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Discussion Starter #1
hey all, just wondering if anyone could shed some light on this problem. I was switching out some old light switches in a friends basement and came across this. http://imgur.com/rZfsvky each device box had a single 14/2 entering it. the basement lighting were pot lights but i didn't investigate them much. Is this dangerous? was this acceptable at one time? the house is about 30 years old.
 

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You're looking at a dead-end switch leg, perfectly legal, perfectly safe. Power comes to the light first, goes down to the switch on the white wire, returns on the black.
4-036 Use of identified conductors

  • (1) An identified conductor shall not be used as a conductor for which identification is not required by these Rules; however, in armoured cable, aluminum-sheathed cable, copper-sheathed cable, and non-metallic-sheathed cable work, the identified conductor shall be permitted to be rendered permanently unidentifiable by painting or other suitable means at every point where the separate conductors have been rendered accessible and visible by removal of the outer covering of the cable.
  • (2) Where armoured cable, aluminum-sheathed cable, copper-sheathed cable, or non-metallic-sheathed cable containing an identified conductor is used for single-pole, three-way, or four-way switch loops, it shall not be necessary to render the identified conductor permanently unidentified at the switch if the connections are made so that an unidentified conductor is the return conductor from the switch to the outlet.
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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Was and still is code compliant here in Canada. We are NOT required to carry a neutral to a switch. What exactly do you guys do with that neutral wire once its in the switch box anyway???? Cap it off and leave it there?? What does it achieve?
 
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Was and still is code compliant here in Canada. We are NOT required to carry a neutral to a switch. What exactly do you guys do with that neutral wire once its in the switch box anyway???? Cap it off and leave it there?? What does it achieve?
For occupancy sensors, dimmers, timers etc. I guess. If I remember reading here correctly, they only "have to" have a neutral if the switch box is fed by cable. Conduit would allow someone to pull one later, theoretically.
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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Yeah....I get the idea of it being there for possible upgrades....but I get the impression that they MUST install a neutral at every switch box. Am I wrong??
 

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Petulant Amateur
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I guess it wouldn't be code compliant in Canada if you put black tape on that white wire to indicate it is current carrying :( .
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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The subject wire is 14/2 which an inspector would rule inaccesable. We just wire nut it for future use.
Thanks for the clarification. So it is just for the possibility of future upgrades, there are no safety issues attached to the idea, unless we consider the fact that it would help prevent handyman hacks from using the ground as a neutral for occ. sensors and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the clarification. I did not understand where the neutral went but did not consider the fact that the power could be going to the light first.
as to avoid making another thread for a simple question, i'll put it here; I was testing the voltage of a receptacle, TR type, so black lead to neutral screw and red to hot screw and the lead blew up. what would have caused this?
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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thanks for the clarification. I did not understand where the neutral went but did not consider the fact that the power could be going to the light first.
as to avoid making another thread for a simple question, i'll put it here; I was testing the voltage of a receptacle, TR type, so black lead to neutral screw and red to hot screw and the lead blew up. what would have caused this?
Are you sure the lead didn't touch to ground somewhere?
 

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I guess it wouldn't be code compliant in Canada if you put black tape on that white wire to indicate it is current carrying :( .
Sure you can, as long as it's a cable and not a raceway.

4-036 Use of identified conductors

  • (1) An identified conductor shall not be used as a conductor for which identification is not required by these Rules; however, in armoured cable, aluminum-sheathed cable, copper-sheathed cable, and non-metallic-sheathed cable work, the identified conductor shall be permitted to be rendered permanently unidentifiable by painting or other suitable means at every point where the separate conductors have been rendered accessible and visible by removal of the outer covering of the cable.
 
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