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Thread: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

  1. #1
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    the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    A Master electrician at work says that it isn't legal to use 12/2, or 14/2, for the travelers in a three way switch loop. Doesn't the NEC allow the use of the two wire romex as the travelers, if the white wire is reidentified?

  2. #2
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Yes, this is legal. Ask him what article he would quote that would deem it illegal.

    Roger
    Moderator

  3. #3
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    sparky, roger--

    You can't use 12-2 or 14-2 because you have to have a return conductor (neutral) that runs with the supply conductors. And you can't use the equipment grounding conductor (bare copper) as a current-carrying conductor.

    Or roger, do you set your 3-way circuits up differently than I do?

    Cliff

  4. #4
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    cliff,
    300.3(B)(3) permits the use of 2 wire NM in 3-way circuits.
    Don
    Don, Illinois
    "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." B Franklin

  5. #5
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Cliff, the EGC (bare copper) would remain just that.

    I don't understand what you mean by,
    you have to have a return conductor (neutral) that runs with the supply conductors.
    this is not in the NEC as far as NM.

    Remember, we are talking about travelers, or one hot wire, in a non inductive wiring method, and unless these single conductors are entering a metal box, this would eliminate 300.20 as covered in 300.3

    Roger
    Moderator

  6. #6
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Roger,I think he's talking about feeding the 3-way on one end,carrying the neutral through the 3 wire to the other end, and taking the switch leg up to the lite from there.

    I think.

    russell

  7. #7
    a.wayne3@verizon.net Guest

    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    I used 2 wire travelers many times over the years,
    In most cases a standard 3 way fed from one end and switched from the other,or a dead ended 3 way uses 3 wires.There are some cases in which it is not necessary to use the 3 wire nm.Where there are multiple switches on a circuit(multi gang) and the neutral from this circuit is already there
    Then you can use a 2 wire traveler in lieu of the more expensive 3 wire.Or when there is a 3 way 4 way 3 way switching system and at the 4 way there is a single pole switch then I have run 2 2 wires one as a feed (hot /neutral) and one as travellers.I have seen guys run 2 wire travelers to another circuit and use that neutral IMHO
    as long as you are carefull that you don`t share a neutral from another circuit there is nothing wrong with this

  8. #8
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    May 2003
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Thank-you gentlemen for answering my question so fast.

    I did some more investigating on the subject myself, and found some information in Mike Holt's, "1999 NEC Illustrated Changes" book, page 14 figures 2-2 and 2-3. Figure 2-3 states:
    "white conductors must be re-identified when used as travelers between 3 and 4-way switches".

    Thank-you

  9. #9
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    Mike P. Columbus Ohio
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Don

    Please explain 300.3(B)(3) to me. I do not see how this is allowed. How are you going to comply with 300.20?

    I think that 300.3(B) prohibits 12-2 or 14-2. The grounded conductor is not in the same raceway.

    What about EMF?

    Mike P.
    Inspector Mike
    ESI

  10. #10
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    Re: the use of two wire romex in three-way switch loop

    Mike,
    Using NM cable there is no requirement that all of the conductors of the circuit be in the same raceway. 300.20 can be complied with by using NM connectors listed for more than one conductor or by using nonmetallic boxes. Yes, these installations will create more EMF, but that is not a code issue at this time.
    Don
    Don, Illinois
    "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." B Franklin

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