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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    17

    Default Re: Electrical question

    Thanks Jack

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Southwire under the ROMEX®brand name contains four conductors-black, white, red, and white with red stripe- and a bare copper grounding conductor. Other brands may use different colors.Jack
    Since we're talking about colors...

    IIRC, the only color standards for wiring are that white always signifies neutral (or, more properly, "the grounded, current-carrying conductor), and green, green/yellow stripe, and bare always signify ground. Any other color (including a color with a white stripe) is always considered "hot."

    A 2-wire cable in a switch loop (switch is on a dead-end), where the white wire may be "hot" when the light is on, the white wire must be colored at each end to indicate that it is NOT a neutral. Likewise if a 3-wire cable dead-ends at a 3-way switch, the white wire must be colored if it's not used as a neutral.

    With the 3- or 4-wire cable, there is no standard for which conductor is switched or unswitched. If one of the wires in the cable is unswitched, the preference is that it be the black one to reduce confusion.

    (It seems that there was something about gray, but I just don't remember.)
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    Since we're talking about colors...

    IIRC, the only color standards for wiring are that white always signifies neutral (or, more properly,Close but no cigar. White or Gray can be used for the grounded conductor "the grounded, current-carrying conductor), and green, green/yellow stripe, and bare always signify ground (actually a bonded return). Any other color (including a color with a white stripe wrong it would be considered a white conductor unless re-designated) is always considered "hot."

    A 2-wire cable in a switch loop (switch is on a dead-end), where the white wire may be "hot" when the light is on, wrong again the re-designated white wire is always hot and the black is the switched conductor in a switch loop the white wire must be colored at each end to indicate that it is NOT a neutral. Likewise if a 3-wire cable dead-ends at a 3-way switch, the white wire must be colored if it's not used as a neutral.

    With the 3- or 4-wire cable, there is no standard for which conductor is switched or unswitched. If one of the wires in the cable is unswitched, the preference is that it be the black one to reduce confusion.In 3 way switch circuit the return is a switched wire and must be black.

    (It seems that there was something about gray, but I just don't remember.)
    White with a red strip is still considered a white wire unless it is re-designated. The 4 conductor cable the white and white with red strip would both be grounded conductors unless one or both are re-designated. The purpose for this is so it can be used in place of 3 wire MWBC to provide 2 separate circuits rather than a shared common.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Electrical question

    No, you can not do that without and additional line conductor to the second switch that is hot all the time. If your line and fixture wires both go to the first switch box(which is not that uncommon) then you need two additional conductors to the second switch box, as there will be no neutral there either. Canuk best described how to do it. Overcrowding of boxes is one of the most common and problematic violations of the code. If you have three number 14/2 w.g. and a single device such as a switch or receptacle, in a typical 3" x 2" x 3.5" (deep)box, you are at maximum fill. If it is a metal box with a single clamp, you are overfilled. If you are using 12/2 w.g. you are overfilled with just three romex, a device, and no clamp in the same box. Medium and shallow boxes don't allow near that much fill. A very important point by Canuk. If in doubt, use a two gang box, or two boxes.

    Jim McDanial pretty well covered the colors. I have never seen a colored wire with a white stripe just the opposite. Also, anytime a white, gray, or green wire is used as a hot it must be marked in a manner that is permanent, effective, and completely encircling the conductor; not only at every termination point, but also at every box where that conductor may be accessed. NEC 2008 200.7 (C).
    Colored tape other than white, gray or green usually will meet this requirement, although it is not really permanent.
    Last edited by ZZZ; 11-10-2010 at 02:06 PM.
    "Lead by Example"

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