Multiple switches in one box


Old 03-03-05, 07:37 PM
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Multiple switches in one box

I am wiring lights for my basement and I have a box that has 4 switches in it for separate lights. They are all basic two-way switches. I am just not sure how to do the wiring. I think I would take the incoming ground and twist it together with all the ground wires from the fixtures, and take the incoming black wire and pig tail it to all the black wires from the fixtures. If that is right, what do I do with the white wires? I think I am lost here.
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Old 03-03-05, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
I hate four switches in one box. Too confusing? But maybe you're not as easily confused as me.

So you have five black/white/bare cables in the box, right?
  • The grounding wires are going to be a bit of a problem. You won't have a single wire nut that will hold all the ones you need. So do it this way. Attach four bare wires, several inches long, to the green screw on each switch. Now you have nine grounding wires to connect. Use three red wire nuts. Cut two more segments of bare wire for jumpers. Use the first wire nut to connect three grounding wires to both jumpers. Use the second wire nut to connect three more grounding wires to the other end of one jumper. Use the third wire nut to connect the other three grounding wires to the other end of the other jumper. You're already beginning to see why I don't like four switches in one box, aren't you?
  • Connect all five white wires together with a big wire nut.
  • Connect the four load black wires, one to a screw on each switch.
  • Cut four segments of black wire, each a few inches long. Use a big wire nut to connect the power feed black wire to these four pigtails. Connect the other end of each pigtail to the remaining screw on each switch.
I hope you have a big box. And I hope you're using #14 wire. It's going to be a mess in there. And repack the box very carefully to avoid shorting anything out. Don't use the switches to push the wire back into the box--use your fingers or the handle of your hammer.

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