Question about neutral for "Pilot" light switch

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Old 03-05-19, 06:42 AM
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Question about neutral for "Pilot" light switch

I've got a 2 gang switch box where one switch is for interior lights and the other is for outdoor porch lights. I'd like to switch out the porch light switch for one with an indicator light showing when it's "on", otherwise know as a pilot light switch.

The switch is at the end of the run, so the neutral is being used for a switched hot. So, I need another neutral to power the indicator lights.

The easiest way for me to bring a neutral to this switch box would be to route it from a different circuit. Is this allowed? I'm guessing this isn't allowed as it might not allow the breakers to work as intended.

Say I run a line of 14/2 to this box from the same circuit just for the purpose of using the neutral. Can I just cap the unused and unconnected hot/black line with a wire nut on each side (inside the box)? Is that acceptable provided I keep track of my wire count. Likewise, can I just wire nut the bare ground or should I add it to the other grounds in the box?
 
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Old 03-05-19, 06:49 AM
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Use an illuminated switch that doesn't need a neutral. The switch is illuminated when it's off and not illuminated when on. It's the reverse of a pilot light switch. It's not very bright in daylight though.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 08:21 AM
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NO you can not use a neutral from another circuit.
No you can not use the bare ground for neutral.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 08:24 AM
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Neutral needs to be from the same circuit. First because it is code. Second because it causes issues with GFCIs and most AFCIs.

OK to bring neutral in separately as long as all plastic boxes. Metal can cause a heating effect when the wire isn't with its return.

You would need to connect the bare grounds at both ends. Capping the blacks is correct.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 09:14 AM
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All replies are appreciated!

pattenp: Good suggestion, but not how I want to go. I want the indicator light on when porch light is on.

Joed: Okay, I suspected as much and I won't use the neutral from a different circuit. For the record, I never suggested using the ground.

Astuff wrote:
Neutral needs to be from the same circuit. First because it is code. Second because it causes issues with GFCIs and most AFCIs.
Yeah, that makes sense.

OK to bring neutral in separately as long as all plastic boxes. Metal can cause a heating effect when the wire isn't with its return.
Huh, I never would have thought that. Well, I'm using all metal boxes so I think I'll call it quits on the pilot light switch. I was already on the fence for how much trouble it was going to be.

You would need to connect the bare grounds at both ends. Capping the blacks is correct.
Good to know at least for future issues.

What is the proper way to do this on a clean install? Use romex with an extra wire count? If so, would you just leave the white conductor unmarked to serve only as neutral while the red could serve as switched hot?

That, or just make sure your power comes into the box that houses the pilot light switch so you can tap into the neutral before it goes off to provide returns neturals the lights?
 
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Old 03-05-19, 09:46 AM
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Most new installations are supposed to have a neutral at light switches to avoid this problem. With a 3 way switch loop you would need an 14/4 cable with white being neutral or two 14/2's with one of the whites re-identified. Most connectors are rated for 2 cables so could be used for metal boxes. Other colors don't matter but two would be travelers and one would be the switched supply to the light and pilot.
 
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Old 03-06-19, 05:35 AM
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Astuff,

Most new installations are supposed to have a neutral at light switches to avoid this problem. With a 3 way switch loop you would need an 14/4 cable with white being neutral or two 14/2's with one of the whites re-identified. Most connectors are rated for 2 cables so could be used for metal boxes. Other colors don't matter but two would be travelers and one would be the switched supply to the light and pilot.
That makes sense. I also didn't realize your stand metal box romex connector was rated for accepting two cables although I've seen it done before usually going out of service panels.

Well, thank you very much. As usual, I've learned a few new things from this forum. I'll pass on the pilot switch light.
 
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