Uncommon common (neutral)

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Old 04-10-06, 07:26 PM
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Uncommon common (neutral)

A couple of weeks ago there was a thread about sharing neutrals from different circuits and the inherent danger. Now I have a question..... I have a 4 gang box that has 3 light switches all on the same circuit. The fourth switch has a 12-3 pulled to it. The black and red are switch legs for a bedside outlet. Only 1/2 of the outlet is switched, the other, always hot. This outlet is on a different circuit. So what do I do with the white (neutral) at the 4 gang box?? It would appear that I would just wirenut it off. After reading your answers to the shared neutral, I do not want to get it wrong. Comments please.... Thanks
 
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Old 04-10-06, 07:30 PM
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That wire is not a neutral, or at least it shouldn't be.

This is a switch loop, and could have been made with 12-2 instead of 12-3. Anyway, the white should be connected to nothing on either end. Just place a wire nut over the ends and tuck them to the back of the boxes.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 07:48 PM
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Hooter: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

It's not uncommon to have a switched outlet configured this way. It makes it easier for the trim crew to understand which wires to land where when installing a "half-hot" switched outlet.

If it were done in two-wire, then all the trim-dude(tte) would see upon coming to the receptacle is black and white wires: it might not be noticed that this is a switched outlet.

By running a three-wire, it becomes clear that the red wire is switched and should be on it's own half of the receptacle.

If this were a three-wayed switched outlet, you be seeing some really goofy stuff going on at the switch, in addition to the capped neutral. Moral of the story: see line 1.
 
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Old 04-10-06, 07:53 PM
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Thanks guys..... Thing is Rocky, I am wiring this new myself and the RED was a reminder for me. glad to hear that it is done that way in the trades........ Thanks
 
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Old 04-11-06, 05:12 AM
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Thing is Rocky, I am wiring this new myself and the RED was a reminder for me. glad to hear that it is done that way in the trades...
I had guessed (given your recent posts on your project), but the rule still holds.

It kinda changes to "wait to fix it until you know there's a problem." Whenever I try to fix something I think is incorrect (whether I think I screwed it up or someone else), before firing it up to hot check, then there is an unforeseen aspect waiting to make me regret it.
 
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