Using 3-ways as s/p switches

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I recently helped out a fellow contractor finalize a residential installation. All he had on his truck was 3-way switches and wanted to use them up, so he used them for all switching applications throughout the house. In any cases where a s/p switch should have been used the up position was "on". So, aside from the switch not being marked "on" and "off" is there any Code violation ? Thanks.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Unless the switch was being used as a disconnecting means which requires indication {422.35} I can't think of a violation.
 

GerryB

Senior Member
Rocker switches are not identified. The only thing is you probably would do it hot to make sure they are right. (The lights were already installed? or doing the lights at the same time) I guess you could ring them out also.
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The lutron cl dimmers are capable of being 3 way or sp... IMO that is no different. It is basically a 3 way that can be installed as a sp
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Thanks for your replies. I forgot about rocker switches. I wasn't thinking out of the box. :slaphead:
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
404.7 says that they should be indicating as well as "on" in the "up" position.
I understand this might cause confusion to someone trouble-shooting a problem in the future. However, if you look at Exception # 1 this is a SPDT switch being used as a SPST. Why would this be seen as violating the intent of 404.7 ?
 

big john

Senior Member
Location
Portland, ME
...However, if you look at Exception # 1 this is a SPDT switch being used as a SPST. Why would this be seen as violating the intent of 404.7 ?
Not sure I follow. I think using SPDT as a SPST would violate the intent of that section, however, as technically written it appears to be legal.
=infinity;1694627]IMO 404.7 wouldn't apply to wall switches in a dwelling.
Why?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
404.7 is not about general use snap switches. It starts off with the words "General-use and motor-circuit switches, circuit breakers, and molded case switches,..."
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
IMO 404.7 wouldn't apply to wall switches in a dwelling.
If we say 'lighting switches' I agree.

Also considering decoras and there are no exceptions for 3 or 4 ways it has to be the case.

On the other hand IMO 440.7 would apply to a wall mounted switch used as a disconnecting means for a dishwasher etc.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
404.7 is not about general use snap switches. It starts off with the words "General-use and motor-circuit switches, circuit breakers, and molded case switches,..."
I think you are forgetting the 'and'

404.7 Indicating. General-use and motor-circuit switches,
circuit breakers, and molded case switches, where mounted
in an enclosure as described in 404.3, shall clearly indicate
whether they are in the open (off) or closed (on) position.
Where these switch or circuit breaker handles are operated
vertically rather than rotationally or horizontally, the
up position of the handle shall be the (on) position
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
If you look at 404.7 it does not mention General Use Snap switch-- there is a difference. Also if they meant snap switch then a 3 way would not be compliant as there is no exception-- some of this may have been mentioned earlier


Switch, General-Use. A switch intended for use in general
distribution and branch circuits. It is rated in amperes, and
it is capable of interrupting its rated current at its rated
voltage.


Switch, General-Use Snap. A form of general-use switch
constructed so that it can be installed in device boxes or on
box covers, or otherwise used in conjunction with wiring
systems recognized by this Code.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
If you look at 404.7 it does not mention General Use Snap switch-- there is a difference. Also if they meant snap switch then a 3 way would not be compliant as there is no exception-- some of this may have been mentioned earlier
Per the definitions you posted we see a snap switch is just a form of general used switch.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
A "Safety Switch" is a general use switch, but is not a snap switch.

A typical lighting wall switch may meet both definitions.
 
Top