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lights on detached garage & house controlled via 3-ways in both structures

lights on detached garage & house controlled via 3-ways in both structures

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  #1  
Old 09-12-08, 11:56 PM
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lights on detached garage & house controlled via 3-ways in both structures

My house's and detached garage's service doors are about 15 feet apart and facing each other. I want to control both service door lights to turn on and off together with 3-way switches in both the garage and house. IOW - the switch at the door in either the house or garage will turn on or off both of the lights. Being able to leave the garage, turn on the lights, walk to the house, and turn them off sounds like a superior setup rather than having each light controlled only with the switch at the door of each structure. Then the walk would be in the dark unless the lights were left on.

The garage has a non-service rated panel fed with a separate grounding conductor. With the branch circuit's disconnect in the garage, is it OK to run it back into the house? I'm guessing so since the feeder feeding that branch circuit has a disconnect in the house, huh? Do I keep the ground and neutrals separate from the house's ground and neutrals? I'd like for the switch to be in a 2 gang box with another switch in the house (and thus on a different circuit fed from a different panel)... is this OK? Will I need to put the switches in different boxes?

Does this sound right? - power 12/2 into garage switch box - 12/2 to garage light - 12/2/2 (black, red, white/red (re-identified as blue with tape), white) to house switch box (AKA - 'run to house') - 12/2 from house switch box to house light. Connect power in neutral (white) at garage switch to garage light and 'run to house' white. Connect power in hot to switch common. Garage switch travelers to 'run to house' black and red. Garage light hot in garage switch box to 'run to house' switch box (blue). At house switch box, travelers into switch. Switch common to 'run to house' blue and connected to house light black. Pass neutral through switch box to light. Of course, NM are all w/grounds and the grounds are connected everywhere...

Can I run the 12/2/2 NM into the non-service rated panel, once inside wire nut each to THWN, run those five with the conduit that has the feeders feeding the garage panel, into the house's service rated panel, wire nut in there to NM, then out of it to the house switch box?

Thanks,
Rick
 
  #2  
Old 09-13-08, 12:08 AM
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You definitely don't want to connect neutrals between the different sources. That being said, I am an X10 fan and if it were my system I would bag all the complication and put an X10 controller on both lights - X10 wired wall switch - set to the same address and then you could control it from anywhere with a wireless interface, even upstairs, from you car in the driveway, etc. X10.com Might cost you $50 to set up. They often have packages on sale. Once it is set up you can mount flat wall rocker switches anywhere to control (and dim) 3 consecutive addresses.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 09:40 AM
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Did you think of motion lights? Either at just one location or both locations or a 2-bulb one where you could adjust 2 different directions? Then you can leave house light on when you go. Light will normally be off. Then upon return, pulling in driveway light comes on and stays on according to motionlight time-on setting option. Then once back in the house you can either turn off the switch or leave on the switch (and still the light would be off, but would come on automatically when you go outside).

Some motion detectors have a trick here if you want it to stay on: You flip the switch in I think some sequence like "on-off-on", and the light will stay on, if you want it to.

No real need to want to have the light to shut off from out in garage is there? (other than not having it on when you leave - and the motion light solves that) I can't think of the practicallity to that option with a plain garage, unless it were the kind with an apartment or shop out there, where once out there and you planned to stay out at the garage, to turn the light off.

If not, and you just want to see on the way back to the house, yet do not want to leave the light on when going to the store, a movie, etc., the motion light idea may solve your problem.

The advantage here, with the motion light, is that the light comes on when you drive back up the driveway before even having to get out to turn on the light.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 02:21 PM
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They also sell X10 motion lights, which gives you the advanage of manual control from nearby. also the lights can be addressed to turn on other lights. Like if you tripped one it would turn another flood on.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rockin_rick View Post
With the branch circuit's disconnect in the garage, is it OK to run it back into the house?

I'm guessing so since the feeder feeding that branch circuit has a disconnect in the house, huh?

Do I keep the ground and neutrals separate from the house's ground and neutrals?

I'd like for the switch to be in a 2 gang box with another switch in the house (and thus on a different circuit fed from a different panel)... is this OK?

Will I need to put the switches in different boxes?



Can I run the 12/2/2 NM into the non-service rated panel, once inside wire nut each to THWN, run those five with the conduit that has the feeders feeding the garage panel, into the house's service rated panel, wire nut in there to NM, then out of it to the house switch box?
These are good questions and well-put. Hopefully you will get a response that addresses them directly, although the alternate suggestions are worth considering.
 
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Old 09-13-08, 06:23 PM
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Sometimes it pays to offer instead an entirely different idea rather than address a problem in thoughtful detail, because maybe the poster might say, "Hey - yeah - I never thought of THAT. Yeah - I kinda LIKE that(those) idea(s). That'd save me a lot of work, and I actually see the benefit of these other ideas."

It be nice if the poster came back soon and let us know if he wants to proceed with his wiring plans.
 
  #7  
Old 09-13-08, 06:56 PM
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The X10 idea sounds like the way to go to me. I have installed them on several occassions with little problem.
The only one being fluorecent light ballast noise sometimes makes them not operate. They do sell a filter that solves that problem. I usually just put the fluorescents on the other phase and they work just fine.

Gene
 
  #8  
Old 09-13-08, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Sometimes it pays to offer instead an entirely different idea rather than address a problem in thoughtful detail, because maybe the poster might say, "Hey - yeah - I never thought of THAT. Yeah - I kinda LIKE that(those) idea(s). That'd save me a lot of work, and I actually see the benefit of these other ideas."

It be nice if the poster came back soon and let us know if he wants to proceed with his wiring plans.
Yes, I agree that offering alternate suggestions is beneficial. I do like the motion controlled light idea. In the end, it probably would be more convenient and useful, with the added bonus of less work (although I try not to make that a motivating factor). Thanks, I think that I will go that route.

As for the x10, I suppose that would be fine, and I am actually interested in home automation so I am familiar with x10. Although I haven't checked into it lately, I was never entirely thrilled with x10 due to the lack of acknowledgement of commands. Doing a quick search now, it seems that some devices can do this... Also, I'm not entirely thrilled about adding noise to my line. Maybe this is a non-issue... Perhaps it's time for me to look into this further.

Although I'm probably not going to do it, I can't help wondering about the code legalities/specifics of running the circuit from the garage back into the house. After pondering it for some time, it would be nice to bring some closure to it.

Thanks,
Rick
 
  #9  
Old 09-14-08, 12:53 AM
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Let me step in here for a min to clearify it about the house exteroir luminaire and garage exterior luminaires.

Yes the code do allow it but a big and I mean big gotcha here that you only allowed two circuits the max to the detached structure like example your detached garage.


Most case it will be a grey spot due it will have some confet with codes related to the circuit run.

I will get ahold of someone that person can make a drawing so it will be alot easier to understand than try to type a long detailed instructions here.

Merci,Marc
 
  #10  
Old 09-14-08, 01:05 AM
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Marc,

Thanks, but you don't need to bother. I'm going to go with the motion lights. The detached garage has a non-service rated panel with >2 circuits (if that's what you were referring to).

I also just realized that if I run those additional wires back through the conduit that the garage's feeders are also supplied, that I'd have to derate, and upsize my feeders. No thanks...

While the issue is now moot, I drew it out on paper before posting, and it looks fine to me... Regardless, I am always interested in the engineering and theory behind things...

Rick
 
  #11  
Old 09-15-08, 09:50 AM
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My place is active, I create or use low wattage cfl as nitelights. Some on a timer, a couple that run 24/7 and with photocells. Put one in the outdoor fixture of the house. Let it run while you are out?
 
 

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