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Old 11-24-2010, 11:28 PM   #1
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Rewiring stairway light to be 3way


Ok, so currently have a stairway light that is turned off only from upstairs. I want to change this to a 3way with switches on both levels. Power source feeds into upper level switch where wires go through conduit to a junction box below where the action occurs. I've attached a diagram of the current setup and what I'd like to do. You'll see that I'm wanting the downstairs 3way to be accompanied in the box by a switch to a different fixture. Since I doubt I can run 14/3 and 14/2 out of one cable clamp, I thought I maybe able to run thhn in some flex conduit. Is what I'm proposing doable? What size flex conduit do I need? I'm moving the outlet feeds from the current setup to a new circuit.
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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If you can not pull any Romex, how do you plan on pulling Conduit from one level to the next? Only way to do this, is to start pulling Drywall/Gypsum, and then pulling the 14/3 from the Feed from the breaker to the light, and to the downstream switch. That is the only way to do a three way cut and dry. Now, there is a simplier solution with wireless switches, but requires having to replace batteries some time down the road, or later on being able to get said parts if the cheater goes bad.



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Old 11-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll
If you can not pull any Romex, how do you plan on pulling Conduit from one level to the next? Only way to do this, is to start pulling Drywall/Gypsum, and then pulling the 14/3 from the Feed from the breaker to the light, and to the downstream switch. That is the only way to do a three way cut and dry. Now, there is a simplier solution with wireless switches, but requires having to replace batteries some time down the road, or later on being able to get said parts if the cheater goes bad.
The conduit is already there. As I understand it, I'd just need to fish an additional wire through the conduit from upstairs switch to junction box. Guess I was more concerned about jbox wiring. Perhaps Im misunderstanding...
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:27 AM   #4
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If you are in Chicago area let me post the colour code it will help you indentify quicker.

This quote is from one of our members he live in that area { Oh'Mike }

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As the FrenchElectrician mentioned colors are a regional thing--I live in Illinois--these are customary here.
White-Neutral
Grey-Dedicated neutral for GFCI
red-black -blue--Power
Brown--travelers for three way
purple--GFCI protected power
yellow-orange---switch legs
Second thing you can not hide the junciton boxes so you will have to make it accessable by putting a mud ring on it and put a blank cover on or other means to order meet the codes.

Merci.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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Sorry, I had no idea the proper color coding so I was just winging it. I was drawing it on paper and it was too confusing so I wanted to color code to make it more visible. Here's what I used.

Blue - neutral
Bold black - hot
Thin black - 3-way traveler
Red - 3-way traveler
Orange box - wire nut

The junction box is already there and is accessible. The only thing I'd have to add is the red 3-way traveler and the flex conduit to the new switch box.

Does my new wiring look correct, code compliant?

Btw, not located in Chicago area
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Wiring looks correct to me electically. I know very little about the colors of Chicago wiring standards, so I will leave that up to the others. (Based on the earlier post, it appears that both travelers need to be brown if you lived in Chicago, which you don't.) If it were me, I would probably not join the two traveler in the JBox with wire nuts. I would probably leave a continuous wire through, with enough slack that these could later be cut and joined, if necessary.

Last edited by oberkc; 11-25-2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberkc
Wiring looks correct to me electically. I know very little about the colors of Chicago wiring standards, so I will leave that up to the others. (Based on the earlier post, it appears that both travelers need to be brown if you lived in Chicago, which you don't.) If it were me, I would probably not join the two traveler in the JBox with wire nuts. I would probably leave a continuous wire through, with enough slack that these could later be cut and joined, if necessary.
Good point about the travelers. This is my first time delving into having to work with conduit. Guess my mind was still thinking like i was using romex where I would have to nut them. What size flex conduit should i be using? I assume I'm not overloading the conduit with the 4-5 wires that will running through it?
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:00 PM   #8
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I wish I could offer advice regarding code on this.

I can tell you, however, that I have just completed a project with up to 5 conductors (12g, stranded) through 3/4 flex conduit. Make sure you have smooth-walls. A little lube to help the feeding of wire. No problem.

Hopefully, I have not created a code problem.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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I will be using 14awg and my flex will have 5 as well sosounds like 3/4 would be ok. I can't see adding 1 red wire to be an issue for the current rigid conduit I'll be running it through.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
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Hopefully, someone won't come on here and tell us five is too many because the wire may overheat due to lack of airflow and space.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:47 AM   #11
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5 Conductors in the half inch conduit is not a issue at all but it is easier to pull all at once. { the half inch conduit is limited to 7 or 9 depending on type of conduit and conductor type on 2.5 or 4.0mm˛ ( #14 or #12 AWG ) }

3/4 inch is not a issue at all it will be a brezze for ya.

Ok as far for your conductors they are fine as you describing and I will pass the tip to you I use red or bleu conductors for shuttle { travellers } conductors so you know there is a diffrence on that to make it easier to sort it out.

Merci.
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