useful to upgrade your 14/2 switch loop to a 14/3. Then you have hot, switched, and neutral which is handy.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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Wiring through light...


That drawing is not code compliant from another aspect as well. You can not use the recoloured white to feed the fixture. You must use the red or the black to bring switched power back to the fixture.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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What is the rationale behind needing a neutral at the far end of a S-L-S lighting scenario?

In an S-L-S scenario, the 14/3 only carries 2 travelers (to) and 1 switched hot (from) that last switch. Adding a neutral would not gain you anything at all. You could do this by upgrading to 14/4, but without a constant hot at this location, the neutral is useless for adding a non-switched outlet or a downstream device.

In a normal switched loop I could see it as useful to upgrade your 14/2 switch loop to a 14/3. Then you have hot, switched, and neutral which is handy.
Squishy, your point is well taken as to the three way.... but I don't see anything handy in a SP switch loop?????

What is/was NEC thinking.... any idea
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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That drawing is not code compliant from another aspect as well. You can not use the recoloured white to feed the fixture. You must use the red or the black to bring switched power back to the fixture.
Joe....man I'm learning alot...I'm a GC (semi-retired so not dailey up to date) but we can't black-tape the white anylonger in a switch loop.???? Is that 2011.

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Old 05-10-2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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Wiring through light...


The purpose of the neutral is so that if a switch that needs a neutral it can be installed. Formerly some used the grounding conductor.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #12
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The purpose of the neutral is so that if a switch that needs a neutral it can be installed. Formerly some used the grounding conductor.
Jim.... Is that the Cali type occupancy switches, or what kinda switch needs a neutral. Sorry to be so ignorent.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #13
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Wiring through light...


So there is no way to bring the pwoer through the light?
this diagram is wired differently but still no neutral at the switch?
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:18 PM   #14
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Jim.... Is that the Cali type occupancy switches, or what kinda switch needs a neutral. Sorry to be so ignorent.
Correct. Occupancy switches used to use the ground wire for their motion sensing circuitry, but the NEC doesn't like that (they think grounds should only be there for faults). So, the NEC is now providing a neutral so that motion sensors can stop using the ground.

Many localities have adopted an exception to this new requirement: they only require a neutral in the switchbox that has a "view" of the room (where a motion sensor might be installed). But this is a state or city thing which does not apply everywhere.

I'm glad this came about, actually. Another problem with having no neutral is "night light" type switches. They use the light bulb itself as a return path for the night light, it's only a tiny amount of current so incandescent bulbs don't light up. However, when the switch is "off", CFs or LEDs tend to "strobe" periodically because they charge up on this tiny leakage current and then try to turn on (but can't stay on for more than a blink). Since the Fed gov is making it hard for incandescents to meet energy efficiency requirements, there are a lot of people with unwanted strobe lights now. Once neutrals in switch boxes become common, night light type switches can be redesigned to stop using the light bulb as a return path, and the strobe issue will be solved.
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:32 PM   #15
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Correct. Occupancy switches used to use the ground wire for their motion sensing circuitry, but the NEC doesn't like that (they think grounds should only be there for faults). So, the NEC is now providing a neutral so that motion sensors can stop using the ground.

Many localities have adopted an exception to this new requirement: they only require a neutral in the switchbox that has a "view" of the room (where a motion sensor might be installed). But this is a state or city thing which does not apply everywhere.

I'm glad this came about, actually. Another problem with having no neutral is "night light" type switches. They use the light bulb itself as a return path for the night light, it's only a tiny amount of current so incandescent bulbs don't light up. However, when the switch is "off", CFs or LEDs tend to "strobe" periodically because they charge up on this tiny leakage current and then try to turn on (but can't stay on for more than a blink). Since the Fed gov is making it hard for incandescents to meet energy efficiency requirements, there are a lot of people with unwanted strobe lights now. Once neutrals in switch boxes become common, night light type switches can be redesigned to stop using the light bulb as a return path, and the strobe issue will be solved.
Geeze Ty... What a great informed knowledgeable response. THANK YOU

(I'm a GC that just started migrating over here from Contractor Talk... and you would never get this quality of knowledge over there.)


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