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Using 120VAC, 3-Way Switch (SPDT) to toggle between Heater and A/C?

Using 120VAC, 3-Way Switch (SPDT) to toggle between Heater and A/C?


Old 11-24-12, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
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Using 120VAC, 3-Way Switch (SPDT) to toggle between Heater and A/C?

I'm laying out the electrical for a remodel of a house I just bought, and am wanting to run a single 20 amp breaker (120v) to each bedroom as a dedicated circuit for heat or A/C.

The heat is a 1500 Watt forced air wall heater running off a thermostat and the A/C will be a window unit plugged into an outlet. It seems logical that since the A/C and heater will not be running at the same time, they could share a single circuit. The heater would be hardwired and the A/C from an outlet.

Since what I've described would absolutely be capable of overloading the breaker if both were on at the same time, I'm curious about using a 3-Way Switch to act as an A-B selector switch. For example, "Up" would power the thermostat/heater and "Down" would power the outlet for the A/C.

So what I'm wondering is what the NEC would have to say about this? I've never seen an A-B selector in house wiring and am a bit curious why?

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Old 11-24-12, 02:56 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Location: Northern NJ - USA
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Without looking for that exact setup I wouldn't think there would be a code issue. The reason you don't see it done is because most people/electricians would run two circuits.
Old 11-24-12, 03:11 PM
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Location: Maryland
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I would just run two homeruns. You could connect both to the same breaker if the breaker accepts two conductors.

Many do not leave a window AC installed over winter due to cold leakage from the lack of insulation.

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