Should I have wired this differently?

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-28-20, 07:59 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 380
Received 26 Votes on 24 Posts
Should I have wired this differently?

I wired up some LED ceiling lights and was wondering if should have wired them differently (lights work fine). I tapped into a junction box in my attic for power. Then ran romex to a new junction box 20ft away (which strictly speaking wasn't necessary, but wanted for an easy way to add additional devices to this circuit in the future).

So, power in to junction box, then power out to 2 switches (2 banks of LED lights). Power in and power out have their hots and neutrals spliced together, respectively. Power in and two "switch" cables all have their neutrals spliced together in the switch box (the switches I'm using don't require a neutral). Both "switch" cables run back to j-box, where their hots are each spliced to the hots of two "light" cables. Both "switch" and both "light" cables' neutrals are spliced together (4 neutrals).

Should I have spliced the power in and power out cables' neutrals with the "switch" and "light" neutrals? It was easier to splice them the way I did because this is all #12 wire and 6 #12's spliced together is too large for my largest (red) wire nuts, which are rated for up to 5 #12s. From an electricity flow perspective, the path back to source would be in the switch box where power and "switch" neutrals are spliced together. Path back to source could have been the junction box if I had spliced power and "light" neutrals together. I suppose it doesn't make a lick of difference, except for purposes of redundancy, i.e., having two points where the neutrals are joined reduces the chance of an open neutral on this circuit?
 
  #2  
Old 11-28-20, 10:33 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 1,017
Received 71 Votes on 61 Posts
Sounds like you successfully got into the wall cavity described in your other posts.

LED ceiling lights
The fact that they are LED fixtures is irrelevant.

The code requirement for a neutral at the switch box applies whether you need it now or not. Therefore your L-N incoming power cable should go to the switch box. I believe that you have done that by
Power in and two "switch" cables all have their neutrals spliced together in the switch box
That gives you a switched black (L) and white (N) to go to two light fixtures (or banks of fixtures) on two outgoing cables.

The JB in the attic should be just that. Each cable should be connected black-to-black and white-to-white to its own corresponding outgoing cable--no cross connections or redundant connections between cables. (If you had multiple cables from several fixtures on the same switch, they could be joined here.) What you have done is working now but could cause difficulty later if the circuits need to be traced. I do not know if redundant neutral connections on branch circuits are allowed by code, but they are not needed.
 
  #3  
Old 11-28-20, 11:02 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 380
Received 26 Votes on 24 Posts
Sounds like you successfully got into the wall cavity described in your other posts.
That was a minor disaster. That area was stud city. The gap I cut into was maybe big enough for a one gang box, definitely not large enough for a two gang. Too many studs in that area. Had to go around the corner to the adjacent wall. And now I have to patch drywall, which is what I was trying to avoid. Ugh.

The code requirement for a neutral at the switch box applies whether you need it now or not. Therefore your L-N incoming power cable should go to the switch box. I believe that you have done that by
Quote:
Power in and two "switch" cables all have their neutrals spliced together in the switch box
That gives you a switched black (L) and white (N) to go to two light fixtures (or banks of fixtures) on two outgoing cables.
Right, I have neutral in the switch box so if I ever want a smart switch or whatever, it's ready to go. And as you note, it's code requirement now.

The JB in the attic should be just that. Each cable should be connected black-to-black and white-to-white to its own corresponding outgoing cable--no cross connections or redundant connections between cables. (If you had multiple cables from several fixtures on the same switch, they could be joined here.) What you have done is working now but could cause difficulty later if the circuits need to be traced. I do not know if redundant neutral connections on branch circuits are allowed by code, but they are not needed.
The connections in the j-box are black to black and white to white on the power in and power out cables. For the "switch" cables running from the switch to the j-box and the "light" cables running from j-box to lights, "switch 1" black is connected to "light 1" black; likewise for "switch 2" and "light 2" blacks. Where I bundled wires is splicing together the 4 neutrals from "switch 1", "light 1", "switch 2" and "light 2".

As for circuit tracing, the hots could easily be traced, but I suppose the neutrals are a little trickier and I'd have to separate that bundle of 4 neutrals into two splices.

Interesting point - yes, if I had spliced together all 6 neutrals in the j-box, then I'd have redundant neutral connections (j-box and switch box), and hadn't considered whether code might prohibit this.
 
2john02458 voted this post useful.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: