I'm installing a door jamb switch for my pantry. I have a single receptable in the pantry (For powering puck/bar lights). Given the PITA it was to get fishtape around a corner into the door jamb switch, I'd like to only pull a two wire conductor conductor to the door jamb switch, but want to check if this is pretty much a universal code violation.

 ---   2 wire conductor (+ground) going to switch       ---
| * |--------------------------------------------------| * |
| * |--------------------------------------------------|   |
 ---                                                    ---
 ||| 3 wire conductor coming from line

Basically, a line feed would go through one side of the switch, and the other side would be the load leading back to the outlet. Is this majorly out of code, or is this something I can get away with?

  • I assume your switch is metal? It would be a ground itself, but if you install into a wood casing, then it's not grounded without a ground wire. Of it is metal, you need to run a ground along with the switch wires to attach to the switch. Also, what is the switch switching on/off? You don't have anything in your basic drawing. Looks to me like you just want to put a switch in for fun. Planning to pull tabs on the outlet to make it a half switched outlet? Full switched outlet? – Jeff Cates Feb 22 '17 at 22:37
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    That's a /2 W/G NM you're running, right? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 22 '17 at 23:21
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    Are they 120V or 230V puck/bar lights? Is the wiring you plan to run going to be carrying 120/230V? Many such things are 12V and that changes everything. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 22 '17 at 22:33

You are probably OK on two counts:

  • the room is not considered habitable
  • the wiring is a switch loop controlling a receptacle rather than a direct wired lighting load.

This is covered by NEC 404.2(C). This is the 2014 version.

Note that not all jurisdictions subscribe to all NEC code, and some use older version.

| improve this answer | |
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    @statueuphemism No. The exceptions to NEC 404.2(C) permits the grounded conductor to be omitted but not the grounding conductor. So /2 without a grounding conductor would not be permitted. There must be at least three wires to a switch loop: two ungrounded and one grounding. – Dan D. Feb 23 '17 at 4:01
  • @DanD That's what I thought. The OPs question and diagram looks to me like it is potentially a 2 wire cable without a grounding conductor going to the switch and not a 3 wire /2 cable assembly. This point should be clarified before the OP thinks their wiring is okay. – statueuphemism Feb 23 '17 at 8:52

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