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Smart Switches: GFCI vs. Arc Breakers?

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    #31
    Originally posted by jgreenberg01 View Post

    In the meantime, I will have to turn on my main living area lights by getting up and flipping a switch... a lot like a neanderthal would have to do


    Speaking of custom homes, what areas do you sell?

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      #32
      Originally posted by TC1 View Post



      Speaking of custom homes, what areas do you sell?
      I sell in St. Johns county and the southern part of Clay County in Florida. If you want more info, feel free to PM me.

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        #33
        And if the guy you hires finds something fishy, send his bill to your home builder.

        Comment


          #34
          Originally posted by George View Post

          Not quite, if the two circuit terminate in the same panel and those neutrals are all tied to the same neutral bar in the panel, it's perfectly acceptable and to code to just wire nut them all together
          I beg to differ, sir. If the neutrals are tied together it is possible to have potential on a neutral when the breaker for that circuit is off. The fact that they are connected at the panel is irrelevant.

          As an example: Let's say you have two circuits in the same switch box, circuit "A" feeds an outlet and circuit "B" feeds several hundred watts of lighting. If you wish to replace the outlet on circuit "A" and you shut off the breaker thinking you are safe (as one might assume) but the lights are on on circuit "B" and the neutrals are tied together there will be significant potential on the neutral wire of circuit "A". Grab that neutral with one hand and ground with the other and you're life will get very interesting very quickly. I speak from experience. They say you haven't really been walloped unless you have tasted the copper. I tasted the copper on a supposedly dead circuit because some nitwit combined neutrals and this nitwit assumed that the circuit was safe because the breaker was off and didn't use his meter. That was forty years ago and the memory of it still makes my *ss twitch. Current does not take the path of least resistance. It takes every available path.

          I also agree whole-heartedly that this is a job for a professional electrician. Full stop.

          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by Alex_W View Post

            I beg to differ, sir. If the neutrals are tied together it is possible to have potential on a neutral when the breaker for that circuit is off. The fact that they are connected at the panel is irrelevant.

            As an example: Let's say you have two circuits in the same switch box, circuit "A" feeds an outlet and circuit "B" feeds several hundred watts of lighting. If you wish to replace the outlet on circuit "A" and you shut off the breaker thinking you are safe (as one might assume) but the lights are on on circuit "B" and the neutrals are tied together there will be significant potential on the neutral wire of circuit "A". Grab that neutral with one hand and ground with the other and you're life will get very interesting very quickly. I speak from experience. They say you haven't really been walloped unless you have tasted the copper. I tasted the copper on a supposedly dead circuit because some nitwit combined neutrals and this nitwit assumed that the circuit was safe because the breaker was off and didn't use his meter. That was forty years ago and the memory of it still makes my *ss twitch. Current does not take the path of least resistance. It takes every available path.

            I also agree whole-heartedly that this is a job for a professional electrician. Full stop.
            This is the very definition of a multiwire branch circuit.

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              #36
              Quick update with temporary fix:

              Every subcontractor here is slammed with new construction, so even with my contacts, I can not get anyone here to look at the wiring. Two of the four 3-way switches in the house had the same problem.

              In the j-box with the line wire, I connected the line to one of the traveler wires with a wire nut (and capped the unused traveler in both j-boxes). A smart switch worked as expected in the load j-box - apparently the neutral was wired properly there.

              Then I created an event triggered by a double tap from another smart switch that did work in the line j-box to turn on/off the circuit I had to bypass. I now have two 3 gang wall plates that look like this for now:

              Click image for larger version

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              That blank plate is frakking annoying, and assuming I can't get an electrician here in a reasonable amount of time, I'll have to search for something else to fill the space.

              And you better believe that once I have proof that the builder screwed the pooch on the wiring, I will make them pay the bill.

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by jgreenberg01 View Post
                ...That blank plate is frakking annoying, and assuming I can't get an electrician here in a reasonable amount of time, I'll have to search for something else to fill the space...
                Just put a regular decora switch there, just not connected to anything.

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                  #38
                  Originally posted by jgreenberg01 View Post
                  That blank plate is frakking annoying, and assuming I can't get an electrician here in a reasonable amount of time, I'll have to search for something else to fill the space.
                  Just get one of these (plenty of folks other than the one I list makes them).

                  https://www.amazon.com/Smooth-White-...a-569138007819

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by TC1 View Post

                    Just get one of these (plenty of folks other than the one I list makes them).

                    https://www.amazon.com/Smooth-White-...a-569138007819
                    Yea, but you can drive your guest nuts trying to figure out what the hell the switch is for! ROFL!!!

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                      #40
                      Originally posted by George View Post

                      Yea, but you can drive your guest nuts trying to figure out what the hell the switch is for! ROFL!!!
                      Tell them it's a secret switch... like Thor's hammer, only those "worthy" can activate it...

                      Watch them go nuts swiping their finger up and down on the blank plate

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Following up because this is now solved.

                        Earlier in the thread I mentioned that the frakking electrician would no longer warranty the house wiring because I had installed my own wall switches.

                        Well I finally got a ceiling fan that was controlled by a switch in the same junction box. I had the lighting company install this one just in case there was a hiccup so no one can say it was my doing. Sure enough, the switch would not control the fan.

                        Called the new home builder's construction manager and told him about it, and he actually got the electrical company to send someone out. This time it was a young guy who actually knew what he was doing.

                        Yeah, he found the original installer frakked up the wiring. It took a while for him to figure it out because there are two 3-way switches (one of which was misbehaving) along with the fan switch in that j-box. So here's the deal in case someone has the same issue:

                        He said that instead of putting a neutral at both 3-way j-boxes, they "dead-ended them." He said they can get away with that in my area because code allows it. Interestingly enough, they only did that in 2 of the 5 3-way j-boxes, so while some of the z-wave 3-way switches worked, those 2 did not.

                        I couldn't get the "no neutral required" Zooz or Inovelli switches to work in those j-boxes. Maybe I was just too impatient and didn't try every conceivable configuration, but it sure felt like it.

                        So thankful for Amazon's return policy!

                        And the moral of the story - never, ever, never admit to the warrantying electrician that you even remotely thought of installing your own switches. They may void your warranty even if the circuit is less-than-functional.

                        I hope this may help someone else, but as always... YMMV.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Glad it worked out, but that whole BS about the homeowner installing their own switches is just that... BS. The homeowner installing their own switch still doesn't change the circuit panel and the wiring.

                          Bottom line: Every profession, doesn't matter whether it's doctors, lawyers, electricians, plumbers, police, teachers, etc, has people that shouldn't be in that profession.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            I suppose I shouldn't be "shocked" that there are still areas of the country that permit that type of wiring, But, even if the local municipality is using an old version of the code the electrician should know better.

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