New circuit from existing conductors?

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Old 08-23-16, 07:11 PM
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New circuit from existing conductors?

I have two 1/2" EMT conduits that run from one end of the house to the other end, over a distance of about 50 feet. The two conduits run more or less in tandem close to each other until it gets to the rear of the house where they enter the same junction box, then one exits to the laundry room and the other turns to a attached shed.

In each conduit are two 20A circuits, four conductors, two hot and two neutral.

Looking at the junction box in the rear, and looking at the panel in the front of the house...

conduit 1: circuits 8A, 8B
conduit 2: circuits 12A, 12B

If I move circuit 8B to 6B, and 12B to 10B, both of these circuits would be on opposite legs, I can put in handle ties to the breakers, so now 6B and 8A can share one neutral, 10B and 12A can share one neutral. I would end up freeing up one neutral conductor in each of the two conduits.

In the rear where the two conduits enter the same junction box, can I take the extra unused neutral conductor, one from each conduit, and use it as a pair for a new circuit? Or is there some code that says conductors for the same circuit must be housed in the same raceway?
 
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Old 08-23-16, 07:24 PM
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can I take the extra unused neutral conductor, one from each conduit, and use it as a pair for a new circuit?
No. You are not allowed to use white wires as hot conductor on wires under 6AWG.
Electrically it will work, but it is for safety reason. If you choose to use white wire as hot, do it at your own risk.

is there some code that says conductors for the same circuit must be housed in the same raceway?
I'm not 100% sure about that, but I don't think there is such a restriction.
 
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Old 08-23-16, 08:13 PM
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is there some code that says conductors for the same circuit must be housed in the same raceway?
Yes.... it is in the code. The circuit must be contained in one raceway.
 
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Old 08-24-16, 04:00 AM
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If the raceways are fairly straight without too many bends you should be able to add the wires you need for the new circuit(s). You could even use the "extra" neutral to pull in some additional wires.
 
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Old 08-25-16, 03:43 PM
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No. You are not allowed to use white wires as hot conductor on wires under 6AWG.
Electrically it will work, but it is for safety reason. If you choose to use white wire as hot, do it at your own risk.
It is fairly common to color tape the ends of conductors to repurpose them, and as long as it's done consistently I don't consider it a show stopper. I am more concerned about having two conductors of the same circuit in different raceways because that could potentially be a head scratcher for whoever that comes later to trouble shoot.

Yes.... it is in the code. The circuit must be contained in one raceway.
well then that's out.

If the raceways are fairly straight without too many bends you should be able to add the wires you need for the new circuit(s). You could even use the "extra" neutral to pull in some additional wires.
I was trying to avoid buying and pulling more conductors...so I end up pulling out one of the neutral conductors in conduit A, with a 60' string attached to it's end. Then I put both neutral conductors at the end of the string and pulled both through...taped one of them as black and called it good.
 
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Old 08-25-16, 04:11 PM
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taped one of them as black and called it good.
.............. story over.
 
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Old 08-25-16, 04:35 PM
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Nothing like a good code violation to end a story.
 
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Old 09-02-16, 07:19 PM
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oh oh the code police is coming for me!

 
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Old 09-02-16, 07:32 PM
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OK one semi-related question.

From a previous post where it stated that all conductors for the same circuit must be in the same raceway...

I need some clarification on this rule.

(1) If I have a circuit for lights in an EMT conduit, it reaches a ceiling junction box. From the junction box it splits into two additional EMT conduits leading to two additional junction boxes. It is a serious of three ceiling pendant lights in a kitchen. Downstream of the first junction box, I have conductors for the same circuit split into two conduits...so that's one circuit NOT in the same raceway and a code violation?

(2) What about switch loops? Are those consider conductors of the same circuit? So if that circuit are all in one EMT conduit, can I run a switch loop through another conduit to a wall switch even though that switch loop is not in the same raceway but is not with the rest of the conductors of the same circuit?
 
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