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Thread: Code question on multi-location dimmers ( lutron / maestro )

  1. #1
    DIY Member atuel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    North Carolina, IPC Code

    Default Code question on multi-location dimmers ( lutron / maestro )

    I'm looking at using the lutron maestro switches (http://www.lutron.com/CMS400/pagebuynow.aspx?id=16947 ) in a project in my house. The project is to clean up my living room lighting but also pulls in my sunroom and outside deck lighting since they are all on the same breaker.

    1) Keep current 3 location control over living room fan but add an IR control switch with canopy modules to provide remote control over fan speed
    a) Fans are wired for separate light/fan control but there is no light in the new fans

    2) Expand single location living room recessed light to all 3 locations with IR remote control

    3) Change sun room fan/light control to a combination switch / canopy module to keep number of switches in that box down to 4.

    4) Change deck light control from two location to single location as there is no reason to have 2 switch control over this.

    I chose the lutron maestro switches for their multi location dimming control more 3 and their ability to be controlled from my IR home theater remote. Normally, I'd have to run a couple more 3 conductor wire to add the additional 4 way circuit for the living room lights, however, these lutron switches do no require near as many conductors. Because of this, I actually have enough conductors now to do it now without pulling any new wire, but I have a code question in doing so as I'd have to bastardize some of the conductors (use white as a traveler, etc).

    So here is how the manufacturer says to wire:

    And here is my proposed wiring of the entire setup:

    My specific code questions are:

    A) Is the use of the white wire in the living rooms light (magenta) and fan (brown) as the traveler/current carrier ok (ie not the neutral)?

    B) In the two cases I used the white wire in such a manner, the black/red wires are for the other switch. IE: black and red are on the fan circuit but white is on the light circuit (and vise versa). Is this OK?

    C) There are a lot of unused conductors, mostly due to using the canopy modules (2 conductors requires) instead of the seaparate fan/light switches (3 conductors required). Is it appropriate to just wire nut these off and push to the back of the box?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    They make colored tape and markers to reidentify the wires for this purpose. Cap the unused wires. I have four sets of those dimmers in my kitchen/dining room and like them.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    North Carolina


    Quote Originally Posted by atuel View Post
    A) Is the use of the white wire in the living rooms light (magenta) and fan (brown) as the traveler/current carrier ok (ie not the neutral)?
    NEC 2008 and 2005 Article 200.7(A)(2) states

    (2) Where a cable assembly contains an insulated conductor
    for single-pole, 3-way or 4-way switch loops and
    the conductor with white or gray insulation or a marking
    of three continuous white stripes is used for the
    supply to the switch but not as a return conductor from
    the switch to the switched outlet. In these applications,
    the conductor with white or gray insulation or with
    three continuous white stripes shall be permanently reidentified
    to indicate its use by painting or other effective
    means at its terminations and at each location
    where the conductor is visible and accessible.


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