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12-3 wire feeding Lights and outlets- Am I doing this right?

12-3 wire feeding Lights and outlets- Am I doing this right?

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  #1  
Old 08-26-13, 02:12 PM
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12-3 wire feeding Lights and outlets- Am I doing this right?

I've attached a picture of my situation. I have an old house and was replacing some poorly done wiring (the switch box i was working on had lamp wire pigtailed with standard electrical wire) when I came across my question. I have Red Black White and Green feeding the box and from that I'd like to feed 3 circuits: room lights, room outlets, outdoor light. It's a detached a garage with very little load on it except some florescent lights, 1 outlet for the garage door opener and one outside lantern light.

The box contains a switch for the room lights and a GFCI outlet. I wired it and at one point when I plugged something into the GFCI outlet the room lights went off. I re-wired it and it seems to be working, but I want to see what you guys thinks is the best approach.

I've labeled all the black wires B1 - B7. I'm assuming all the whites get pigtailed together and the grounds I've pigtailed and connected to the GFCI and the metal switch box. Not sure if I should put one green ground to the light switch as well.

Here is my current arrangement:
Pigtail1 = B1,B3,B4, B7
Pigtail2 = B2 & B6
Pigtail3 = R1, B5
Pigtail4 = All Whites
Pigtail5 = All greens with one attached to GFCI ground

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-26-13, 03:47 PM
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Yes, add a ground to the light switch. That's it for grounds for now.

Yes, all the white wires are neutral and get spliced together, except after the GFCI. We'll get to that.

Pick one of the hot wires. Let's say it's the black wire. Terminate that wire to the brass LINE terminal on the GFCI. Make a white pigtail, add that to the neutral splice, and terminate the other end of it to the silver LINE terminal on the GFCI.

IDK what B5 represents. Terminate the black and white wires in the cable that will feed the other receptacles (B3) to the brass and silver LOAD terminals, respectively, on the GFCI. Take that cable to every receptacle in the garage, including the one for your GDO. If it makes more sense to come off the GFCI a second time, you can use a second 2-conductor cable to do that. Each terminal on the GFCI will accept up to two wires, so just add the wires from the new cable in next to the wires for the first cable on the LOAD terminals.

Terminate the red wire to one of the terminals on the switch. Terminate the hot feed wire for the room lights (B2) to the other terminal on the switch.

Now, how are you controlling the outside light?
 
  #3  
Old 08-26-13, 04:04 PM
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If this is a 12-3 serving a detached garage there needs to be a two pole disconnect such as a 20 amp DPST switch before the devices in your drawing. An A/C disconnect could also be used.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-26-13 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Spelling
  #4  
Old 08-26-13, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate you sharing your expertise.

The outside light is controlled by a switch. B4 and the white and green from that cable leads to a switch box where the whites are joined and the blacks are attached to the switch.

B5, B6&B7 are extra wires because R1 and B1 weren't long enough to reach the receptacle and switch.

I was thinking of feeding the other line with the outlet off of the GFCI but if for some reason the GFCI was tripped my garage door opener wouldn't work. So i decided to feed that separatey. Is that incorrect thinking?

I have a white wire coming from the sliver on the GFCI into a pigtail with all the other whites. Is that what you mean?
 
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Old 08-26-13, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I've never heard of dpst. I went to Home Depot and the guy in the electrical aisle didn't know either. What exactly is this?
 
  #6  
Old 08-26-13, 07:14 PM
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I went to Home Depot and the guy in the electrical aisle didn't know either
Just makes you shake your head how little they know. A DoublePoleSingleThrow switch. To give you a frame of reference an ordinary 120 volt light switch is a SinglePoleSingleThrow switch (SPST). A three way switch is a SiglePoleDoubleThrow (SPDT) and a four way is a special type of DoubelPoleDoubelThrow switch (DPDT) with internal jumpers.
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-13, 08:52 PM
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The outside light is controlled by a switch. B4 and the white and green from that cable leads to a switch box where the whites are joined and the blacks are attached to the switch.
Nothing like full information, I always say.

Splice the black wire in cable B4 to the red wire in cable B1 (after it comes through the disconnect) and add a black or red pigtail to connect to one terminal on the interior light switch.

I was thinking of feeding the other line with the outlet off of the GFCI but if for some reason the GFCI was tripped my garage door opener wouldn't work. So i decided to feed that separatey. Is that incorrect thinking?
IDK, because I don't understand what you're saying. Bottom line is this: Every receptacle in your garage must be GFCI protected, including the one your GDO is plugged into. Where and how you provide that protection is up to you with one proviso: It can't be done by mounting a GFCI receptacle in the ceiling because the TEST and RESET buttons on that ceiling-mounted GFCI would not be accessible. The simple way to provide that protection is to feed all of the other receptacles in the building off the LOAD terminals on the GFCI in the box with the interior light switch, it seems to me.

I'm not a big fan of the all-power disconnect - hitting it guarantees that nothing will have power including, of course, your GDO. It is a requirement, however. OTOH, there's nothing that requires you to ever hit it. I like to mount them at 5' or a little more aff and a foot or so away from the edge of the door.

I have a white wire coming from the sliver on the GFCI into a pigtail with all the other whites. Is that what you mean?
If you terminated that white pigtail to the silver LINE terminal, yes. Not to the silver LOAD terminal.
 
  #8  
Old 08-26-13, 09:37 PM
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You can use a pull-out disconnect instead of a toggle switch then nothing to accidently hit.
 
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