wiring 3 dimmers in a triple-gang box

Old 09-28-04, 10:25 AM
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wiring 3 dimmers in a triple-gang box

I am planning to install three dimmers in a triple-gang box to control three sets of recessed lights. The box has four 14/2 cables coming into it: one for power from the panel and three that bring switched power to the lights. Each switch has three wires (ignoring grounds): line, load, and neutral.

The hot (line) wires are easy enough. Wirenut the incoming black power wire to the line side wire of each switch.

The load wires are easy too. Wirenut each "load" wire coming into the box to the load wire of each switch.

The neutrals are where I need advice. I could wirenut them all together (four white wires coming into the box + three wires from the switches). That would be seven wires in one wirenut. I don't think I could twist that properly even if I had a wirenut big enough.

What's the best way to wire this? I assume you'd want to minimize the number of pigtails and wirenuts, but everything I can think of leaves me trying to stuff at least seven wirenutted connections into the back of the box (I am using 3 1/2" deep boxes).
Old 09-28-04, 10:46 AM
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I have never heard of a dimmer switch having a neutral connection. Are you sure that this wire is a neutral?

Also, be careful of heat. Dimmers switches produce quite a bit of heat. You may end up not being able to control all the li9ghts because of derating.
Old 09-28-04, 11:28 AM
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I don't actually have the dimmers yet, so I was misinformed. One website (which I can't find right now) had a wiring diagram which showed line, load, neutral, traveler, and ground wires on the dimmer. It made sense to me that it might need a neutral since it is a solid state device with memory. I just found the installation instructions on Lutron's website and there is no neutral wire. Problem solved!

I checked out Lutron's derating chart and I'm within spec. The three sets of lighting total 180W, 120W, and 240W max. I have to derate the first and third dimmers to 500W and the middle dimmer to 400W, so I have plenty of leeway.

Thanks for setting me straight.

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