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What to do with the neutral on a 14(3) wire that has been ripped out

What to do with the neutral on a 14(3) wire that has been ripped out

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  #1  
Old 01-14-13, 12:38 PM
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What to do with the neutral on a 14(3) wire that has been ripped out

I have a rental house that had quite a bit of the copper ripped out over the summer. I have finally connected everything except for the last wire. In the middle of the house I have the end of a 14(3) wire that controls all lights and outlets on the 3rd floor. I have run two 14(2) wires to that wire and will connect it all in a box that will be attached to the ceiling. The hots are easy, and I assume that the grounds all get connected, but now, I have 2 neutrals left. Do I only use one and cap off the other one or connect them all together. You guys have mentioned before that I should also note on the breakers that they are part of a 14(3) of which I will do. Any advice will be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-13, 01:26 PM
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To do this the "proper" way, you should replace the missing section of 14-3 with a new piece of 14-3.

That said, and given that you've already gone to the trouble and expense of running two 14-2 cables, I would connect one of the neutrals and cap the other one off or, better yet, cut it short on both ends. Shared neutral is shared neutral, and connecting both might lead to troubleshooting headaches in the future.

You guys have mentioned before that I should also note on the breakers that they are part of a 14(3) of which I will do.
I'm not sure where you saw this, and I'm not aware of any such requirement. As far as the two breakers go, what you do need to do is feed the two hot wires from two breakers that are adjacent to each other and connect their handles with a handle tie.
 
  #3  
Old 01-14-13, 02:26 PM
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Don't cut off or cut short any of the wire ends.

Connect all of the neutrals together at the existing 14-3.

Connect the black of one new 14-2 to the black of the existing 14-3. Connect the black of the other 14-2 to the red of the existing 14-3.

Where the 14-2s continue on, each device (light, receptacle, etc) is connected to just the black and white of one 14-2. The whites (neutrals) of the two 14-2s are not connected together anywhere else downstream.

At each box, connect all ground wires that are inside the box together.

The 14-2s can service the various outlet boxes any way you choose, for example one 14-2 can go to one side of the house and the other to the other. Or the 14-2s can follow each other and leapfrog among the various outlet boxes.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 02:38 PM
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If I understand this, you have replaced a section of 14-3 with 2 runs of 14-2. Now we have two issues, one is that all conductors of the circuit need to be run together. This does not happen with two cables. The other issue is that conductors smaller than 1/0 cannot be paralleled which is what would happen if you joined both whites from the cables together. So we have a choice of code violations to live with. The best option is to use a 14-3 cable and remove the 2 14-2's.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 03:50 PM
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Where the 14-2s continue on, each device (light, receptacle, etc) is connected to just the black and white of one 14-2. The whites (neutrals) of the two 14-2s are not connected together anywhere else downstream.
If I understand the OP's question correctly, the two 14-2 runs are between the panel and a J-box where he is planning to splice them, as parallel feeders, to a 14-3 that continues toward the loads.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 03:56 PM
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Bish80, here's an alternative, code-compliant solution: At some point downstream the section of 14-3 enters another box where it is divided to supply two different sets of devices, or loads. If you remove that section of 14-3, and replace that with two more lengths of 14-2, then you should be able to connect everything in compliance.

If you tell us where that second box is, and what else is in it, we can help you figure out the connections there -- if you'd like us to.
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-13, 06:50 PM
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I would like to be code compliant. I will look for the box where the 14(3) divides. I got a really great line tracer(man they are the coolest thing) so I should be able find it without much trouble.
 
  #8  
Old 01-14-13, 06:53 PM
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What line tracer do you have? I have been looking for a good one but are unwilling to spend the $500 on an Ideal.
 
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Old 01-14-13, 08:41 PM
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What line tracer do you have? I have been looking for a good one but are unwilling to spend the $500 on an Ideal.
I'm guessing that you're looking for one that will work on energized conductors, if you're looking at that much money.

If not, I really like my Harris Pro 2000. I don't think they make it anymore, but the Pro 3000 looks like the new and improved version. It costs less than $100 if you shop around a bit.
 
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Old 01-15-13, 06:48 PM
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Yes, energized circuits. Would be nice if it was up to 600 volt rated, but not 100% necessary.
 
  #11  
Old 01-15-13, 07:54 PM
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You know the answer to that is to start saving your nickels and dimes. I like the kit made by Greenlee, but it's even more costly that the Ideal. Do you have a place you can rent one from when you need to?
 
  #12  
Old 01-16-13, 01:41 PM
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I sucked it up and just reran a 14(3). My line tracer is a Fluke (about $100). I'm not the professional that you guys are, so it suits my needs, it also does polarity and helps with continuity. Thanks for all your help gentlemen.
 
  #13  
Old 01-16-13, 03:42 PM
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Glad you got it worked out, and thank you for the feedback.
 
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