How many wires in a switch box?

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Old 07-06-07, 01:59 PM
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How many wires in a switch box?

I have power that is delivered to a single switch box. The switch then controls the light. I needed to tap power from this switch box. It's a normal metal 2.5" deep switch box. I now have three 12/2 cables entering the box, and it was a b**** getting the switch back into the box with all those wires, but it finally went in after some creative coiling.

I'm now thinking maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Did I exceed the capacity of the box? I really don't want to cut out the box (2x4s on both sides). Am I safe?
 
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Old 07-06-07, 03:08 PM
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Box Fill

The box you described is listed at 12.5 cu. In.

The wires you described plus a switch require a 20.25 cu. in. box.
 
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Old 07-06-07, 03:52 PM
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I think wirepuller has the wrong number (the 12.5) in his answer.

We cannot answer your question until and unless we know more details. Are there internal clamps for the cables? What is the exact size of the box. Your measurement of 2.5"" may or may not be correct. How accurate is it?
 
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Old 07-06-07, 04:05 PM
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Box Size

I used Table 314.16(A) for 3 x 2 x 2 1/2 device box.
 
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Old 07-06-07, 04:38 PM
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The box is 2x3x2.5. The clamps are standard NM cable clamps using the 1/2 inch knockouts.

I guess I need to somehow get that box out of the wall and replace it with a deeper box. Would a 2.25x3x3.5 remodel box be sufficient? Any suggestions on how to get the old box out of the wall?
 
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Old 07-06-07, 05:42 PM
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12.5 is correct.

Since you are using NM cable I'd use a 22cu/in PVC old work box. You'll be happy you did.
 
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Old 07-06-07, 06:40 PM
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Sorry, missed the word metal. Yes, 12.5 is correct for a metal box (unfortunately).
 
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Old 07-06-07, 07:54 PM
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"Handy" boxes are very badly named. They are anything but handy. Most DIYers are much better off using a high-quality plastic box than a metal box. They are cheaper, easier to install, usually larger, and don't require grounding. And if you don't buy the cheapest one on the shelf, they can be very durable.
 
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