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Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

Posted by JawCharger (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 27, 12 at 21:34

I am installing recessed lighting in my basement. I want to install 2 switches with each switch controlling half of the lights. I have a 2 wire cable running from my breaker box to a junction box.

Cable will be run from the junction box to my switches. My question is would there be any issue with splicing a 3 wire cable in the junction box with my 2 wire cable currently in place or do I run 2 2 wire cables from the junction box to my switches? All cables involved are 14 gauge.

I don't see any real difference aside from the number of cables entering the box for my switches but I realize that I would have 1 fewer neutral wire if I use the 3 wire scenario.

Any help that can be provided would be appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

If you use 3-wire you have to run it to at least at least the first fixture and can then split any time after that point.

If you split at the switch box into a pair of 2-wre cables it may be less overall cost (more of a single type of cable) instead of needing a short run of 3-wire.


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

You are talking before the switches, right? Just run one 2 wire cable to the switches and use pigtails to power both switches. After the switches run a 2 wire cable to each set of lights from each switch. The blacks will run through the switch and all the whites will tie together. Tie all the grounds together.


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

New code requires neutrals at all switch legs


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

New code requires neutrals at all switch legs


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

I have a 2 wire cable running from my breaker box to a junction box.

Cable will be run from the junction box to my switches.

We are familiar with the new code.


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

"New code requires neutrals at all switch legs"

If you rn the feed to the switches you do notneed to be concerned with switch loops since you wil lnot be using them.

The hot feed goes to both switches.
The switched side goes to each light, along with a neutral.

All the neutral in the switch box are tied together.
All the grounds in the switch box are tied together (and to the switch grounding screws and the box if it is metal).

Each switch then feeds a 2-conductor cable (with ground) that feeds a bank of lights one after another.
Each light is placed across the now switched hhot and the neutral.

There are no 'switch loops' and all you need is 2 conductor cable.


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

Since you are refering to multiple switches, do you mean to have 3-way switches in the circuit? That is, the ability to turn on/off a bank of lights from two locations?


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RE: Do I use 3 wire or 2 wire for my next step?

I want to install 2 switches with each switch controlling half of the lights.

Looks like simple on/off switches.


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