Help with 3 gang switch change out

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-28-17, 09:55 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 891
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Help with 3 gang switch change out

Hi.

I opened up another switch that I want to replace the 3 old toggles out with 3 new rockers. It's a 1971 house, so I think these are the originals. Anyways, I opened it up today and I'm getting a little confused again.

This is a 3 gang switch box with:

One 3 way switch and two SP switches. I can see 4 cables coming into the box. TWO are 14/3 wire (red, black, white).

I don't really understand why there are TWO 14/3's in this box, but .... I'm not an electrician! LOL

Oh yeah - ALL THE NEUTRALS, save for one are PIGTAILED?! Isn't this a NO NO?

Here's some pics.

Also, to me the last SP switch is using all BLACKS, so it's obvious one must be being used a a neutral. Whoever wired this I'd say wasn't a great electrician? Is the bottom where all the wires come in on the SP switches the HOT?

Can you also see how they fed the POWER (i'm assuming it's hot) across the bottom of the two SP switches? What the heck?

I'm assuming at THE VERY LEAST I should make a PIGTAIL for the bottom black wires on the SP switches?

How do I determine the HOT on the 3 way switch again? I'm ASSUMING it's either the red or the black?

Name:  IMG_0864JPG.jpg
Views: 180
Size:  28.9 KB

Name:  IMG_0865JPG.jpg
Views: 173
Size:  29.9 KB

Name:  IMG_0866JPG.jpg
Views: 136
Size:  31.5 KB
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-28-17, 10:52 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,138
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
It would be normal for all the neutrals to be tied together. The only time they are not is when multiple circuits (on different circuit breakers) are involved.

White wires are *not* always neutrals, they are sometimes used for switch loops and as a current carrying conductor in three way circuits, which is what you have on the left. White wires used as current carrying conductors are supposed to be marked with colored tape or paint to indicate they are not neutrals, but this step is often skipped.

Neutrals are never switched and you will never see a neutral wire going to a standard (non timer or dimmer or wifi) switch.

So, with all that out of the way, just duplicate the wiring you see for the two single pole switches. Rather than run a jumper across to bring the power to both, it is better practice to use a wire nut to join short wires from the two switches with the wires from the cables.

On the three way switch, one screw will be a different color. Mark the wire that goes to that terminal and make sure to connect that wire to the black screw on the new switch. The other two wires can go to either terminal. Mark the white wire that goes to the three way switch with red or blue or black tape (anything but white or gray or green) to show it is not a neutral.

Good luck with your project!
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-17, 08:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 891
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Good luck with your project!
Thanks again for all the info!
 
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: