Best method of wiring 3 switches

Old 09-27-03, 12:22 AM
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Best method of wiring 3 switches

Im going to adding 3 switches (2 light dimmers and a regular wall switch to a receplteinto a room in the house. I believe my situation is called middle of the run as i will tap into wires heading to different things in both directions.. anyways how to wire these is my question.. First question --- it appeares to me that it should be possible to patch all 5 black wires together into one pigtail in one 3-4 gang box (one incoming one out and three to my 2 sets of light fixtures and a receptacle... and also i would have 5 whites wires all pigtailed together plus some grounds.. How many wires allowed in one 3 gang box is one question i have??

but my main question whats the best way to go about wiring this. it is possible for me to use 3 single boxes (one stacked on top of each other going down a joist. This seems to be to be a lot more work, more pigtails more boxes etc but probaly alot neater and easier for someone to figure out in the future.. anyways Any help on this would be appreciated..
Old 09-27-03, 06:36 AM
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1. Yes you can splice five wires together. Just make sure you use wire nuts rated and designed for that many wires. (buy the red ones and you'll be fine.) tieing the neutrals together would be correct, as woudl tieing the grounds (one splice neutral, one splice ground... DO NOT combine the two.) Then the hots would be 1 in, 1 out, and one to each switch. The hot (or as it were swich leg) wires from the two lights would go to each dimmer, the one from the recept to the single pole switch.

2. As to how many wires, it depends on the box. Three gang only tells me part of the story, I'd also need to know how deep it is. Are you using a plastic box?

3. Yes you can use three single boxes, but that would be more work, more material and, frakly, wouldn't look nearly as nice. Remember, we've all been looking at swictches mounted side by side for our entire lives. The subconscious mind prefers that look, any changes to that will be noticable and look "wrong."
Old 09-27-03, 07:53 AM
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It is usually preferable to "daisy-chain" the cable from one box to another rather than bring all cable back to one point. This not only usually saves cable (which isn't very important here), but more importantly it reduces box overcrowding. Anything you can do with a "star" configuration, you can do with a "daisy-chain".
Old 09-27-03, 09:02 AM
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"stud", not "joist"-------

"If it's not there, it can't fail"--- I belive this applies to inter-connecting three switch-outlet boxes. In box "B" you will have four 14/2 cables for a total of 12 conductors, in box "M" you will have three 14/2 cables for a total of 9 conductors, and in box "T" two 14/2 cables for a total of 6 conductors.

That's a total of 9 wire-splices, 3 in each box, and each box requires a Grounding-lead conection to the device.

I suggest that you use a 3-gang "industrial box" rough-cover and a matching outlet-box. This is a metal outlet-box which means you avoid the 3 Grounding-lead connections to the devices and there are only 3 splices--- "Hot", Neutral, and Ground. You can W-N a single Black wire device-lead to the "Feed" connection that "jumps" between the devices. T-O-T-T-----On the Black wire device-lead, expose an 1-1/2" of the conductor, fold the exposed conductor section together to form 3/4" of exposed conductor, and W-N the device lead this conductor "end". The point is that there are no "breaks" in the Black wire device-lead.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!!!!

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