Ceiling fixture wiring question

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I'm replacing a ceiling light fixture in my kitchen, we've only lived in the house a few months. I removed the old light and in the junction box there are four romex cables coming into the box and the wires for the light. So let's call the four Romex cables C1, C2, C3 and C4.
The first 3 are easy, C1, C2, C3 all have their black wires tied together and all have their white wires tied together (and all ground wires together). C4 confuses me a bit (but that's not that hard to do), The black from C4 goes to the light, the other wire from the light goes to the group of white wires all tied together which makes sense...but the white from C4 is tied into the group of black wires. Why would that be? I would think that the white from C4 would get tied in with the white wires, not the black wires....does this make sense? Many thanks
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Mash wrote:

C4 is a switch leg. White takes current to the switch, and it comes back to the light on the black.
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c4 is your switch. the white in it should have been taped black.
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

No, it shouldn't.
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Please expand on your eloquent statement.
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Oh yes it should..
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

In your DIY world perhaps.
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alarman wrote:

And the NEC world as well, if it was indeed as described, the hot carrier.
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dpb wrote:

It is not done, as a rule, by professional electricians. The NEC refers to it all right, but it is optional. To say that it "should" be done is absurd.
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OR in the NEC
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

Hmmm...lessee...Nope, can't find where is says you SHOULD tape the white in the NEC.
(Hint: It's not done)
js
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200.7(C)(2)Where a cable assembly contains an insulated conductor for single-pole, 3-way or 4-way switch loops and the conductor with white or gray insulation or a marking of three continuous white stripes is used for the supply to the switch but not as a return conductor from the switch to the switched outlet. In these applications, the conductor with white or gray insulation or with three continuous white stripes shall be permanently reidentified to indicate its use by painting or other effective means at its terminations and at each location where the conductor is visible and accessible.
tape is considered an effective means.
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Yup. That's the way I always read it too. What's more, and probably even more important in this sort of situation, is to have the end at the switch taped and identified so someone opening the switch won't think a white wire is a neutral.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The 1993 NEC explicitly allowed the white wire to feed a switch without being remarked. I didn't pickup the change, which was by 2002 and may have been 1999. If the light was wired under the 1993 (1996?) (or probably earlier) NEC it is code compliant (though remarking is a good idea).
====================The current language (above) does not appear to allow power feed to a light, with 3 wire romex to 3-way switches (or 3 and 4-way switches). The feed to one 3-way with the white as supply would be compliant. Wiring to the other 3-way and 4-ways does not appear to comply. I would not call travelers a "supply" wire. I do not see how you can use a remarked white wire to a 4-way switch, mentioned above.
The way I read the language you have to wire power to 3way (to 4way) to 3-way to light.
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wrote:

I agree there is at least one legal way to wire 3 and 4 way loops that you can not make comply to this rule. (IE. fed from the center) You missed your chance to write a proposal for the 2011 to fix it (Nov 7 as I recall) Look at the ROP when it comes out and see if there is a proposal you can modify with a comment, assuming this is not already pointed out.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

C)(2) made sense when (1996NEC) a white could feed a switch. The section should have been deleted when that practice was eliminated.
(C)(1) allows a remarked white to be used as a traveler.
The law of unintended consequences.
I never thought of modifying the code by an unrelated comment to the ROP.
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wrote:

If it is just fine tuning language and not actually introducing a new rule, you can affect code in the comment phase.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I stand corrected, and admit that I wasn't aware of the NEC change.
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No problem. I agree the "code churn" caused by a 3 year cycle creates unnecessary confusion. I really think they should go with a 10 year cycle and get it right before they print it.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Makes me wonder what else I don't know...old dogs/new tricks. <sigh>
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