3-way switch loop?

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FancySongandDance
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3-way switch loop?

Post by FancySongandDance » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:41 pm

I am running new electrical in a basement reno where the basement is unfinished, except for the stairwell.
The ESA (Ontario) inspector told me that I need to have a 3-way at top and bottom of stairs, and I am trying to get away with not running two wires up to that switch since it is already going to be a bit of a chore to get any wires up there.
My question is, can I run a switch loop up to that switch from the first 3-way at the bottom of the stairs?
Power comes into the lower switch box. Can I run from that box, one line of 14/2 out to the lights, then another line of 14/3 up to the other switch (like in the diagram)?
3-way-switch-diagram-8_001.jpg
3-way switch loop.
3-way-switch-diagram-8_001.jpg (83.18 KiB) Viewed 198 times
I have read/heard that I might need to have a neutral wire in that run, so if that is the case could I do the same thing with 14/4? That sounds expensive...ha!
The other option is power into lower box, 14/3 to upper box, then 14/2 out to the lights - but that is fishing two wires in a really awkward space.
Any help is much appreciated.

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Aaron
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by Aaron » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:45 pm

Yeah, if you can get 14/3 to replace 14/2 to the existing switch bos, you can rewire it just like the diagram replacing the single-pole in that box with a 3-way switch.

It's true you always need a 3-way switch at the top and bottom of the stairs, and it's criminal that house builders are still getting away with just installing single pole switches at the top of the stairs, unfinished basement or not.

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emtnut
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by emtnut » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:57 am

FancySongandDance wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:41 pm
I am running new electrical in a basement reno where the basement is unfinished, except for the stairwell.
The ESA (Ontario) inspector told me that I need to have a 3-way at top and bottom of stairs, and I am trying to get away with not running two wires up to that switch since it is already going to be a bit of a chore to get any wires up there.
My question is, can I run a switch loop up to that switch from the first 3-way at the bottom of the stairs?
Power comes into the lower switch box. Can I run from that box, one line of 14/2 out to the lights, then another line of 14/3 up to the other switch (like in the diagram)?
3-way-switch-diagram-8_001.jpg
I have read/heard that I might need to have a neutral wire in that run, so if that is the case could I do the same thing with 14/4? That sounds expensive...ha!
The other option is power into lower box, 14/3 to upper box, then 14/2 out to the lights - but that is fishing two wires in a really awkward space.
Any help is much appreciated.
If you pull your permit before next month (May 2019), Ontario is still under 2015 CEC, and the neutral isn't required at that dead end 3 way.

After May, yes you would either need 14/2/2 or if you run a conduit, you only need 3 #14 wires.
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

FancySongandDance
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by FancySongandDance » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:50 am

So I am already in the permit process - at the rough-in inspection is when they told me that I needed the 3-way switch. @EMTNUT, does that mean that I need to complete the final inspection before may, or am I ok because I have started the process already?

@Aaron, I'm not even replacing the switch at the top of the stairs, I have to add a new one because the one at the top turns on another light on the other side of stairs that open both ways at the bottom from a landing. I asked if this was sufficient, but I want told no.
This is a real pain in the ass I was hoping to avoid.

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emtnut
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by emtnut » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:54 am

FancySongandDance wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:50 am
So I am already in the permit process - at the rough-in inspection is when they told me that I needed the 3-way switch. @EMTNUT, does that mean that I need to complete the final inspection before may, or am I ok because I have started the process already?
Yes, you're OK because you already have your permit.... so you are on 2015 code for this.
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FancySongandDance
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by FancySongandDance » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:57 am

#goodnews!

FancySongandDance
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by FancySongandDance » Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:25 am

Quick follow-up, If I can find some 14/2/2 and run that, I would be good regardless right?
Can I get that at home depot in Canada?
[edit]
Not that you are an expert in home depot's product offerings, just curious if it is a specialty product I need to source if I go that way

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Aaron
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by Aaron » Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:54 am

They should have 14/2/2. At least I've seen it in their USA stores. The neutral in a switch box requiremnent has existed here since 2011.

FancySongandDance wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:50 am
@Aaron, I'm not even replacing the switch at the top of the stairs, I have to add a new one because the one at the top turns on another light on the other side of stairs that open both ways at the bottom from a landing. I asked if this was sufficient, but I want told no.
This is a real pain in the ass I was hoping to avoid.
Huh. If you could swing the wiring to have that single switch turn on the light it should turn on, that would be ideal.

Just so long as it's a 3-way switch and you have one at the top and bottom of the stairs as that's code.

It's not ideal to have two switches at stairwells, really.

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emtnut
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by emtnut » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:40 pm

FancySongandDance wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:25 am
Quick follow-up, If I can find some 14/2/2 and run that, I would be good regardless right?
Can I get that at home depot in Canada?
[edit]
Not that you are an expert in home depot's product offerings, just curious if it is a specialty product I need to source if I go that way
I don't think 14/2/2 is a stock item yet.... Certainly anywhere around Ontario. It's not code yet, so no one would be buying it yet.

I really wouldn't worry about it, you already have your permit, and unless you want to put a timer or proximity switch down there you don't need the neutral anyways.

Wire it as a dead end 3way (like your diagram) and you're done ;)
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Aaron
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Re: 3-way switch loop?

Post by Aaron » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:53 pm

Agreed.... very unlikely you or any future homeowner would care about having a neutral-requiring 3-way switch in the future.

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