Switch requirements?

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
I've read art 404 regarding switches but I am not clear on when they are required for other than appliances.
Say, If I have one switch to control a light in a room, can all the other light fixtures be wired directly from the breaker without a switch? (not readily accessible) Could I have no wall switch at all and a motion activated light meet the switch requirement?


Is there a requirement that a light switch must disconnect power to a light? For example, I installed a ceiling fan with a light on it. The fan has a remote control that turns on either the fan or its lights.
I installed a light switch on the wall that bypasses the remote circuitry to power the light on regardless if the remote light mode. That way the light can be turned on if the remote can't be found.

I didn't see a problem when I installed it but I can imagine it could cause confusion to someone thinking power is disconnect because the wall switch is off.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
short answer: Look at 210.70 for lighting & some switch requirements.
With few exceptions such as disconnects for equipment (in sight from) and 210.70(A)(3), the Code looks at switch locations as a design issue and not a Code issue.
 

WarrMann

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I installed a light switch on the wall that bypasses the remote circuitry to power the light on regardless if the remote light mode. That way the light can be turned on if the remote can't be found.
Have you had any issues with back feeding power into the load side of the remote?

Or are you getting fancy with a 3-way switch?

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S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
short answer: Look at 210.70 for lighting & some switch requirements.
With few exceptions such as disconnects for equipment (in sight from) and 210.70(A)(3), the Code looks at switch locations as a design issue and not a Code issue.
I'm not asking for where to put them, I'm asking are switches required particularly for lighting.
Can I wire a residential house without any wall switches? If I have smart lighting or motion lights, that can be considered a switch I presume.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
I'm not asking for where to put them, I'm asking are switches required particularly for lighting.
Can I wire a residential house without any wall switches? If I have smart lighting or motion lights, that can be considered a switch I presume.
again 210.70
(1) Habitable Rooms. At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room,kitchen, and bathroom.
(Exceptions)


(2) Additional Locations
. Additional lighting outlets shall beinstalled in accordance with the following:
(1) At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and
detached garages with electric power.
(2) For dwelling units, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power, at least one wall switch–
controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or
exits with grade-level access. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.
(3) Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor
level, and landing level that includes an entryway, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between
floor levels has six risers or more.

(4) Lighting outlets controlled in accordance with 210.70(A)(2)(3) shall not be controlled by use of dimmer switches unless they provide the full range of dimming control at each location.
(3) Storage or Equipment Spaces. For attics, underfloor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet
containing a switch or controlled by a wall switch shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment
requiring servicing. At least one point of control shall be at the usual point of entry to these spaces. The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Have you had any issues with back feeding power into the load side of the remote?

Or are you getting fancy with a 3-way switch?

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No, merely using the switch to jumper around the remote light controls. Think of it as two switches in parallel. I cant imagine backfeed could be a problem. The circuitry fires a triac with pluses, and I'm just turning on the light with the same hot wire that the controls uses.
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Thank you augie47, I don't have a book nearby.
So, as long as one wall switch is installed in a habital room, It sounds like no other switches are required. I always don't see that my switch must disconnect ungrounded conductor.
 

WarrMann

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
No, merely using the switch to jumper around the remote light controls. Think of it as two switches in parallel. I cant imagine backfeed could be a problem. The circuitry fires a triac with pluses, and I'm just turning on the light with the same hot wire that the controls uses.
Yeah, makes sense what you're doing, but never tried it myself. I've had to deal with a handful of "I installed a ceiling fan and it doesn't work" customers. I often find that they just messed up wiring the remote and let the smoke out. Maybe i'm only seeing the remotes that don't like being back fed.

My house is one floor with an attic, so ive just run a 3 wire to the fans and use in wall smart controls. Specifically GE z wave with samsung smart things.

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WarrMann

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
Thank you augie47, I don't have a book nearby.
So, as long as one wall switch is installed in a habital room, It sounds like no other switches are required. I always don't see that my switch must disconnect ungrounded conductor.
Your wall switch can just control an receptacle right below it, and you can have all the ceiling lights as smart as you want. No need to switch any neutrals

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S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Yeah, makes sense what you're doing, but never tried it myself. I've had to deal with a handful of "I installed a ceiling fan and it doesn't work" customers. I often find that they just messed up wiring the remote and let the smoke out. Maybe i'm only seeing the remotes that don't like being back fed.
I understand. They usually overlook the importance of using a fan box or structural member.

As far as backfeeding, if your using the same potential nothing can backfeed.
 

WarrMann

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
And no code that lets us unless we're talking transfer switches. (I'm guessing that's not what you meant to say.)
You're right. I misread and thought you were actually asking about switching the "grounded" conductor. Which wouldn't make sense why you would ask that, so i just said no switching the neutral and left it at that.

Article 404 is pretty clear about the switch needing to break the ungrounded conductor, which is why i think they don't bother specifying that in 210. I would assume the requirement is to switch the ungrounded conductor.

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victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
Location
NYC, NY
I am not familiar with residential energy code, but I believe manual switches will be required similar to commercial energy code.

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S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
My wall switch does isolate the ungrounded conductor, it just doesn't turn off the light if the remote control switch is set to "on".
It also has a pull chain to turn the light of. I can't think of a code violation but I admit its an unusual arrangement.
 
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