2011 code neutral in all switches?

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tkb

Senior Member
Location
MA
There is a Mass Amendment to article 404.2(C).

404.2(C). Designate the exception as "Exception No. 1" and insert an additional exception as follows:

Exception No. 2: Where multiple switch locations control the same lighting load in an interior room or space, a grounded conductor of the lighting circuit shall not be required at each such location if one has been provided at one or more switching points that is (are) visible from most areas within the room including all principal entry points. Where a switch controls a receptacle load or lighting load that does not serve a habitable room or bathroom, or where automatic control of lighting has been provided or the switch is not within the lit area, a grounded circuit conductor shall not be required.
http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/cmr/cmrtext/527CMR12.pdf
 
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LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
It's not a difficult thing to grasp. There must either be a grounded conductor present, or the wiring method or building construction must readily permit adding one if/when it becomes necessary.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
no.. According to the code, the grounded conductor must be accessible at switch points. That means you will have 4.
I believe he is referring to the mass. amendments that have an exception for multilocation switches. The neutral , in that case, is only required at one location.
 

qcroanoke

Sometimes I don't know if I'm the boxer or the bag
Location
Roanoke, VA.
Occupation
Engineering
Explain please. Are you saying a DPST switch? what is the reasoning behind this?
No, what it is about is requiring a neutral to be available at the switch point if an occupancy sensor that requires a neutral to operate is used to replace the switch for controlling the lights.
 

jap

Senior Member
No, what it is about is requiring a neutral to be available at the switch point if an occupancy sensor that requires a neutral to operate is used to replace the switch for controlling the lights.
What?

if it is your intention to replace an existing switch with an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral to operate,then its your responsibility to get a neutral to that point to do so. I dont see how they could require you to install a neutral to a standard switch location that doesnt require one in the first place,with the intent that in the future you may or may not change it out to an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral.

Is there not any other reasoning behind this ?
 

marti smith

Senior Member
What?

if it is your intention to replace an existing switch with an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral to operate,then its your responsibility to get a neutral to that point to do so. I dont see how they could require you to install a neutral to a standard switch location that doesnt require one in the first place,with the intent that in the future you may or may not change it out to an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral.

Is there not any other reasoning behind this ?
I suspect/read/speculate that this is an attemp at having it (the grounded conductor) there if another needs it later, say replacing a single pole or equivalent with a motion sensing switch, so that said knucklehead doesn't use the grounding conductor for a grounded conductor.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
What?

if it is your intention to replace an existing switch with an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral to operate,then its your responsibility to get a neutral to that point to do so. I dont see how they could require you to install a neutral to a standard switch location that doesnt require one in the first place,with the intent that in the future you may or may not change it out to an Occupancy Sensor that requires a neutral.

Is there not any other reasoning behind this ?
The reason is exactly what was stated. I guess they are afraid that people will add an occupancy sensor and use the egc as was customary in the past. Now the units are being produced with a neutral.

I agree the code has gone into design which it is not supposed to do but it will not affect me, in residential, that much. Also if conduit is used then a neutral need not be present.
 

jap

Senior Member
I suspect/read/speculate that this is an attemp at having it (the grounded conductor) there if another needs it later, say replacing a single pole or equivalent with a motion sensing switch, so that said knucklehead doesn't use the grounding conductor for a grounded conductor.
Oh I agree that it would always be nice to have one there but I dont think it should be a code violation if I dont.
In my mind this is a design issue.
 

tkb

Senior Member
Location
MA
Article 404.2(C) is trying to provide for a future installation.

Doesn't this contradict 90.1(B)?

90.1(B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance results in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.
 
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