Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

How to "efficiently" tie 6 x 14-2 electric wires together in small electric box

How to "efficiently" tie 6 x 14-2 electric wires together in small electric box

Reply

  #1  
Old 03-20-16, 09:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How to "efficiently" tie 6 x 14-2 electric wires together in small electric box

Hi,

I have a "regular" 4-gang electric box (measures: 7.5"W x 3"H x 2.5"D). I'd like not to replace (again!) that electric box).

I have 6 14-2 wires coming to that box: 4 going to the ceiling lights, one for the current input, and one that goes to a ceiling power outlet I added later.

The problem is that out of the 4 gangs, 3 of them will be for a a wifi dimmer that takes A LOT of space. See the specs here.

Aside from the neat modern look, when I like about those dimmers is that they have all the wifi module integrated within them, as opposed to the Lutron Caseta that require you to install a special wifi bridge. The downside is that they take a lot of space in the box. There is only about 0,5" of spare space between the dimmer and the electric box. Also, those dimmers (as opposed to most "regular" switches) require you to wire the neutral wire, not just the black.

So, effectively, this means that I must have 6 x 14-2 white wires connected together, and 6 x black wires connected together and 3 black wires connected in pairs; the grounds all go in the end of the electric box.

If I use the "regular" twist-on wire connectors, I need to use many big (red) ones, and add "bridges" between them, this takes too much space.

Is there a way to purchase a sort of "terminal block" that would allow me to FLATTEN the junction of those 2 x 6 wires?

Any suggestion other than changing the box (even that, I haven't found a 4-gang box that is deeper).

Thanks

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 03-20-16, 10:27 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Red is not the largest size wire nut but in your case how about Polaris connectors. NSI IPLD350-10 Polarisā„¢ Dual Sided Entry Insulated Multi-Tap Cable Connector Block - Crescent Electric Supply Company

Name:  698535-ProductImageURL.jpg
Views: 684
Size:  24.3 KB

Or maybe Wagos: http://www.buchanan-a.com/Wago.html
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-20-16 at 11:01 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-20-16, 10:36 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,779
Received 34 Votes on 33 Posts
I don't think you're going to find a good solution. Take a look at the push-in connectors, they tend to take less space. But fitting all those connections into the space of a single-gang box will be difficult if not impossible.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]64120[/ATTACH]

Another possible solution which I'm sure you won't like, would be to split them into separate 4x4 boxes with single-gang mud rings. It gives you some more space to work with, but separates the switches and requires some drywall repair.
 
Attached Images  
  #4  
Old 03-20-16, 10:53 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,187
Received 475 Votes on 445 Posts
All those wires in a 2.5" deep box..... and three dimmers.

I don't see how you cannot change the box.

You can change to an old work 3-1/2" deep Carlon box.

Carlon plastic boxes.pdf
Name:  4g.JPG
Views: 596
Size:  24.1 KB

The other choice is to gang four deep cut-in metal gem boxes together.
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-16, 10:57 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 13,020
Received 68 Votes on 60 Posts
Zorfdt - He has a 4 gang box.

You say the grounds go to the box so I will assume you are using a metal box. There are gangable metal boxes in 2 1/2" depth and 3 1/2" depth. That should give you the space you need. Also the push in connectors Zorfdt posted is a very good option. I have seen up to 8 port ones available.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-16, 03:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all the replies. I had seen the plastic Carlton boxes online, but I haven't found it in Canada (at least not at the hardware store). Furthermore, I need to fit it in an existing hole and would prefer not to have to do any plaster/painting, so it is a problem that they must be nailed in from outside as opposed to screwing from inside like my current metal box.

The problem with the 4-gang box that you assemble, for some reason they have each side (left and right) a bit wider, which moves the cutout hole about 1/4" (because I'm fixing it to a stud). Not sure if my explanation is clear... but it's not an ideal situation.

I did find some of the ideal push-in connectors (unfortunately they did not store the 6 or 8 wires) and I think it will work. 2 x 4 ports with a pigtail should do the job, and I expect it will take less space (and flatten the whole thing).

Thanks all for your input.
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-16, 03:43 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,187
Received 475 Votes on 445 Posts
The splices are half the problem...... you are out of room between the dimmers and the back of the box. Where is all the wire going to go ? You will literally have to pack everything into that box.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 03-20-16 at 08:31 PM. Reason: typo
  #8  
Old 03-20-16, 04:11 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Have you considered two boxes? One on each side of the stud.
 
  #9  
Old 03-20-16, 07:12 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,978
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
The problem with the 4-gang box that you assemble, for some reason they have each side (left and right) a bit wider, which moves the cutout hole about 1/4" (because I'm fixing it to a stud). Not sure if my explanation is clear... but it's not an ideal situation.
Something sounds wrong. The spacing needs to be the same so the coverplate will fit.
 
  #10  
Old 03-20-16, 08:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,423
Received 12 Votes on 11 Posts
They make 8 connector Wagos. I've used them in 4 square boxes and bigger.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]64142[/ATTACH]
 
Attached Images  
  #11  
Old 03-20-16, 08:36 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
And the picture in my first post is a ten wire Polaris connector.
 
  #12  
Old 03-20-16, 08:45 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Something sounds wrong. The spacing needs to be the same so the coverplate will fit.
At the moment, I have a "regular" 4 gang box: [ATTACH=CONFIG]64143[/ATTACH]. It is attached to the stud at the right side with two screws inside the box and my faceplate fits nicely. I considered using "gangable" boxes instead, to build a 4-gang deeper box, but - at least in Canada, and I tried three hardware stores and the two major distributors of electrical parts - all of the gangable box will have "bumps" on the sides (like here: [ATTACH=CONFIG]64144[/ATTACH]), which would mean that my faceplate would NOT fit anymore - because of the offset with the stud. That's why the gangable option isn't ideal for me.

After drawing this out, here is what it seems I will have:
- 14-2 wire - power source
- 14-3 wire from a 3-way switch
- 14-2 wire going to an outlet
- 14-2 wire to ceiling lamp 1
- 14-2 wire to ceiling lamp 2
- 14-2 wire to ceiling lamp 3
- 3-way switch
- mFi Dimmer 1
- mFi Dimmer 2
- mFi Dimmer 3

Inside the box I need to wire together:
- 9 white
- 9 neutral (or to the back of the box)
- 6 black
- red-black pair (from dimmer 1 to load 1)
- red-black pair (from dimmer 2 to load 2)
- red-black pair (from dimmer 3 to load 3)

There is a bit of room in the back of the 3-way switch, but obviously things are tight in the back of the three dimmers. I think it is doable with the Ideal push-in connectors.

I could shorten the cables to remove the slack so it fits better... but that could be a problem down the road so in general I try to avoid cutting my wires.
 
Attached Images   
  #13  
Old 03-20-16, 08:50 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,187
Received 475 Votes on 445 Posts
When you gang the boxes.... you take both sides off the inside two boxes. The device mounting screws line up the same exact way whether metal or plastic.
 
  #14  
Old 03-20-16, 10:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Inside, yes, but at both extremeties, I still have a metal plate and those sides have round "bumps" (see 2nd picture) that would require me to move the gypsum cutout (which is already done) since the metal box is fixed to a stud.
 
  #15  
Old 03-20-16, 10:34 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Notch the stud. The plate will cover it.
 
  #16  
Old 03-21-16, 06:20 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,978
Received 35 Votes on 30 Posts
Those bumps do not affect the spacing of the devices.
 
  #17  
Old 03-21-16, 08:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Indeed, I could notch the stud with a chisel; that's one option I am considering.

Today, I was also told about electric boxes used for masonry that are deeper and somewhat different (in the size of the holes to pass the electric wires in) that could be an option..?
 
  #18  
Old 03-21-16, 08:31 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,187
Received 475 Votes on 445 Posts
The boxes used for masonry only come with a few knockouts. Even if there were enough for your application you would need to use NM-b connectors for the cables. The connectors would make it hard to get the box in the wall too.
 
  #19  
Old 03-21-16, 08:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Indeed, you are right, the connectors would make it harder.

I'll give it a try with the Ideal push-in connectors and we will see how that goes. Maybe I'll post a picture here if I am successful.
 
  #20  
Old 05-11-16, 08:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Just to close this thread, I did manage to fit everything in with the Ideal push-in connectors. It was tight because the mFi dimmers take a lot of place, and I forgot to take a picture, but for others wondering, it is possible to fit all those wires using the push-in connectors.

Thanks all for help and suggestions.
 
  #21  
Old 05-11-16, 11:03 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Thanks for your update. Your thread may help someone else.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: