Using switch as a junction box

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Old 07-01-15, 09:19 AM
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Using switch as a junction box

Sorry total novice here. There's probably a real term for this but I opened up a light switch the other day and found that it had two wires coming out of one side. So the hot line came into one side of the switch and then two other lines came out of the other side. Just wondering if this is an ok, safe, allowed practice.

 
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Old 07-01-15, 10:06 AM
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Instead of using a pigtail to join the two wires they are using the device to make the connection. It is allowed, but many do not consider it a good practice. You can remove the two wires and add a short pigtail to splice the wires. attach the pigtail to the screw on the switch.

The wire stuck in the bottom hole is a ground. It should not be connected as is.
 
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Old 07-01-15, 10:59 AM
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The wire stuck in the bottom hole is a ground. It should not be connected as is.
The wire inserted into the bottom hole is a bent paper clip. I agree it shouldn't be in that hole. The equipment grounding conductor is at the top left and the picture does not show how or where it is connected to the switch.
 
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Old 07-01-15, 11:05 AM
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Do you plan to connect any more wires to this switch?
Are there any additional wires that were connected to this switch that are not in the picture?

This switch will not work as pictured.

That bottom wire looks almost like a paper clip. This is very hazardous.
 
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Old 07-01-15, 11:21 AM
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Sorry everyone, I took this picture after I started to dismantle the connections.. That IS a paper clip in the other hole - thats how I get the wires out of those holes. Such a pain and Im sure there's a better way I could be doing it.

The ground wire was connected properly to the ground terminal on the other side of the switch. And the hot wire was already removed.

I didnt connect anything else to this switch and just accessed the hot wire to wire a second switch for a ceiling fan. I removed the hot wire from the switch, then used a pigtail from the hot wire to both the existing switch and the new one for the fan.

Just wasnt sure if it was ok to leave the other two connections as they were. Yes, pigtail is what I figured was best practice.
 
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Old 07-01-15, 12:42 PM
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Just ensure power is off while working. Check it and double check it. Tag out is ideal.
A 2mm flat jeweler's screwdriver works well for releasing the backstabs.

And yes, pigtail is always better than using a backstab to tap off of source power hot. Anyone here will tell you to avoid backstab connections, period.
 
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