Friday, May 1, 2009

Subject: 14-4 Cable

Name: Jordan

Subject: 14-4 Cable

Question: I am running a new set of 3-way switches for some new recessed lights in the living room, and I need to run wiring for a couple of additional outlets on the wall where the second 3-way switch would be. For this, I need 14-4 cable, because I need a hot, neutral, and two travellers. I found 14-4 cable at the store, but it is ridiculously expensive! It costs more than 3 times a roll of 14-2 costs. Why are they pricing it so high? 14-2 costs $26 for a 250-foot roll; 14-3 is $41. So I don't think 14-4 should be any more than $56 for the roll. They want almost $100 for it.

Answer: Hi Jordan,

Electrician's don't use 14-4. There is no real need for such a wire. I did not even think you could find it. Here in Philadelphia I have never even seen it. I have accounts at all the major supply houses here Billows, Fox electric, Ciro, City electric and have never seen it. That is the reason it is so expensive. It is just not mass produced.

The reason electrician don't run 14-4 is that it would add an unnecessary level in a switching circuit if it was also acting as a feeder circuit. In short keep your outlets and switches separate. it will save you problem down the road. Trust me on that.

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