Switch wiring

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  #1  
Old 12-25-06, 01:42 PM
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Switch wiring

I have two dual switches in a 2 gang box. Both switches are powered from the same dedicated 20 amp source. Is it acceptable to jumper the input power from one switch to the other instead of using a pigtail for the supply? Both switches have two input terminals.
 
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Old 12-25-06, 02:08 PM
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As long as you've got 20 amp rated switches and each wire has its own terminal it should be ok. I'm assuming these switches have a feed through jumper on the side. I like to pigtail with stranded wire. It makes it easier to stuff back into the box.
 
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Old 12-25-06, 02:12 PM
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The only switches I know of where you can safely and securely connect two wires to a single terminal are back wire devices. These have a plate that tightens when you turn the screw. The plate holds one or two wires in place. These are acceptable for two wires to be connected.

Normal screw terminals cannot hold two wires. Using a screw terminal and a back stab, while legal, is not a good idea. First, I don't think back stabs can accept 12 gage wire, and back stabs are notoriously unreliable.

Now back to your question. Yes, it is allowed to daisy chain from one switch to the next instead of pigtailing.
 
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Old 12-26-06, 06:19 AM
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"Both switches have two input terminals."

"The only switches I know of where you can safely and securely connect two wires to a single terminal are back wire devices."

Yanici you are correct. Two screw terminals on the input (power) side, connected with a metal tab similar to a receptacle. Two screw terminals on the output (switched) side. The switches do not have back stab connections. It's easier to jumper switch to switch than it is to pigtail. It also saves room in the box.

I am holding in my hand a Leviton Decora dual rocker switch that has backstab (spring type) terminals. The model number is 1754-WSP. It has no other means of attaching a wire. It's rated at 15A per switch and "20A max total". Imprinted on the back it says for #12 or #14 solid copper wire only. This switch is unused and still in the box, but I seem to remember that the latest revision of the NEC does not allow #12 wire to be attached with spring loaded backstabs. Is this switch still usable per the NEC?
 
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