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Thread: Outlet Connections

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; The neutral is drawn down the middle of the sine wave.

    In that case the duplex has each receptacle fed by a different leg of the 240 circuit, and the neutrals CAN be joined at the receptacle, they do not have to be pigtailed together. It is also not "rare", in fact I wired most of the duplexs in my previous residence that way so a tripped breaker did not disable both openings.
    You are missing a stern requirement of current code: that where a neutral is present in a three wire circuit, it cannot be joined at a receptacle, such that removing the receptacle could CONCEIVABLY interrupt the neutral and cause the two legs to vere off of 120 v. I don't actually know how many years ago this came into the code, ask JW. But this means that in such a case, pig tails are required.

    A very recent addition to the code is that when two branch circuits share a neutral, they must either be wired to a two pole breaker or the breakers must be adjacent and fitted with rated handle ties. So when I do a repanel these days, I just use two pole breakers. And so your solution to losing power with a tripped breaker drops away. You would need to have four wires.

    I don't know what we are going to do when Arc Fault breakers become required in any panel retrofit. Charge the customer for it and try to explain the safety advantages, I suppose.

    I am looking over a large-ish job (by my standards, being a one-man band) tomorrow. I expect the customer to want to replace all the old rubber/cloth wire. And the city will insist on Arc Vault breakers. I WON'T be attempting to wire them with a common neutral!

  2. #17
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    I cannot POSSIBLY imagine a planning dept approving a home plan that showed no switches for lighting at the entrances to rooms.

    Likewise I cannot POSSIBLY imagine an inspector who would go for it.

    Possibly one could read the code so closely that in a very pedantic manner what you write would be true, but the actual INTENT of the code is pretty clear to me: that the ability to turn on some light source from the door is required.
    Intent cannot be enforced but the letter of the code is enforced. Planning departments and inspectors could care less where the switch is located all they are interested in is compliance.

    Every day breakers are used as switches in commercial and industrial applications.

    I have a room that is 16 feet wide and 36 feet long that has two ceiling fans with lights that has no switches anywhere in that room. Such as in this picture
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #18
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    The reason we pigtail the neutral in a multiwire branch circuit is due to the shock hazard of the current carrying of the neutral. The reason it is required and, always has been when the circuit landed on a single device like a duplex receptacle, to be on a two pole breaker is due to the loss of the neutral would result in a 240 volt circuit.

    If the original poster had connected the red and black to the receptacle of a multiwire circuit without removing the fin tab it would have tripped the breaker with or without the neutral being connected to anything.

    The fact that he was able to tells us that the switch is supplied by the same circuit as the receptacle.

  4. #19
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    The fact that he was able to tells us that the switch is supplied by the same circuit as the receptacle.
    Not if the switch was never turned on...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Intent cannot be enforced but the letter of the code is enforced. Planning departments and inspectors could care less where the switch is located all they are interested in is compliance.

    Every day breakers are used as switches in commercial and industrial applications.

    I have a room that is 16 feet wide and 36 feet long that has two ceiling fans with lights that has no switches anywhere in that room. Such as in this picture
    Ah. Crazy me, I was speaking of residential requirements, and not commercial or industrial. Indeed it is permissible to shut off a "branch circuit" with only the breaker and no other device in commercial and industrial applications. I am FAIRLY confident that the OP was writing of a residential application, yes?

    As for "Planning departments and inspectors could care less where the switch is located all they are interested in is compliance." I can only say we know different inspectors. If there are no switches at the entrance for that bedroom you described, I can only say woopdie do. You out-smarted the local authorities.

    The code DEMANDS that a three way switch be fitted at the top and bottom of a stairway in a house, and that it control a light that will illuminate the stairs sufficiently that most people will be able to get up and down those stairs safely. And breakers ain't got not'in to do with it.

  6. #21
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    The code DEMANDS that a three way switch be fitted at the top and bottom of a stairway in a house, and that it control a light that will illuminate the stairs sufficiently that most people will be able to get up and down those stairs safely. And breakers ain't got not'in to do with it.
    The code only demands that there be a switch to control a light at each level, one at the top and one at the bottom each controlled by a SP switch would meet the requirement.

  7. #22
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    Ah. Crazy me, I was speaking of residential requirements, and not commercial or industrial. Indeed it is permissible to shut off a "branch circuit" with only the breaker and no other device in commercial and industrial applications. I am FAIRLY confident that the OP was writing of a residential application, yes?
    210.70 Lighting Outlets Required.
    Lighting outlets shall be installed where specified in 210.70(A), (B), and (C).
    (A) Dwelling Units. In dwelling units, lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3).
    (1) Habitable Rooms. At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.
    Exception No. 1: In other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets.
    Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets shall be permitted to be controlled by occupancy sensors that are (1) in addition to wall switches or (2) located at a customary wall switch location and equipped with a manual override that will allow the sensor to function as a wall switch.
    So where does it say it must be beside the door?


    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    As for "Planning departments and inspectors could care less where the switch is located all they are interested in is compliance." I can only say we know different inspectors. If there are no switches at the entrance for that bedroom you described, I can only say woopdie do. You out-smarted the local authorities.
    I am not sure about the inspectors that you know but here is a couple of links that will give you some idea of the inspectors I know. The first link is to my work, it is the classes that I teach.
    http://www.randolph.edu/continuinged...electrical.php
    This one is to how I spend my free time
    http://www.nciaei.org/
    Check out officers and committees especially the education committee. I am no dummy when it comes to the NEC. No it is not a matter of out smarting any inspector but instead it is a matter of knowing what I am talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    The code DEMANDS that a three way switch be fitted at the top and bottom of a stairway in a house, and that it control a light that will illuminate the stairs sufficiently that most people will be able to get up and down those stairs safely. And breakers ain't got not'in to do with it.
    Once again this is a simple case of knowing the code and not thinking one knows something they want to know. The code does not demand a switch at the top and bottom of a stairwell, read the exception to this section.
    (2) Additional Locations. Additional lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with (A)(2)(a), (A)(2)(b), and (A)(2)(c).
    (a) At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power.
    (b) For dwelling units, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power, at least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or exits with grade level access. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.
    (c) Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level, and landing level that includes an entryway, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between floor levels has six risers or more.

    Exception to (A)(2)(a), (A)(2)(b), and (A)(2)(c): In hallways, in stairways, and at outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic control of lighting shall be permitted.

  8. #23
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    JW.

    This is a pointless debate.

    I wish you luck installing the light switch, which you acknowledge is REQUIRED (and breakers do not serve the requirement, so I have no clue as to why you brought it up earlier), all the way across the room from the entrance.

    What is the point of this pedantic posturing?

    So what if the code, when read with a fine tooth comb, permits you to do so? It is STILL the wrong way to do a thing.

  9. #24
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    240.83 (D) Used as Switches. Circuit breakers used as switches in 120-volt and 277-volt fluorescent lighting circuits shall be listed and shall be marked SWD or HID. Circuit breakers used as switches in high-intensity discharge lighting circuits shall be listed and shall be marked as HID.

    404.11 Circuit Breakers as Switches.
    A hand-operable circuit breaker equipped with a lever or handle, or a power-operated circuit breaker capable of being opened by hand in the event of a power failure, shall be permitted to serve as a switch if it has the required number of poles.

    What we think of as being a bad design in no way constitutes a code violation. If you feel that the switch should be beside the door then by all means put the switch there but should you ever enter an old house you might find the switch at the fixture and a string as the means of turning on and off the light. What you won’t be able to find is a code requirement mandating that the switch go beside the door.

    90.1 (C) Intention. This Code is not intended as a design specification or an instruction manual for untrained persons.

    I have on several occasions installed switches outside the room where the light was located. Ever seen a room addition on a mobile home? The switch that was for the outside door is now the switch for that room, yes? Ever done an all glass sunroom? Where did you put the switch?

    To say a switch anywhere other than beside the door when entering the room is wrong is to say that one has never seen some of those items outlined above. No it isn’t wrong to put a switch anywhere one wants to put the switch other than beside the door.

    When teaching or even answering post such as this one giving the correct answer is neither pedantic nor posturing, but, trying to sell someone that your idea is the only correct idea is. I always back my comments with verbiage found in the codes not from a standard of practice.

    Edited to add

    On a side note I am not trying to make you look bad but just trying to clear up the comment you made that the switch MUST be located beside the door.
    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    Code requires that each room have a light or outlet that can be controlled from the door as a person enters....
    Last edited by jwelectric; 08-21-2013 at 12:46 PM.

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Regarding switches outside the door of the room served: I did just that for my master bath, as putting the switch on the other side, classically on the strike side of the door, put it over the tub, and I don't like that from a shock hazard point.

    The switch is just at the entrance to the bath. That is the point. The light is not controlled by a circuit breaker out on the side of the house, either.

    Try this:

    "it would be more correct to say is that it is well established custom to do so, but the fact is that code is less than absolute on the point" and then if you must, cite the code.

    And yes, I know that in the dark ages rooms might have been lit by sconces with switches on the sconces and not at the door.

    And the room might only have one receptacle. I did a walk-thru just today on an 1928 house that is like that.

    Is that current practice?

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Regarding switches outside the door of the room served: I did just that for my master bath, as putting the switch on the other side, classically on the strike side of the door, put it over the tub, and I don't like that from a shock hazard point.

    The switch is just at the entrance to the bath. That is the point. The light is not controlled by a circuit breaker out on the side of the house, either.

    Try this:

    "it would be more correct to say is that it is well established custom to do so, but the fact is that code is less than absolute on the point" and then if you must, cite the code.

    And yes, I know that in the dark ages rooms might have been lit by sconces with switches on the sconces and not at the door.

    And the room might only have one receptacle. I did a walk-thru just today on an 1928 house that is like that.

    Is that current practice?

  12. #27
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Even today as we nestle in bed we reach up and turn out the lamp beside our bed. Old habits are hard to break.
    I always tell myself that I am turning off the engine to rest for an hour or so before the bathroom starts calling my name.

    A Hillbilly uses a pull chain with two eye hooks just above each door or the bed with a string for a three way. My first home had a set of three ways with a four way in the master bedroom but by the time we sold that place I had figured out that the key of the lamp was used more than either of the switches. Only time the switch was used was while cleaning or making the bed and the switches beside the bed was hardly ever used.

    Another little trick us hill boys are famous for is the three wire circuit to an our building we keep a freezer for the deer meat and have the light three way from house to building.
    Once the black and white wire is connected to the receptacle in the building so the receptacle stays hot all the time we install a light with one wire to the common of the three way at both the building and house. Now connect the neutral to one of the traveler screws keeping continuity for the receptacle and do the same with the hot wire to the receptacle. Draw it out and see that it works.

    Yes this is a violation of the polarity of the light fixture but it does work which edifies my statement that just because something will work in no way means that it is compliant and/or safe.
    Once used a fan motor off the back of a refrigerator connected in series with a light bulb as a dimmer. I even once made a string of Christmas tree using festoon lights connected in series through an ice cube timer and thought about applying for a patent.

    This stroll down memory lane has me remembering the Christmas I got my very own chamber pot. It was one that had a handle on it that reached all the way to the bottom. It was great for milking the old Jersey we had. I remember emptying that thing first thing in the morning and getting a bucket of water to wash her utter and letting her get a drink. She would always fill that pot to the brim which I would take back to the house and strain it into a 15 gallon can. Then back to the spring for another bucket of water that grandma would use to make a fresh cup of coffee for us all.
    Well the first day after Christmas Grandpa complained about how awful the coffee tasted but I did learn a lesson. Never wash your chamber pot upstream from where you are going to drink. Us young ones drank milk for breakfast. That was the last time I have taken a drink of milk, some memories never die.

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