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Old 03-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default Nec 404.2(c)

**Note: I AM a rookie electrician helper**

(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.

Changed From 2008
•404.2(C): Added new requirement covering installation of grounded conductor at all switch locations where lighting loads are controlled.

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 sufficient 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.

Informational Note: The provision for a (future) grounded conductor is to complete a circuit path for electronic lighting control devices.
This section is new in the 2011 Code. Many electronic lighting control devices require a standby current to maintain the ready state and detection capability of the device. This allows immediate switching of the load to the “on” condition. These devices require standby current when they are in the “off ” state, that is, when there is no load current. Many of these devices utilize the equipment grounding conductor for the standby current flow. Prior to this requirement, a grounded conductor was not usually provided in the switch box for switches controlling lighting loads, so these control devices needed to utilize the equipment grounding conductor to conduct the standby current. Occupancy sensors are permitted by UL 773A, Standard for Safety of Non-Industrial Photoelectric Switches for Lighting Control, to have a current of up to 0.5 mA on the equipment grounding conductor. In fact, a number of UL standards permit up to a 0.5 mA ground leakage current as acknowledgment of an operational necessity. This is allowed because the function of an occupancy sensor requires a low level standby current. The standard permits this current on the equipment grounding conductor because in a typical installation there may be no grounded circuit conductor in the switch box that can be used as the return conductor for the standby current. The exception allows two scenarios under which the grounded circuit conductor is not required. In the first scenario, the exception permits the conductor to be omitted in raceway installations where it is practical to add a conductor at the switch location in the future, if needed. The second scenario allows the conductor to be omitted where the construction of the framing cavity in which the switch box is located permits access through which the conductor can be run in the future.

In our safety meeting this morning the boss brought up this code. After some lengthy discussion one question came up in regards to door switches.

1.)I was just wondering what types of issues any of you have run in to involving this code and door switches?

2.)How have you set out to resolve these issues?

Thanks for any wisdom and guidance you may be able to give.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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I have been telling my workers that they are not to run any switch loops, most of are work we install conduits for switches anyways, so we are covered.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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Door switches? Why would you be using door switches to control a lighting load?
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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The only way I know to satisfy this requirement on 3w or 4w switches is to:
1) run 4 wire travelers in romex or MC to ensure a neutral is at each location, no matter how it's wired
2) using 3w romex or MC, feed the travelers from one end and the lights from the other end. This way a neutral will be at each switch location.
3) feed one 3w switch location w/ 2w just to have a neutral there. since it has to be on an AFCI, it must be on the same circuit as the lights.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeagnt54 View Post
Door switches? Why would you be using door switches to control a lighting load?
That's what door switches are for. Closet lighting.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:54 PM   #6
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Door switches? Why would you be using door switches to control a lighting load?
What else would you use 'em for?
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
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What else would you use 'em for?
Security systems, walk-in refrigeration systems, door chimes...
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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My inspectors are still on 2005, so I don't worry about it too much since the point of the change is for electronic lighting controls that may need a neutral, I doubt an inspector would break your balls about a door switch. It will never get a vacancy sensor and its probably already controlling high efficacy lighting.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:50 AM   #9
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Security systems, walk-in refrigeration systems, door chimes...
I could see security systems (door opens while system is armed and bam, alarm goes off or whatever event is linked to it) and door chimes, but not sure what use it would have for walk-in refrigeration systems. Would you turn off the fans/cooling system when the door opens? Seems for the short time the door would be open (aside from daily deliveries) it would waste more in re-starting those motors then to just keeping them going. Meh, not the thread for this discussion. I am interested in your response, though. PM me if you feel like it. (:
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:01 AM   #10
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We use door switches on walk in freezers to kill the fans it is for the comfort of the employees and to help keep the cold inside the freezer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:11 AM   #11
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In all the years I've worked in the restaurant industry (everything from fast-food to casual dining as the salad chef) I've never seen such a thing (even had a butt-head manager "lock" me in a walk-in freezer by putting the lock plate in place (no lock) for about 30 minutes (most of which I spent trying (and succeeding) to knock the door open). He would have been laughing all the way to the unemployment line had I hit the emergency alarm in the freezer.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:49 PM   #12
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We use door switches on walk in freezers to kill the fans it is for the comfort of the employees and to help keep the cold inside the freezer.
Ditto on every supermarket walk in I've ever done....
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:50 PM   #13
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IMO, no neutral needed. There is no way to add a device that requires a neutral, later.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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Ditto on every supermarket walk in I've ever done....
The one I worked in didn't have one, though I'm not sure how old door switches are so I can't even say if they would have even had one. *shrugs*

Not saying it's a bad application, just never encountered it (though I know that at the tender young age of 33 (34 in May) I know there is a lot I have never encountered and probably never will). C'est la vie.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #15
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For me it is also chain supermarkets.

The set up goes like this, the door switch is connected to an energy management system, when the door is open for more than about 5 seconds the refrigeration solenoid is closed stopping the refrigerant, the EMS also releases a contactor that runs the fans.

The EMS also starts a timer, if the door stays open to long the refrigeration goes back to normal operation and the EMS sends an alarm signal to the chains 'help desk' at the headquarters. In turn the help desk calls the store, gets the manager on duty and tells them to close the door.

This is essentially the same with 3 different chains we work for.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
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That's what door switches are for. Closet lighting.
You put door switches in for closet lights?
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
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You put door switches in for closet lights?
Many, many times.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:57 PM   #18
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Although they don't work that great with sliders.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:17 PM   #19
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Thank you all VERY much for your responses.

So what if the AHJ was a real stick in the mud and wanted a neutral at the door switch locale??? Anyone with any ingenious fixes......?
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delighted In Yahweh
Thank you all VERY much for your responses.

So what if the AHJ was a real stick in the mud and wanted a neutral at the door switch locale??? Anyone with any ingenious fixes......?
White wire and a small blue wire nut tucked in the box.
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