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Forum topic by MrRon posted 08-29-2017 09:33 PM 1081 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

4496 posts in 3082 days


08-29-2017 09:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

This is a woodworking forum and I know there are some electricians on this site, so I have a question for you. I am extending a circuit from an interior receptacle, going through the wall to the weather and terminating in a switch which will in turn provide a path to outdoor receptacles. Obviously all wiring devices will be in weatherproof boxes and wiring will be in conduit. My question then is; do I need a DPST switch (switch both legs) or can I use a SPST switch in the outdoor? I could probably get by with a SPST switch, but I don’t want to be in violation of the NEC. If I need the former, where can I find such a device? I know they are available as a toggle switch, but is there one with the wall switch configuration?


27 replies so far

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#1 posted 08-29-2017 09:39 PM

Just wondering, but why are you switching the outside receptacles, for plugged in lighting?

Either way, only a SPST switch, you only need to switch the hot. The neutral will remain unswitched.

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MrUnix

6009 posts in 2037 days


#2 posted 08-29-2017 09:52 PM

I’d use DPST so both legs are switched, particularly when extending an existing circuit that may have something plugged into it upstream (thus making the neutral hot as well). Only slightly more expensive, but safer IMO. Got no idea what the code sez about it, but I’m sure one of the code gurus will chime in shortly.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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MrRon

4496 posts in 3082 days


#3 posted 08-29-2017 10:09 PM



Just wondering, but why are you switching the outside receptacles, for plugged in lighting?

Either way, only a SPST switch, you only need to switch the hot. The neutral will remain unswitched.

- Gilley23


I want to completely isolate all wiring in the weather from the house. The outdoor receptacles would be used for lighting, radio, coffee pot, etc.

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#4 posted 08-29-2017 10:19 PM

You can use a DPST switch if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Simultaneously switching the hot and neutral in this situation functionally does nothing. When you switch the hot off, the neutral is dead wire.

Personally if I wanted to switch everything, I’d put the switch inside and only have the receptacles outside. Put a gfci in the first receptacle, load side the rest off of that gfci and call it a day.

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patcollins

1605 posts in 2703 days


#5 posted 08-29-2017 10:28 PM



You can use a DPST switch if you d like, but it s not necessary. Simultaneously switching the hot and neutral in this situation functionally does nothing. When you switch the hot off, the neutral is dead wire.

Personally if I wanted to switch everything, I d put the switch inside and only have the receptacles outside. Put a gfci in the first receptacle, load side the rest off of that gfci and call it a day.

- Gilley23

A lot of people don’t realize that plugging something into that circuit upstream will complete it because it has electricity flowing through it on to the ground. If you put a screwdriver on a neutral and have a path to ground electricity will flow through you from the neutral. The electrons don’t stop flowing at the device.

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JADobson

921 posts in 1949 days


#6 posted 08-29-2017 10:29 PM

Electrical questions on a woodworking forum! Geez you can’t help but stir up trouble can you? :) jk

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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WhyMe

910 posts in 1399 days


#7 posted 08-29-2017 10:29 PM

I’ll just add if you are not aware, the outlets outside also need to be weather resistant (WR) on top of needing to be GFIC protected and have weatherproof covers.

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#8 posted 08-29-2017 10:35 PM

Ok stop. Seriously?

A lot of people don t realize that plugging something into that circuit upstream will complete it because it has electricity flowing through it on to the ground. If you put a screwdriver on a neutral and have a path to ground electricity will flow through you from the neutral. The electrons don t stop flowing at the device.

- patcollins


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MrUnix

6009 posts in 2037 days


#9 posted 08-29-2017 10:46 PM

Ok stop. Seriously?
- Gilley23

Yes… Seriously.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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patcollins

1605 posts in 2703 days


#10 posted 08-29-2017 10:54 PM



Ok stop. Seriously?

A lot of people don t realize that plugging something into that circuit upstream will complete it because it has electricity flowing through it on to the ground. If you put a screwdriver on a neutral and have a path to ground electricity will flow through you from the neutral. The electrons don t stop flowing at the device.

- patcollins

- Gilley23

My dad found that out the hard way, welding a screwdriver to the electrical box, shocking himself, and dropping a $200 brass light fixture on the tile floor.

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Fresch

93 posts in 1759 days


#11 posted 08-29-2017 11:02 PM

Then the wiring was wrong or your dad did not know what he was doing.

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alittleoff

447 posts in 1115 days


#12 posted 08-29-2017 11:09 PM

Out of the electrical business for quite awhile now, retired but I believe it against the N.E.C to switch the neutral conductor. It may have changed since I quit working, but its really no reason to switch it anyway.
Gerald

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patcollins

1605 posts in 2703 days


#13 posted 08-29-2017 11:32 PM



Then the wiring was wrong or your dad did not know what he was doing.

- Fresch

The current flows from the hot side, through the motor, light bulb etc, through the neutral back to the source. Providing a path to ground from the neutral provides a way for electricity to get to ground, which is where it wants to go.

Where do you think the current goes to after it flows through the device?

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patcollins

1605 posts in 2703 days


#14 posted 08-29-2017 11:43 PM

Here is a pretty good link about why you can get shocked from the neutral wire. Long story short is there is always potential between one ground and another, generally it will be less than the full 120 volts though.

http://ask-the-electrician.com/the-shocking-truth-about-neutral-wires/

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Gilley23

390 posts in 220 days


#15 posted 08-30-2017 12:05 AM

Patcollins, I fully understand why you’re saying what you’re saying, but that would not at all be the case with this setup.

The only time you can switch a neutral wire is if you simultaneously switch the hot wire along with it.

MrRon, if you truly have the desire to install a switch, just do a SPST and be done with it.

I’m done on this thread, it’s in your hands now!!!

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