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# Double Gang Box Wiring Trouble

#1
12-08-10, 04:48 PM
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Double Gang Box Wiring Trouble

I've got 6 cables going to the Double Gang box holding a single-pole for the outdoor lamps, and a 3-way switch for the front Fan/Light. This is a new construction plan.

I think I've got everything correct here except I don't know where I'm getting the power from for the outside lights.

In S3a, I have 4 of the 6 black wires nutted together; the other two blacks go to the outdoor lights. My question is: where is my hot here for the SP switch? I thought I was using the two Blacks (one each from the two lights) to go to each side of the SPST switch, but I can't get my head around where the power comes from; obviously, connecting the Blacks to each side of the switch does nothing.

Any thoughts?

connections at S3a:

4 Blacks together
5 Whites together
1 White (from S3b) to 3-way switch
1 Red (from S3b) to 3-way switch
1 Red from Fan/Light to 3-way switch
2 Blacks, one each from outside lamps.

#2
12-08-10, 06:32 PM
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First of all I want to make sure this is not a kitchen or dining room. If it is we have to stop here and sort out the code requirements of those locations. If it isn't, continue.

Short answer of your question is your hot appears to be coming from the receptacle in the lower right of the room.

I am guessing the large arrow pointing up is your feed. Looking at your diagram your first problem is you have a 3 wire cable going between the two three ways. This cable is carrying the two travelers and neutral but no hot. You also have switch legs coming out of both 3 way boxes. This will not work. I also a little confused about you have a 3-way switch switching the outside lights and the fan/light combo?? Same goes with the 3 way at the top of the diagram.You do understand a 3-way is for switching a light from two locations correct?

What the three ways are controlling.
What each single pole switch is controlling.

I can then edit your picture.

#3
12-08-10, 06:33 PM
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I don't understand from your diagram where power is coming from in any part of the picture so it is not possible for me to help. There are just lines zooming around connecting boxes. No offense intended.

#4
12-08-10, 06:33 PM
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Since this is a kitchen the receptacle circuit should not feed the lighting. Ignore any receptacle wiring in your diagram and see what you have left. Will one switch control each light or will both be on the same switch?

#5
12-08-10, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand
First of all I want to make sure this is not a kitchen or dining room. If it is we have to stop here and sort out the code requirements of those locations. If it isn't, continue.

Short answer of your question is your hot appears to be coming from the receptacle in the lower right of the room.

I am guessing the large arrow pointing up is your feed. Looking at your diagram your first problem is you have a 3 wire cable going between the two three ways. This cable is carrying the two travelers and neutral but no hot. You also have switch legs coming out of both 3 way boxes. This will not work. I also a little confused about you have a 3-way switch switching the outside lights and the fan/light combo?? Same goes with the 3 way at the top of the diagram.You do understand a 3-way is for switching a light from two locations correct?

What the three ways are controlling.
What each single pole switch is controlling.

I can then edit your picture.
Not a kitchen or dining room.
The single-pole with S3a will control the outside lights.
The 3-way (S3a) will control the fan/light nearest the front.
The 3-wire at the top of diagram is to control a ceiling fan/light combo with the single-pole, and the 3-way is for the other front fan/light combo.

#6
12-09-10, 05:14 AM
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Ok, much of what you posted does not make sense. A 3 way does not control more than one device (fan, light, etc.), they allow you to control one device, or group of devices, from more than one location.

Originally Posted by tacticaltal
The single-pole with S3a will control the outside lights.
This is fine.

Originally Posted by tacticaltal
The 3-way (S3a) will control the fan/light nearest the front.The 3-wire at the top of diagram is to control a ceiling fan/light combo with the single-pole, and the 3-way is for the other front fan/light combo.
Are the two fans going to be switched together or do you want to control them separately?
Do you want to be able to run the fan and the light on each fan separately from a wall switch or are you going to use a remote? Or do you want to switch the fan lights from the two locations and run the fan off a single pole switch ( like you described in S3b?

#7
12-09-10, 06:04 AM
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Sorry for all the confusion. I'm confused too

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand
A 3 way does not control more than one device (fan, light, etc.), they allow you to control one device, or group of devices, from more than one location.
I don't want it to control more than one. There are only two 3-way switches; each control the fan up front (at bottom right). The two fans will be switched independently. The fan at the top will be controlled by the Single-pole at s3b.

Do you want to be able to run the fan and the light on each fan separately from a wall switch
yes. the fan at top will be ran off the SP nearest it (s3b).

#8
12-09-10, 06:23 AM
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Ok, I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it is not a train!

IF you want to run the fan and the light on the fan separately from the switches on the wall, you will need to have two switch legs and two switches going to the fan/light combo. This can be done with 2 separate switches, or one combo double switch on the same strap. I will draw up a diagram and see if it makes sense to you.

This is how I would pretty much wire it using your base plan. However, I would run two 15 amp circuits, one for lights and one for the receptacles using #14 wire to keep the lights and receptacles separate. But since it sounds like you have already pulled the cable just move on from here.

Notes:
You can save the cost of a GFCI if you install one in the first box and then feed the other outdoor receptacle on the load side of the GFCI.

I marked 3 wire cables going to the fan/light combos in case you want to run the fans and lights separately (which I believe you mentioned) In this case you will either need to install 3 gang switch boxes or plan to use combination switches.You would need a 3 way/single pole in the "a" box and a single pole/single pole in the "b" box.

You will need to run a hot and neutral in and out of the "a" box and a hot and neutral in to the "b' box as shown on the plan.

S3b does not get attached to the hot in the "b' box. The hot will be coming from the "a" box. The 3 wire between the 3 ways will be wired as follows:
White, taped black, will be attached to the hot in the "a" box
Black and red will be attached to the brass screws of the 3 way. These are the travelers.
White, taped black, in the "b" box will be attached to the odd colored screw of the 3 way (common)
Black and red get attached to the brass screws. Again these are the travelers.

I hope this makes a lick of sence!

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 12-09-10 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Added diagram and text
#9
12-09-10, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Tolyn got this plan work out good and just want to pass one tip to you about the switch boxes make sure you get the deepest one you can find so that way you will have more room to work around.

As far the way he draw there is no dimmer or fan speed control right now but if you plan most case you will have dual control { unforteally they will only come in single pole verison } I know at one switch box you can able do that with standard two gang box but at the other switch box where you will have three way plus light plus outdoor luminaire if you want that to be on dimmer or fan speed control there then I will suggest that change to three gang switch box.

So that way you can use three way dimmer plus standard switch for fan or fan speed control and plain jane single pole switch for outside luminaires.

As far for outdoor recetpales make sure you use the inuse cover and many big box store will carry few differnt variations my favour one is from Ariglinton it is semi flush in use cover { it work the best with new construction } I know it cost little more IIRC it was about 12 to 15 Euros but it worth it.

Merci.
Marc

Last edited by french277V; 12-09-10 at 04:32 PM. Reason: fix the goof {see the bold part }
#10
12-09-10, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 106
Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand
Ok, I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it is not a train!

IF you want to run the fan and the light on the fan separately from the switches on the wall, you will need to have two switch legs and two switches going to the fan/light combo. This can be done with 2 separate switches, or one combo double switch on the same strap. I will draw up a diagram and see if it makes sense to you.

This is how I would pretty much wire it using your base plan. However, I would run two 15 amp circuits, one for lights and one for the receptacles using #14 wire to keep the lights and receptacles separate. But since it sounds like you have already pulled the cable just move on from here.

Notes:
You can save the cost of a GFCI if you install one in the first box and then feed the other outdoor receptacle on the load side of the GFCI.

I marked 3 wire cables going to the fan/light combos in case you want to run the fans and lights separately (which I believe you mentioned) In this case you will either need to install 3 gang switch boxes or plan to use combination switches.You would need a 3 way/single pole in the "a" box and a single pole/single pole in the "b" box.

You will need to run a hot and neutral in and out of the "a" box and a hot and neutral in to the "b' box as shown on the plan.

S3b does not get attached to the hot in the "b' box. The hot will be coming from the "a" box. The 3 wire between the 3 ways will be wired as follows:
White, taped black, will be attached to the hot in the "a" box
Black and red will be attached to the brass screws of the 3 way. These are the travelers.
White, taped black, in the "b" box will be attached to the odd colored screw of the 3 way (common)
Black and red get attached to the brass screws. Again these are the travelers.

I hope this makes a lick of sence!
Tolyn,

Much appreciation to you for redrawing this for me, and for all your time.

I wanted to say that the only thing I see different is that you've got a separate cable for the power running to the outdoor lamps. However, I've already ran, via pigtail, the hot from the switch box (coming from the receptacle to the right of S3a), as per my original plan - this pigtail attaches to one side of the single-pole switch in S3a. I've also tied together the blacks going to each lamp, and, with a pigtail, attaching to the other side of the single-pole switch. Do you see a problem with this?

#11
12-09-10, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tacticaltal
I wanted to say that the only thing I see different is that you've got a separate cable for the power running to the outdoor lamps. However, I've already ran, via pigtail, the hot from the switch box (coming from the receptacle to the right of S3a), as per my original plan - this pigtail attaches to one side of the single-pole switch in S3a. I've also tied together the blacks going to each lamp, and, with a pigtail, attaching to the other side of the single-pole switch. Do you see a problem with this?
Nope. There is nothing wrong with how you have done as long as you have enough room in the box. I like to daisy chain the common lights to keep the wire count in the boxes down. Make sure you read French277's post about deep boxes.

#12
12-09-10, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 106
thanks to all who responded, and I apologize for the early confusion. The 2-gang box I have is 32cu, I think, so I think that's up-to-code; there is plenty of room.

#13
12-10-10, 05:47 AM
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Count all the wires (wires, not cables) entering the box. All the grounds only count as one. Two devices count as two each. So going by my plan, except for one cable going to each outside light, you should have:

14 wires
1 for the grounds
4 for the devices
19 x 2.25 for #12 wire = 42.75cu in required.
If your box is 32 cu in. it is too small.

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