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Old 11-17-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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Default neutral at switch box

This was brought up at the code update class I recently attended.

The instructor said that as long as there is access above the switch (attic/drop celing etc..), or if the switch was supplied with conduit/tubing, a neutral conductor would not be required.

I read some posts on here that infer that a neutral is required at all switch locations.

Whats your opinion?

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Old 11-17-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bob View Post
This was brought up at the code update class I recently attended.

The instructor said that as long as there is access above the switch (attic/drop celing etc..), or if the switch was supplied with conduit/tubing, a neutral conductor would not be required.

I read some posts on here that infer that a neutral is required at all switch locations.

Whats your opinion?
Are you cletis?

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Old 11-17-2011, 07:58 AM   #3
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Are you cletis?
Is that what you think?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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The inspector is right.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bob View Post
This was brought up at the code update class I recently attended.

The instructor said that as long as there is access above the switch (attic/drop celing etc..), or if the switch was supplied with conduit/tubing, a neutral conductor would not be required.

I read some posts on here that infer that a neutral is required at all switch locations.

Whats your opinion?
AS long as the access is on the same floor.

Quote:

404.2 Switch Connections.404.2(C) Switches Controlling Lighting Loads.
Where switches control lighting loads supplied by a grounded general purpose
branch circuit, the grounded circuit conductor for the controlled
lighting circuit shall be provided at the switch location.
Exception: The grounded circuit conductor shall be permitted
to be omitted from the switch enclosure where either
of the following conditions in (1) or (2) apply:

(1) Conductors for switches controlling lighting loads enter
the box through a raceway. The raceway shall have
suffıcient cross-sectional area to accommodate the extension
of the grounded circuit conductor of the lighting
circuit to the switch location whether or not the
conductors in the raceway are required to be increased
in size to comply with 310.15(B)(3)(a).

(2) Cable assemblies for switches controlling lighting
loads enter the box through a framing cavity that is
open at the top or bottom on the same floor level, or
through a wall, floor, or ceiling that is unfinished on
one side
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:09 AM   #6
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Default 4

You even have to run them to 4 ways "Just in Case".

Nice name btw
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:09 AM   #7
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The inspector is right.
Thats kinda what I was thinking.

2011 NEC article 404.2 (c) Ex(2), kinda leaves it open for interpretation.

We do mostly commercial, so, I usually pull a neutral anyway because so many owners want to add a wall mounted occupancy sensor.

Thanks Harry, you beat me by one second.

Last edited by Billy Bob; 11-17-2011 at 08:11 AM. Reason: slow
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #8
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Default yeah

You never know then someone is going to want to add a 4 way occupancy sensor...
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:22 AM   #9
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Harry,
The phrase, "same floor level" is kinda throwing me off a little.

Is an attic the same floor level?
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:48 AM   #10
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Harry,
The phrase, "same floor level" is kinda throwing me off a little.

Is an attic the same floor level?
If you would have to go above the floor above or the floor below the swtich location to fish the new wire, the exception does not apply. The attic is the floor above.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Billy Bob View Post
Harry,
The phrase, "same floor level" is kinda throwing me off a little.

Is an attic the same floor level?
IMO, the attic is not acceptable because it is not the same floor level however if one side of the wall is unfinished and there is access from the attic then that would be compliant.

The whole problem with that exception is the code makes no allowance that a neutral for that circuit is available in the ceiling or the attic. I made a proposal to nix the exception.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #12
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IMO, the attic is not acceptable because it is not the same floor level however if one side of the wall is unfinished and there is access from the attic then that would be compliant.

The whole problem with that exception is the code makes no allowance that a neutral for that circuit is available in the ceiling or the attic. I made a proposal to nix the exception.
Isnt the ceiling unfinished on the attic side? so, couldnt you drop a switch loop in a 14/2 down from the attic, through the unfinished (attic) side of a ceiling, into the wall? It's a stupid code, and difficult to "word-out" any loopholes or exceptions.

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