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How do I connect light switch wires to the main feed wire?

How do I connect light switch wires to the main feed wire?


  #1  
Old 07-07-14, 02:13 PM
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How do I connect light switch wires to the main feed wire?

A while back while changing all the switches/outlets in the house I came across one particular 3 gang set, the box came loose, long story short I made a mistake by removing the whole box. In removing the box I did not make a note of how the wires were hooked up.

Here is a photo, I am not sure if it can help much since it's hard to tell what wires are what, but the light switch is not connected to the main feed, so there is nothing running to that switch as well as all the wire sets with the caps, those are not connected to the feed wire. There are two wires connected to the feed however, and that controls the lights above the stove and a few outlets I think.

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I have watched a few videos on this and do understand a few basics on wiring, and it seems a pigtail would be the answer for this, but as I recall there was no pigtail before I destroyed the original setup. I vaguely remember the setup, there were a lot of wires twisted to the main feed and that was it. This makes me think I can just take the black wire from each set and twist that onto the main feed, but that sounds sketchy and dangerous.

I would just like some insight so that I am more comfortable with the situation, if push comes to shove I will hire an electrician but I want to gather as much info as possible.

Thanks.

Here is another picture from a different angle

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PS I asked this question before but I failed to follow through, I got side tracked with other stuff, I really want to handle this asap.
 
  #2  
Old 07-07-14, 02:53 PM
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There should be one 2-conductor cable (black. white +bare) that when disconnected and you measure between the black and white of the cable with a multimeter shows ~120 volts. (A non contact tester won't work.) It that is true*:
  • Connect three pigtails to the black hot.
  • Connect one pigtail to each switch
  • Connect the remaining blacks one to each switch.
  • Connect all the whites to each other.
  • Connect all grounds together and pigtail to each switch.
*Caution the above could be wrong. One are more of the cables could be a switch loop. To determine if any of the non hot cables are switch loops connect the black and white of the cable together and see if one of the switched devices works. Do this before proceeding with the instructions above.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 07:35 PM
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I see another CAUTION you need to be careful of. You have some of the wires twisted counter clockwise or backwards. There is no way to install a twist-on wire connector on those wires. If you really have no idea what you are doing, it might be best to get help.

if push comes to shove I will hire an electrician but I want to gather as much info as possible.
My opinion is that you are very close to this point already.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 07:46 PM
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Thanks guys, I may have to hire someone professional. I am open to more discussion I would like to learn more and hear what you guys think. I will try ray's advice, I mean worst case scenario wouldn't the breaker just cut off if there is a malfunction? Obviously wiring is no joke, and not to be taken lightly, but if ray's advice doesn't work it would just cut off?
 
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Old 07-07-14, 07:50 PM
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I mean worst case scenario wouldn't the breaker just cut off if there is a malfunction? Obviously wiring is no joke, and not to be taken lightly, but if ray's advice doesn't work it would just cut off?
Circuit breakers trip on overload or a direct short. The worst case would probably be your house would burn down and someone would die. Your knowledge and skill level frighten me.
 
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Old 07-07-14, 09:58 PM
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My vision is not that great, But looking at these pictures, there's so many things wrong in there it's not even funny.

mikea1991,
I would hire an electrician, and maybe as he's fixing it he could give you an idea of what he's doing and why. (And why sometimes it's best not to attempt doing it yourself).

Added: It looks like at sometime in the past, someone attempted to add an outlet, light, whatever, to an existing box. They probably removed original box, replaced it with an old work box, and ran new cable as needed. But upon rewiring the box, things went horribly wrong.
 

Last edited by Handyone; 07-07-14 at 10:17 PM.
 

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