Am I wrong?

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  #1  
Old 02-07-16, 11:20 AM
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Am I wrong?

That last diagram has a problem that the neutrals create a ring circuit/parallel feeds.
Was I wrong? I did that so both conductors would be in the same raceway even if only the light or the fan was on.

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Diagram is for a fan light combo. Single location switch for light and 3-way switches for the fan. In thread http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ml#post2505726 #34

PCBoss:
If a xx-3 was used from the switches to the fan you could avoid that issue. You would have the two switched hots and the single neutral in one cable.
But wouldn't you have to use xx-4 between the two 3-way switches?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-07-16 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 02-07-16, 11:25 AM
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I think I am missing some context. Is the fixture a fan light combo or something?

If so, I think the diagram is fine. The neutrals are common and the circuit of fed from the same hot.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 12:00 PM
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Yes, it is a fan/light combo. See:
Astuff:
That last diagram has a problem that the neutrals create a ring circuit/parallel feeds.
#34 http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ml#post2505726
 
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Old 02-07-16, 12:04 PM
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As long as it's the same circuit I see no issue having two neutral paths to the fan/light combo.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 12:11 PM
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Thanks guys. Astuff was panicking me a bit with his comment http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ml#post2505726, especially since the member had already wired it. I didn't see any problem but thought I'd missed something.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 05:23 PM
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............................
 
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Old 02-07-16, 05:33 PM
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It's a little abnormal compared to how most installations like this would be wired but it certainly looks perfectly acceptable. Does it work? That's the ultimate test of the circuit.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 05:59 PM
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This was in regards to a project I am working on. Everything is working perfect so far.

What is a more typical wiring design for this? Sounds like there are multiple ways to do it.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 06:36 PM
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The other way I know of is to use 4-conductor cable between the switches and 3-conductor cable to the ceiling but 4-conductor is hard to find and usually not sold by the foot. Other ways that I know of might not meet the 2011 requirements for neutrals in switch boxes. The pros may know a better way. That is why I started this thread. However there is nothing wrong with mine. It looks different because the neutral at switch requirement is new and you switch setup is a bit unusual.

Revised using xx-4 and xx-3 cable.

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-07-16 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 02-07-16, 06:56 PM
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You, of course, can use flex conduit for your 4 wires (plus ground), but using NM cable is much easier.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 07:14 PM
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Yes, ENT would work but my original way works and no one has seen a problem but Astuff. The pros say it okay. This will probably be my last post on this subject. I'm just burned out from trying to help Jeff.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 07:21 PM
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No more help needed Ray. Just trying to learn as I go. Appreciate your patience as I figured this all out.

Two big thumbs up for Ray!!!

P.S. You also made my wife extremely happy. She says thanks also!
 
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Old 02-08-16, 09:59 AM
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As long as it's the same circuit I see no issue having two neutral paths to the fan/light combo.
They are current carrying conductors so two paths (parallel) are not allowed.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 10:58 AM
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Is that an NEC reference? If so what section? In 250 I do see:
2) Parallel Grounded Conductor. Where service-entrance conductors are installed in parallel, the size of the grounded (neutral) conductor in each raceway shall be based on the total area the largest ungrounded (hot) conductor in the raceway. However, 310.4 requires a minimum of 1/0 AWG when paralleling ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductors.
But this is not paralleling them in the same raceway and this is a feed not a service. Can you explain more fully your reason for saying it is wrong?
 
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Old 02-08-16, 11:37 AM
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Two big thumbs up for Ray!!!

P.S. You also made my wife extremely happy. She says thanks also!
But I am not happy. Astuff has made me doubt my advice. At this point I'd suggest changing it to my latest diagram.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 01:55 PM
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250 is for grounding and bonding

2011 NEC 310.10(H)

Conductors in Parallel.
(1) General. Aluminum, copper-clad aluminum, or copper
conductors, for each phase, polarity, neutral, or grounded circuit
shall be permitted to be connected in parallel (electrically
joined at both ends) only in sizes 1/0 AWG and larger where
installed in accordance with 310.10(H)(2) through (H)(6).
 
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Old 02-08-16, 03:08 PM
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But they are not paralleled and are not in the same raceway. The focus of that articles is where one wire is not large enough to carry the whole load. It refers to the requirements to use two undersize wires in place of a single wire of adequate size. The reason for the requirements is it is difficult to get equal flow in both wires and one wire may become overloaded. In this case both wires are of adequate size for the total current flow so no problem if the current flow is not split equally.

In fact the circuit is designed so if only the fan or only the light is used you will still have a hot and neutral in the same raceway as required by code. If, as you suggest one neutral is disconnected then if say it was the light neutral if only the light was on you would not have both conductors in the same raceway as required by code.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 06:06 PM
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The conductors in the drawing are paralleled as they are "electrically joined at both ends" Yes, the focus of the article may be large loads but it doesn't say that it applies only to large loads. It does say "only" large conductors are allowed to be paralleled. Exception 1 then talks about small parallel conductors for control devices that can carry the whole load. There are no other exceptions for small conductors.

The same raceway rules shouldn't apply here as assumption in residential is NM cable with plastic boxes.

Another solution instead of using a four conductor cable is to use two two conductor cables - physically in parallel but not electrically.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 06:59 PM
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I do not see them as paralleled, only redundant.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 07:19 PM
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Exception 1 then talks about small parallel conductors for control devices that can carry the whole load.
The switches are control devices.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 07:44 PM
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The section says parallel is electrically joined at both ends. No mention of how the routing is.

further in exception 1 is says control power to indicating instruments, contactors, relays and similar. I would not think that a fan and lighting loads would be similar.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 07:56 PM
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Just a comment. I haven't wired any 3-ways similar to this situation, but it looks like the 4 conductor cable should have been made readily available before the NEC implemented these changes.
And not just in 250' rolls.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 08:03 PM
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4-conductor cable is readily available at SOME supply houses. I have yet to see it at any of the major big box stores.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 08:14 PM
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I agree with Astuff, it IS a parallel circuit, and I agree with him that a lamp kit on a ceiling fan is not control or indicating equipment.

However, the real problem is in trying to use type NM cable to do the wiring. This is a conduit job, ENT or Greenfield. It would perhaps make for a difficult retrofit, but not a problem in new construction.

My head hurts.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 08:20 PM
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Personal code interpretations aside do you see anything unsafe about the wiring?
 
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Old 02-08-16, 08:42 PM
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I don't see anything unsafe about it, but also think this is a local AHJ interpretation issue.
 
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Old 02-08-16, 10:00 PM
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I don't think it is unsafe but neither do I think it is code compliant in a very strict interpretation. I know of at least one inspector that would have a stroke over it although many wouldn't give it a second glance.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 06:30 AM
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Connect one neutral/switch leg to the fan, the other neutral/switch leg to the light. Neutrals are not connected together in the fixture. Problem solved.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 11:09 AM
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Thank you, Tolyn. Excellent solution. I hope Jeff sees it.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 04:15 PM
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Tolyn/Ray -

I'm not understanding what you're suggesting I do. Not familiar with "switch leg". Is there a diagram for this?
 
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Old 02-09-16, 04:39 PM
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You have one neutral (white) coming out of the fan but in the fan it splits into two neutrals. In this case simplest is to feed a new white wire into the fan and run it down to where the light kit connects to a white wire. Cap off the white wire that was connected to the light kit and connect the new white wire.

The connection change at the ceiling box is only the 3-conduvtor white is connected to the fan white and the white of the 2-conductor is connected to the new white to the light kit.

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Connection changes at the light kit:
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Last edited by ray2047; 02-09-16 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 02-09-16, 05:16 PM
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Makes sense! However, you mentioned a 3 conductor cable. I only have 2 conductor cables entering the electrical box at the fan. Was this a typo?
 
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Old 02-09-16, 06:10 PM
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Yes it was a typo. Should have been the 2-conductor cable from the 3-way switch.
 
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