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#86163 - 09/18/03 08:07 PM Shared Neutral - 2-wire branch circuit
Bolt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 1
Loc: New York, NY USA
I have a question about the wiring in my apartment which may not be up to code (New York City building, built circa 1910). While a contractor was attempting to install a ceiling fan, I was asked to cut the power to the area of the ceiling fixture by unscrewing the fuse feeding power to it. After I did so, the contractor allowed two of several wires in the area around the fixture to touch and caused a spark--not a large one indicating a short, but a noticeable one nonetheless. I had to unscrew the fuse powering an adjacent area of the apt to keep the spark from re-occurring. I was told that the two fuse lines seemed to share a neutral. My questions are: (a) does the above description mean that a neutral wire is actually being shared by two branch circuits each with their own fuses; and (if yes) (b) is this permissible under the current code; and (if not) (c) which sections of the code would be applicable to this situation?

Thank you very much.

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#86164 - 09/18/03 09:47 PM Re: Shared Neutral - 2-wire branch circuit
stamcon Offline

Registered: 03/24/01
Posts: 322
Loc: So San Francisco CA
Bolt, it is still allowed(with conditions) to have a shared neutral. It is called a multiwire circuit. 210-4 99NEC(NY might have different codes). The bigger issue is with the person doing the electrical work, not checking for live circuits.

#86165 - 09/20/03 08:18 AM Re: Shared Neutral - 2-wire branch circuit
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Something for you to think about is the age of the installation. Wiring in a building built in 1910 and still with fuse protection can be a very old installation. The code requirements may have been very different than and this installation will be grandfathered to that time.

Pierre Belarge

#86166 - 11/03/03 10:28 PM Re: Shared Neutral - 2-wire branch circuit
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
(The bigger issue is with the person doing the electrical work, not checking for live circuits.)

At least he didn't do it with the both of them live.... That would be a little scary.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason


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