On Sat, 16 May 2015 16:43:14 -0400, Stormin Mormon
Romex IS NM - NM means Non Metallic. Used to be NMW and NMD for non
metallic wet and non metallic dry..
Current product is NMD90 (90C temperature rated)
NMWU is direct burial cable. Loomex (Noramco) is a term replacing
Romex (Southwire) in many areas - and there is a red sheithed Loomex
called Heatex for use in 240 volt electric heating applications that
is NMD90 2 wire with black and red conductors plus bare ground - no
neutral. - referred to as Heatex. Commonly the NMD is white, the NMW
is black and the Heatex is red. Other companies have different colour
One "standard" is white for 14, yellow for 12, orange for 10, and
black for 6 and 8, and gray for NMWU direct burial.
Blue #14 is used in Ontario for Arc-Fault protected circuits.
Red 14/2 and 12/2 is used in Canada for heating circuits (used to be
Orange back before 2001 when "xtra-colour" Romex hit the market from
Southern Cable in Canada
So - DO NOT assume just because a wire is white, or black, or orange,
it is a particular guage of wire!!!!
Yes. I don't think I've ever seen a house out here without at least
neutrals connecting teh medal boxes. For those I added a pigtail from
the box to the new 3 prong outlet. But even seeing them was over 30
years ago when 2 prong outlets were still common.
On Fri, 15 May 2015 16:27:29 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Maybe I miss understood the intent of the original question. The
power into the box is a black and white wire with ground. The white
is Neutral, the black is hot and the bare copper is ground. The
question that was asked was whether there were " neutrals in the box
in addition to the hot". I assumed, and perhaps should not have, that
the question being asked was not really about the neutral wire but
about the ground wire since common old wiring in the houses I've had
sometimes only provided the neutral and hot but often did not provide
any ground connection all the way to the plug, only to the metal
box... so that was the context of my answer.
So to your statement, no, that is not correct, I am not using the
ground as a neutral, I'm using the "white and black" (neutral and hot)
for the power and using the ground for the ground.
In the US, common wiring for a light switch to a light is:
Where the / represents a switch, and the + represents a wirenut in the switch
box and the neutral is brought through the switch box to the light. The origin
of the circuit is the circuit breaker box, or daisy chained off another switch
In the UK, the neutral is not brought through the switch box. Instead, the
lighting circuit is run as a loop from the circuit breaker box. Only the hot and
ground are brought to the switch and then to the light. The neutral goes from
the light back to the loop lighting circuit where the hot was taken off.
The OPs question about neutrals being in the (light switch) box was perfectly
reasonable. Usenet is a global medium. Assuming every post originates from a US
point of view is... misguided.
Yes, that was my question. I asked it because I don't recall seeing
neutrals in a switch box. No reason there couldn't be - and I am no
electrician - but more common in my experience is neutral (white) to load,
hot (black) to switch, return to load (the return is physically white but
functionally black and generally marked as such). Of course, all my
switches are single pole, not double.
On Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 7:38:52 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:
The wiring style may depend on the area of the country, IDK.
Here in NJ it's very typical to see neutrals in many of the switch
boxes, but definitely not all. Of course all that matters is
whether you have it in the one where you want to add the receptacle.
And code now requires a neutral in switch boxes. I think the issue
there is electronics is going into more switches, dimmers, etc
where it's advantageous to have the electronics powered all the
time. X10 switches, the problems trying to use them with CFL, LED,
etc are an example.
Depends whether the lights are wired "drop switched" or "supply
Drop switched has been the most common over the years, but regualatory
changes are making supply switched more common - Supply switched makes
a whole lot more sense and is a lot easier towork on down the road.
Supply switched has 2 wire from the panel to the switch, where the
white wire is wire nutted and the black is switched, feeding off to
This means when the switch is off the entire lighting (load) circuit
is dead. With drop switched circuits, the wire comes from the panel to
the light, then the neutral is dropped to the switch and returned to
the light, so when the switch is off the load is still live, and the
neutral is also live at the switch when it is turned on.
It depends on how the fixture and switch are wired.
If the power from the panel goes to the fixture first, you can have a cable
running from the fixture to the switch. In that case, the white and black
wires are "both" hot wires. Power comes into the fixture box, down one of
the wires to the switch, then up the other wire back to the fixture. In
this situation the white wire is supposed to be marked black so it is not
confused as a neutral wire. One way to identify this wiring scheme is if
there is only a single cable coming into the switch box.
The better way to wire a switch is to have the power come from the panel to
the switch box. Then another cable runs from the switch box to the fixture.
The grounds are connected in the switch box, and the neutrals (white) are
connected in the switch box. The switch connects between the two hot
(black) wires. This gives you more options such as adding another light to
the switch, or tapping off the supply line for an outlet. Many timers and
other lighting gadgets also require a neutral in the switch box.
The method used typically depends on the logistics of the building. If the
panel and switch are located on opposite sides of the switch, it is common
to have power going to the fixture first. If the switch is located between
the panel and the fixture, the power typically goes to the switch first.
Personally, I like to spend a few extra dollars on wire and run power to
the switch first, then a cable back to the fixture. Alternatively, I use
14/3 cable between the fixture and switch. That lets me continue the hot
and neutral cables to the switch and make the red wire the switched return
back to the fixture.
On a switch loop you reidentify the white wire GOING to the switch
(the hot) and the one coming from the switch is black.. This is left
over from the days when it was not actually required to reidentify the
white in a switch loop. That way, at the load, you are still presented
with a white neutral and a black hot. If you saw a white and black
wirenutted together, you knew it was going to a switch loop and in the
switch location you knew the white is hot.
The NFPA decided that was too much confusion for amateurs so they
started requiring reidentifying the white. (96 I think but it may have
been 93). The language about the reidentified white feeding the
switch still remains. I would cite the article but I am 12,000 miles
from my code books.
Yes, I've seen them like that. For my addition of an outlet I can
only do it when the box with the light switch is also where the
14-2w/grd wiring was run as the power source for the lighting circuit.
As such it could be thought of as a junction box as well as the light
Your original question was about tapping into a switch box and creating an
additional outlet/receptacle below or near that switch box. Part of that
question was whether that is permissible under the electrical code (I assume
in the USA). That code question was answered.
But, the other question was whether the switch box has a "neutral" wire in
it. That's not the same as asking if the switch box has a black wire and a
white wire (and a ground).
If the power goes to the switch box, with a black "hot" wire and a white
"neutral" wire, you can use those two to run an outlet/receptacle from that
But, some switch boxes have a black wire and a white wire in them, but the
white wire is not a neutral. That can happen when the switch box is what is
called a "switch leg". By that, I mean that the power actually goes to the
light fixture (not to the switch box) first and then a black and white wire
are run from the light fixture down to the switch box to create what is
called a "switch leg". Try Googling "switch leg". In that scenario, the
black wire is connected to one side of the switch and the white wire is
connected to the other side of the switch. The white wire is supposed to be
marked or coded with tape or a black marker to indicate that both the black
and the white wires in the switch box are the "hot" wire, and the switch is
just interrupting the hot wire to turn the light off and on.
But, if only black wires are going to the two screws on the switch, and the
white wire passes through the switch box without being connected to the
switch, that means you do have a hot (black) wire and a neutral (white) wire
in the switch box. Or, to put it another way, the power goes to the switch
box first, and then to the light etc. In that case, you would have the
wires that you need to run an outlet/receptacle from the switch box.
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