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#32641 - 12/30/03 12:03 PM missing switch?
timpday Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 8
Loc: crosby, texas usa
I am studying to be an electrician right now. Recently a friend of mine wanted to do some work on a spare room over his garage. The room was never really completed by the construction workers. It is basically bare floor, finished walls and a ceiling. Instead of my friend trying to do the electrical work himself, I thoughtfully volunteered. Here is my question, I know it is required to have a switch at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom (yes it is greater then six steps). There is a single pole switch at the bottom but no switch to be found at the top. AND the light sockets are energized with the bottom switch completely disconnected. And the bottom switch will turn the lights on and off. Is there an easy way of finding the top switch without ripping the sheetrock off the walls?

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#32642 - 12/30/03 12:17 PM Re: missing switch?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I would bet there is no top switch (box) you will have to add one if you want one.

You will have to get 3 conductor cable from the bottom to top, directly or by way of the fixture box if you are taking about using 3 ways.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#32643 - 12/30/03 12:27 PM Re: missing switch?
timpday Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 8
Loc: crosby, texas usa
what I am confused about then is why are the conductors energized when the switch is completely removed? These are the conductors on top. See the lights only come on when the switch is connected and turned on. But when the switched is removed, lights off but conductors still energized. Not all condutors just one conductor. That is what leads me to believe there is a box at the top some where for the other switch. It is becoming a problem because dimmers won't work, they are on just not dim. I hope this makes sense.

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#32644 - 12/30/03 01:19 PM Re: missing switch?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Tim?

I do not want to discourage you from trying to help your friend but I am concerned you may be over your head.

From your posts it sounds to me (and I may be wrong) that you do not understand the circuity enough for me to be comfortable telling you more info without being there to see what your dealing with.

I will tell you the feed from the panel can go to switch first or the fixture first.

Bob
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#32645 - 12/30/03 03:10 PM Re: missing switch?
timpday Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 8
Loc: crosby, texas usa
I can follow the feed and it goes towards the switch first. The reason why I say towards is because I lose it in the wall. I know that it doesn't come strait from the panel. The crawl space in the ceiling is large enough for me to follow the conductors. I understand your concern. And you are right, I probably don't understand the circuit as well as I should. I believe this is because who ever did the electrical work before did not do it to code or the norm. We have found dead circuits through out the house, switches that do not go to a light socket or receptical and the oddist one I have seen yet is unsheathed conductors for a central heater running along the interior wall and going into the front of the panel. Not the rear, which is very easily accessible and only about 8 feet away from the heater. I appreciate you responses and understand that without being able to actually seeing what I am talking about and with my some what vague descriptions it is very difficult to advise somebody confidently.
Thanks
Tim

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#32646 - 12/30/03 05:23 PM Re: missing switch?
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
When this was an unfinsihed space above the garage, only was switch was needed or required. That's why only one is there.

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#32647 - 12/30/03 07:17 PM Re: missing switch?
stamcon Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/01
Posts: 322
Loc: So San Francisco CA
Tim, if the sockets are hot with the switch disconnected, the switch is switching the neutral instead of the hot wire.

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#32648 - 12/31/03 06:13 AM Re: missing switch?
kyme Offline
Member

Registered: 09/25/03
Posts: 40
Loc: Kentucky
If you only have one romex cable in your
switch box, all you have at the switch
sight is a switch loop. One of the conductors would be hot at all times. Only with the switch installed and on would the light work.

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#32649 - 12/31/03 10:46 AM Re: missing switch?
timpday Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 8
Loc: crosby, texas usa
Stamcon

Should this happen even when I have all 4 conductors disconnected? None are connected to each other. Four twist nutted off.

Kyme
I do have two romex cables coming in.


It does have the hot wire going to the switch.
I would take pictures, however, this location is about an hour away and I only try work on it on weekends. I may end up just re-wiring that whole circuit. Make it easier on me and it is only in an area about 24x16.

I thought a three-way was required for any distance greater then 6 steps. Regardless of completion.

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#32650 - 12/31/03 10:49 AM Re: missing switch?
timpday Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 8
Loc: crosby, texas usa
Finally found the location. 210.70 (A)(2)(c)

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