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Bill Carney
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Dec 2017
Bill Carney (Falls Church, Virginia, US) says...

Hi there, we are working on rewiring our old house and we have very thin walls. The thickest boxes we can use upstairs are 1.5" which is creating a small issue for code compliance. I found these Carlon old work boxes with extra side space that are 17 cu in which should at least let us complete the basic circuits using 12 gauge (4 conductors + 1 ground +2 for outlet = 7 x 2.25 = 15.75 cu in needed), but if we do a switch on end run for light/fan, we wouldn't have be able to add anything else later. This also means we won't be able to use 12/3 when we do the kitchen outlets.

So questions are 1) are there any other boxes like this that might be bigger? 2) Could I use a 4" square box with a mud ring & and if so how the heck would I install it? 3) Would you do it with the above boxes with light on end of run?

Our walls are solid wood, not drywall, so it would be best to keep cutting to a minimum because patching is harder.

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

So Ryan a followup question concerning AFCI breakers here in Oregon. So for the kitchen and bathroom outlet circuits which will all be GFCI outlets am I still required to install AFCI breakers?

Another question. For my lighting circuits I used 20 amp AFCI breakers. Will this meet code.

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Ryan
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Ryan says...

Jim, the kitchen circuits are exempted from AFCI by an Oregon exception and the bathroom outlets are not required to be AFCI by the NEC. If you used #12 wire or larger, then your 20 amp breaker is fine. If you used #14 wire you will need 15 amp breakers.

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

Thanks again for the info.

You and yours have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

Alright Ryan.

Hopefully last question for awhile.

I have a dedicated circuit for my fire/co2 detector. Does this also need an AFCI breaker?

Thanks for all of your assistance to date. Invaluable.

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Ryan
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Ryan says...

I would have to find out a little more information, and you might need to ask your local inspector. I think the way I would probably look at that would be that if you are using regular detectors, located throughout the house, and just using a dedicated circuit to feed them all, I would say yes. If you have a central security/alarm system with a single control box that takes line voltage and uses low voltage sensing devices, I would say the outlet or power circuit for the main fire alarm panel would fall under exception and not require AFCI.

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

Are AFCI breakers required for living area circuuts in Oregon. Tbey are pretty expensive compare to standarx breakers so i would rather not install ghem if not needed.

Thanks

Jim

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Ryan
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Ryan says...

Yes, they are expensive but yes, unfortunately they are required in Oregon in most areas, with a few exceptions. In general, they are required for everywhere except hallways and outlets that are GFCI protected or that are for dedicated appliances that are not easily moved. You are allowed a dedicated circuit for things like an entertainment system without AFCI. You can find the exact wording here: http://www.oregon.gov/bcd/laws-rules/Documents/oars/305_Table_1-E.pdf. Look under OESC 210.12.

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

So Ryan a followup question concerning AFCI breakers here in Oregon. So for the kitchen and bathroom outlet circuits which will all be GFCI outlets am I still required to install AFCI breakers?

Another question. For my lighting circuits I used 20 amp AFCI breakers. Will this meet code.

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

I am wiring my lighting with the power running to the lights rather than to the switches. What/is there a correct method to run 3 lights(bar) off of one switch this way?

Thanks

Jim is

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Ryan
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Ryan says...

Hi Jim,

You need to run a three conductor cable (12/3 or 14/3, depending on circuit size) from the first light box, the one with your power, to the switch box.

In the switch box you will just cap off the white with a wire nut, you don't need a neutral right now, but the code requires it to be there. Land the bare ground on the green screw on the switch, the black on one of the brass screws and the red on the other one.

Then from the light box run a regular two conductor cable to your other light boxes. Back in the first light box, connect all the grounds together along with the light ground. Connect all the white neutrals together along with the light neutral. Connect the power wire coming into the box to the black wire going down to your switch. Lastly, connect the red wire from the cable going to your switch to the black light wire and the black wire in the cable running to your other lights.

You have made what's called a "switch loop".

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Jim Schmidt
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Jim Schmidt (Roseburg, Oregon, US) says...

Thanks again, Ryan.

perfect.

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