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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to anything electrical related, but decided to try and finish my basement electrical on my own. I started a circuit for the entertainment room and hallway using 14-2, but I have two switches that need to turn the hallway lights on, can I switch the wire to 14-3 in the circuit for the hallway lights and switches? Everything else would still be 14-2. I am not sure if this would ruin my circuit.. thanks for the help!
 

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retired framer
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If you have power at the switch, you want a 3 wire to the other switch and a 2 wire from the second switch to the light.
 

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There will be no issues. The wires are the same gauge, you just have more conductors in the one cable.

I would suggest Wiring Simplified to get a better knowledge of common circuits and wiring practices.
 

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Very Stable Genius
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It's normal to have 14/2 and 14/3 on the same circuit.

Two common reasons to do this are:
1) 3-wire between 3-way switches
2) Carrying neutral, hot, and switched hot between switch
and light.
 

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Naildriver
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.......not to mention it is code, now to have 14-3 run from fixtures to switches in the event power enters the fixture, so a neutral can be carried to the switch and capped off if not used. It will allow for the future use of smart switches that require a neutral
 

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The neutral is currently required if it cannot be easily added later, like a conduit system or if one side of the wall remains open.
 

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Sorry to butt in here, but I read that 14/3 is code to switches and I'm running switches soon so I figured I should pick some up; then I hit the nomenclature...

SOOW vs SEOOW vs CU NM-B vs CU THHN vs UF-B

o_O

Can anyone offer some research advice on these? :D
 

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Naildriver
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SO is "cord" and isn't used in general wiring. You will be using 14-3 WG NM-B in copper. THHN is used in conduit due to the ease of pulling, and UF-B is underground.
 
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14/3 is not required at switches. A neutral is required. You can accomplish this by bringing power to the switch first instead of the fixture.
If you have any 3 way switches then you will need 14/3.
 

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THHN is used in conduit due to the ease of pulling.
Also because flat cable like NM (Romex) takes a heck of a lot of space inside the conduit (since it twists, it must be treated as a round cable of the wide dimension).

Somebody wanted to put two 6-3 UF in conduit, I think it calc'ed out to 3" conduit. I actually drew it out in Illustrator, showed the pipe size, the cable size and swept area from twisting, it really did fill the pipe. Then I stuck six #6 THHNs and one #10 bare ground in there, and it was this little tiny nub at the bottom. Funny!




Neutral is required at all switch points begining in 2020 code
Not currently required.
The neutral on switch loop requirement landed in NEC 2011. As Jim Port said, it's waived if it's easy to retrofit, and for certain specialty circuits, but by and large, yeah neutral is currently required.

The only thing I'm aware of that happens in 2020 is a 2017 Code requirement that kicked on Jan 1 2020: smart switches can't bootleg ground as a substitute for neutral anymore. If you've ever seen smart switches that have a bare wire AND a green wire, that's what that's about. They need 2 because you can't wire neutral to the yoke.


For all the gory details see here. (anyone else reading that, remember "grounded conductor" is NEC speak for Neutral.)
 
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