Continous wire through switch

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Old 04-02-10, 04:45 PM
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Question Continous wire through switch

I have a single pole switch I'd like to replace with a dimmer in a 3-gang metal box. I just pulled out the single pole switch, and it has 3 black wires connected:

A) One black wire coming through the top of the gang box into the top push hole,

B) One black wire coming through the bottom of the gang box into the bottom push hole, and

c) One CONTINUOUS black wire coming through a separate cable at the bottom of the gang box, connected to the bottom screw of the switch (the plastic is stripped where the wire wraps around the screw), and continuing on to the switch beside it.

All white wires are wirenutted together.

The new dimmer has 2 black wires and a ground. So here's the question: Should I connect one of the dimmer's black wires to wire A, and the other black dimmer wire to wires B and C? And if the answer to that is 'yes', since C is a continuous wire, is it safe to cut it where the plastic is currently stripped, and wirenut everything together (I'm assuming the circuit would still work that way)?

Hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 04-02-10, 05:02 PM
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Makes sense to me. I would have pigtailed the power and feed-thru, but some don't. Just be sure to turn off the power to the circuit when you wire the dimmer in or you'll damage the dimmer.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 05:17 PM
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B) One black wire coming through the bottom of the gang box into the bottom push hole, and

c) One CONTINUOUS black wire coming through a separate cable at the bottom of the gang box, connected to the bottom screw of the switch (the plastic is stripped where the wire wraps around the screw), and continuing on to the switch beside it.
Remove the wire that ties to both switches.. Cut the wire to a length to 6 inches. This will be wire "A".

Makeup a pigtail of black wire 6inches long. This will be wire "B"

The wire in the bottom push hole of the switch to be removed is "C"

Connect together "A", "B", "C" and one black wire of the dimmer.

The other end of wire "B", the pigtail, replaces the continuous wire that was on the other switch.

The remaining wire from the "top" of the old switch" goes to the remaining black wire of the dimmer.

All grounds tied together and if the box is metal pigtailed to the box.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 10:46 PM
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Turn off Breaker!!!

Wire A=Switch leg
Wire B=HOT
Wire C= HOT
Whites = Neutrals just passing through, leave them be.

A = goes to one black on dimmer
B&C = ties to the other black on dimmer. (cut C wire to make up the joint)

**In this application you do not need a pigtail.. Unless the wire is to small to make a joint with.

**Cut C wire. Take both ends of that wire and put it under a wire nut along with B and a lead from the dimmer.

**A and other black dimmer lead goes under another wire nut.

The stripped constant hot wire wrapped around passing the hot down was shotty in my opinion!! The guy should of made a joint there. Now you may not have enough wire to work with and have to add a pigtail and its really just a extension at that!

After re-reading....

One CONTINUOUS black wire coming through a separate cable at the bottom of the gang box, connected to the bottom screw of the switch (the plastic is stripped where the wire wraps around the screw), and continuing on to the switch beside it.
That makes no sense to me at all unless there is another switch on the circuit somewhere(as in more than 2!!)?? The ends of the wire would just be striped and tied around the terminal on each switch. Where is that "cable" passing onto??? Its already got a incoming hot. I was assuming that was just a jumper between 2 switches...Something is off with this.
 
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Old 04-03-10, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the help everyone. So I will cut wire "C" where it currently wraps around the screw and wirenut the new ends with "B" and one of the black dimmer wires, and wirenut "A" to the other black dimmer wire.

CasualJoe and SilverTattoo: The switch I'm replacing is one of 3 in a 3-gang box. But why the switch needs two incoming hots, and why it was wired this way, is beyond me (i.e., why doesn't the second hot wire just travel directly into its own switch, instead of passing through this one first?). Although I don't fully understand it, I'll wire it as stated above!
 
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Old 04-03-10, 09:40 AM
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The wire that was just looped was a hot. The wire that was also in the push-in near the looped hot was either bringing the hot into the switch or continuing the hot out to something else.
 
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Old 04-03-10, 01:39 PM
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So there is a third switch. Now it makes sense. Buy cutting that wire it will create a joint which is the best way to do it. I just hope you have enough wire to work with. If not you will have to add the "pigtail".

have a single pole switch I'd like to replace with a dimmer in a 3-gang metal box
I appologize I missed the 3 gang part. it all makes sense now! It was late when I 1st responded.

The switch I'm replacing is one of 3 in a 3-gang box. But why the switch needs two incoming hots, and why it was wired this way, is beyond me (i.e., why doesn't the second hot wire just travel directly into its own switch, instead of passing through this one first?)
There is only 1 incoming hot (from the panel). The other "hot" is just jumping power from switch to switch. C is more than likely your hot from the panel and B is the jumper ,though this could be vice versa(Hard to know with out testing it with a meter). Just hook it up as stated below and you will be fine. Its really hard to mess up a single pole switch.
 

Last edited by SilverTattoo; 04-03-10 at 01:58 PM.
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