do electricians do things to screw with the next guy?
#11
  
I have a 3 way circuit that wasn't working.  I took it apart to test continuity and figure out how it was wired.  The power comes into the ceiling light but does NOT attach to the light but goes on 12-2 wire to the first switchbox using the white wire as a hot but does NOT connect to the switch.  In the first switchbox it connects to the black wire on 12-3 wire to second switchbox to the connect to the 3-way switch.  The Red and White wires are used as the travelers back to the first switchbox and then to the black wire from the switch on the original 12-2 back to the light.  
It just seems like the most difficult way possible to wire this circuit.   Upset
Do Electricians do things like this just to give the next guy a headache?  
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#12
  Re: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by carwashguy (I have a 3 way circu...)
You sure it wasn’t the previous homeowner?

Lol, I do feel your pain.

I’m pretty good when conventions were followed, I’m not so good when they mix it up on me.
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#13
  Re: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by carwashguy (I have a 3 way circu...)
(12-22-2018, 09:21 PM)carwashguy Wrote: I have a 3 way circuit that wasn't working.  I took it apart to test continuity and figure out how it was wired.  The power comes into the ceiling light but does NOT attach to the light but goes on 12-2 wire to the first switchbox using the white wire as a hot but does NOT connect to the switch.  In the first switchbox it connects to the black wire on 12-3 wire to second switchbox to the connect to the 3-way switch.  The Red and White wires are used as the travelers back to the first switchbox and then to the black wire from the switch on the original 12-2 back to the light.  
It just seems like the most difficult way possible to wire this circuit.   Upset
Do Electricians do things like this just to give the next guy a headache?  

Well if you think thats strange get a young one to go figure a carter  3 way in old knob and tube!!! Confused
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#14
  Re: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by carwashguy (I have a 3 way circu...)
we have owned 2 houses.  This one is a spec house, and the other one was built by a builder for himself.  I have suspicions that no actual electricians were involved in wiring either house.  But I think with any trade, it is customary to do whatever is most expedient that meets code.

There are places where one of the previous homeowners did a lot of wiring, like the basement. I usually just tear it out and put in a junction box if I have to.

In the previous house, I fixed a number of comically bad mistakes. There were a number of dead outlets and a miswired ceiling switch. I think all of the mistakes involved using a white wire for power. Whoever did the wiring apparently thought that black was power, white was neutral, and just hooking them up accordingly would make things work.
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#15
  Re: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by carwashguy (I have a 3 way circu...)
(12-22-2018, 09:21 PM)carwashguy Wrote: I have a 3 way circuit that wasn't working.  I took it apart to test continuity and figure out how it was wired.  The power comes into the ceiling light but does NOT attach to the light but goes on 12-2 wire to the first switchbox using the white wire as a hot but does NOT connect to the switch.  In the first switchbox it connects to the black wire on 12-3 wire to second switchbox to the connect to the 3-way switch.  The Red and White wires are used as the travelers back to the first switchbox and then to the black wire from the switch on the original 12-2 back to the light.  
It just seems like the most difficult way possible to wire this circuit.   Upset
Do Electricians do things like this just to give the next guy a headache?  

It does make sense in the fact you have a white neutral to the light fixture and a black switched hot to the fixture.  Depending the layout of the two switches it may be easier to run one cable between them.
 Normally the white wire is marked in some way to indicate it is not neutral.

How many years has the carter 3 way been outlawed ?  Or the variation where you had always hot outlets along with three way switches using 3 wires.   Knob and tube is interesting as sometimes they picked a neutral from the ceiling and a hot from the basement along with hidden soldered splices inside the walls.   Glad they don't permit either way today.   Roly
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#16
  Re: RE: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by EricU (we have owned 2 hous...)
(12-22-2018, 11:16 PM)EricU Wrote: I think all of the mistakes involved using a white wire for power. Whoever did the wiring apparently thought that black was power, white was neutral, and just hooking them up accordingly would make things work.

White IS neutral, everything else is hot.
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#17
  Re: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by carwashguy (I have a 3 way circu...)
On a kitchen job I did this fall, an "electrician" installed flood lights and changed a double box (S.P. and 3-way) to a triple where he also tapped into the feed. When he left, the other, dimming 3-way would only turn the light off, and there was no dimming. I replaced that switch with an LED dimming 3-way and the light came on. I flipped the 3-way across the room; lights go out. Back to the dimmer, flip the switch and pop. A puff of magic smoke comes out of a $30 switch. The white was supposed to be a traveler, but the "electrician" wired it to neutral. Must have been going by that black on black, white on white, green is optional rule!
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#18
  Re: RE: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by Phil Thien ([quote='EricU' pid='...)
(12-22-2018, 11:27 PM)Phil Thien Wrote: White IS neutral, everything else is hot.

Except in switch legs, where the white is connected to the hot (black) in the box, and the black is the switched hot back to the outlet (light fixture or receptacle).  I think it was optional to mark the white with some other color in this case only, and I'm pretty sure it's actually mentioned in the NEC, but I'd have to look.  

Or it used to be, as 2-wire switch legs aren't allowed any more I believe, and you have to have a neutral from the same circuit in the switch box.  That would require 3-wire cable (or conduit, and I think you can leave out the neutral as it can be pulled later if needed). Probably due to the need to use timers and dimmers and such that require power.  But I'm working from memory on this and don't have a code book handy.  Roly might know off the top of his head.
Tom

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.

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#19
  Re: RE: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by TDKPE ([quote='Phil Thien' ...)
(12-23-2018, 12:20 AM)TDKPE Wrote: Except in switch legs, where the white is connected to the hot (black) in the box, and the black is the switched hot back to the outlet (light fixture or receptacle).  I think it was optional to mark the white with some other color in this case only, and I'm pretty sure it's actually mentioned in the NEC, but I'd have to look.  

Or it used to be, as 2-wire switch legs aren't allowed any more I believe, and you have to have a neutral from the same circuit in the switch box.  Probably due to the need to use timers and dimmers and such that require power.  But I'm working from memory on this and don't have a code book handy.  Roly might know off the top of his head.

Post 1999, you have to re-identify it.
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#20
  Re: RE: do electricians do things to screw with the next guy? by Phil Thien ([quote='EricU' pid='...)
(12-22-2018, 11:27 PM)Phil Thien Wrote: White IS neutral, everything else is hot.

The saying is a neutral is always white but a white is not always a neutral!!!
John T.
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