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[2018 UPDATE] Ask me anything about home electrical requirements, electrical code, wiring, devices

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  • Dec 14th, 2017 12:13 am
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Sr. Member
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Nov 25, 2002
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Kelowna
I'm having trouble sorting out what's wrong with my wiring. I was attempting to add a new receptacle by running a line to an existing 3 gang box which housed switches for my bathroom light, bathroom fan and bathroom heat lamp. It seemed like a simple thing but when I turned the power back on it had an effect on the lights. If I turned on the light for the heat lamp it would cause the bathroom light to go off, and if it turned the heat lamp off the bathroom light would come back on. As soon as I noticed that I flipped the breaker off and set about trying to figure out what I did wrong.

Here's a wiring diagram. Everything that's shown is how it was when I opened it up, with the exception of the outlet which is what I attempted to add. Any thoughts on what the issue might be?
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Jan 6, 2002
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Toronto
smirnoff wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 10:02 pm
I'm having trouble sorting out what's wrong with my wiring. I was attempting to add a new receptacle by running a line to an existing 3 gang box which housed switches for my bathroom light, bathroom fan and bathroom heat lamp. It seemed like a simple thing but when I turned the power back on it had an effect on the lights. If I turned on the light for the heat lamp it would cause the bathroom light to go off, and if it turned the heat lamp off the bathroom light would come back on. As soon as I noticed that I flipped the breaker off and set about trying to figure out what I did wrong.

Here's a wiring diagram. Everything that's shown is how it was when I opened it up, with the exception of the outlet which is what I attempted to add. Any thoughts on what the issue might be?
Check that you re-attached the *correct* 14/3 wires to their appropriate switches. Sounds like you may have inverted them?
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Nov 25, 2002
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Kelowna
hoob wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 10:18 pm
Check that you re-attached the *correct* 14/3 wires to their appropriate switches. Sounds like you may have inverted them?
Something like that would make sense to me, except in this case I never undid any of the connections to the switches either at the switches themselves or where they were twisted together. I simply took the existing marrettes off, added my black and white lines from the new outlet, and then twisted the whole thing back together. I'm puzzled how doing that affected anything else. :-\
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Sep 6, 2017
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smirnoff wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 10:28 pm
Something like that would make sense to me, except in this case I never undid any of the connections to the switches either at the switches themselves or where they were twisted together. I simply took the existing marrettes off, added my black and white lines from the new outlet, and then twisted the whole thing back together. I'm puzzled how doing that affected anything else. :-\
Not an expert but i don't see any grounds on your diagram?
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Nov 25, 2002
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Kelowna
cristianosham wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 10:44 pm
Not an expert but i don't see any grounds on your diagram?
You're right. I didn't include them in the drawing but they are there.
Member
Jul 2, 2013
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Newmarket
divx wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 1:11 pm
short answer is that it is not an code issue. long answer is that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. electrician is aware that over time the tape will fall off and when you work on it down the road, say 10 years from now, people may get hurt by using the white as neutral if they didn't know any better. on commercial projects, I do not allow white to be used for blacks, so if your electrician friend is used to do that sort of work, he would tell you not to do it.
I read a bulletin about wire coloring. It mentions it being ok to tape a normally black wire white, and use it as a neutral, like when you have an old 240V heater and want to convert to 120V. But it mentions nothing about taping a neutral wire black.
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Jul 2, 2013
268 posts
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Newmarket
smirnoff wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 10:02 pm
I'm having trouble sorting out what's wrong with my wiring. I was attempting to add a new receptacle by running a line to an existing 3 gang box which housed switches for my bathroom light, bathroom fan and bathroom heat lamp. It seemed like a simple thing but when I turned the power back on it had an effect on the lights. If I turned on the light for the heat lamp it would cause the bathroom light to go off, and if it turned the heat lamp off the bathroom light would come back on. As soon as I noticed that I flipped the breaker off and set about trying to figure out what I did wrong.

Here's a wiring diagram. Everything that's shown is how it was when I opened it up, with the exception of the outlet which is what I attempted to add. Any thoughts on what the issue might be?
Why do you have a 3way switch in your bathroom?
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Nov 25, 2002
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lehmanr wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 12:00 am
Why do you have a 3way switch in your bathroom?
In my case it's what I guess you would call a cheater en-suite. It's a one bedroom apartment, but you can access the bathroom from both the front hallway and from the bedroom, and there is a switch for the bathroom light at each entrance (thus the 3way circuit).
[OP]
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Oct 26, 2003
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lehmanr wrote:
Nov 27th, 2017 11:54 pm
I read a bulletin about wire coloring. It mentions it being ok to tape a normally black wire white, and use it as a neutral, like when you have an old 240V heater and want to convert to 120V. But it mentions nothing about taping a neutral wire black.
You may not tape a black wire
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Jul 2, 2013
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Newmarket
smirnoff wrote:
Nov 28th, 2017 12:32 am
In my case it's what I guess you would call a cheater en-suite. It's a one bedroom apartment, but you can access the bathroom from both the front hallway and from the bedroom, and there is a switch for the bathroom light at each entrance (thus the 3way circuit).
Sounds like something came loose. Check your neutral wires in the box. Did you also change the light by chance?
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Nov 25, 2002
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Kelowna
This morning I hooked it up the same way I'd tried the first time and everything worked. So something somewhere was just loose I guess. Go figure. Thanks for the help folks.
Jr. Member
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Apr 6, 2012
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I recently had an upgrade appointment with the builder. I was told by the decor consultant that I don't need to pay for 200 amp panel upgrade as recently there was a change to the code and builder will be required to put in 200 amp panel. Could anyone confirm if this is true? House will be ~3915 sqft and closing in in late 2018 in Ontario.

Thanks
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Sep 11, 2006
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medethic wrote:
Nov 30th, 2017 12:00 pm
I recently had an upgrade appointment with the builder. I was told by the decor consultant that I don't need to pay for 200 amp panel upgrade as recently there was a change to the code and builder will be required to put in 200 amp panel. Could anyone confirm if this is true? House will be ~3915 sqft and closing in in late 2018 in Ontario.

Thanks
Decor consultant? I would not be taking code advice from a decor consultant. Unless there was a new code book released, everyone is still using the 2015 Ontario code. The builder will but in a 200 amp panel if only your demand is over 100 amps.
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Apr 6, 2012
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I was ready to pay $1100 for the upgrade but the consultant told that the upgrade is not required as they will put in 200 amp as per the new code and all the consultants had recently received the information from the upper management. I don't think there was any benefit for the consultant for not allowing me to choose this upgrade. I didn't ask much in detail as I was told during the appointment that I don't have to worry about 200 amp panel upgrade and also said that I got lucky as in previous weeks people had to pay for the upgrade. One possibility could be that the builder chose to provide 200 amp for houses above certain sqft. Honestly I've zero knowledge in this matter and considered what was told during the upgrade appointment as the valid information.

P.S: I just found an article that talks about 200 amp and new code. If this is what the new code is going to be: ( http://www.demarcoallan.com/single-post ... -Buildings ).

Official changes to the code: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page16494.aspx
DIrty-D wrote:
Nov 30th, 2017 4:14 pm
Decor consultant? I would not be taking code advice from a decor consultant. Unless there was a new code book released, everyone is still using the 2015 Ontario code. The builder will but in a 200 amp panel if only your demand is over 100 amps.
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Sep 11, 2006
1029 posts
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Toronto
medethic wrote:
Nov 30th, 2017 4:35 pm
I was ready to pay $1100 for the upgrade but the consultant told that the upgrade is not required as they will put in 200 amp as per the new code and all the consultants had recently received the information from the upper management. I don't think there was any benefit for the consultant for not allowing me to choose this upgrade. I didn't ask much in detail as I was told during the appointment that I don't have to worry about 200 amp panel upgrade and also said that I got lucky as in previous weeks people had to pay for the upgrade. One possibility could be that the builder chose to provide 200 amp for houses above certain sqft. Honestly I've zero knowledge in this matter and considered what was told during the upgrade appointment as the valid information.

P.S: I just found an article that talks about 200 amp and new code. If this is what the new code is going to be: ( http://www.demarcoallan.com/single-post ... -Buildings ).

Official changes to the code: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page16494.aspx
We follow the Ontario electrical code. I don't see how a January 1st, 2018 enforcement can take effect if the new Ontario code wont be released on that date. The Canadian electrical code will be released January 1st 2018 but I dont think electrical contractors have to go by those rules.

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