Switch Wiring Quit working

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Old 10-14-17, 05:57 PM
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Question Switch Wiring Quit working

So we don't get off on a side track, I'm an engineer with a second degree in electrical engineering, so I understand how house wiring works electrically. My house was wired by a person who knew nothing about electricity. One of several examples: He set all of the switches and outlet boxes flush with the studs, allowing no room for the wallboard. Electrically the wiring is a disaster area.

I have a wall switch that's intermittent. Upon investigation it appears the problem is at a wire-nut. This is the supply side. Power/voltage goes into the wire-nut but doesn't always come out. So, I removed the wire nut with the intention of replacing it. There are two wires coming in that twist together with one that goes the the switch. The return is only one lead and a wire-nut and it is no problem to change the wire-nut but doesn't need it. However, the two hot leads coming from the wall are too short for me to twist together with the one on the switch. I suspect the installer had the same problem and that's why it's intermittent.

My question is:
What do you do when the lead(s) coming from the wall are too short?
 
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Old 10-14-17, 06:35 PM
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You could try a polaris connector.
 
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Old 10-14-17, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

I have to confess I've never heard of a polaris connector. I assume the thing in the picture let too leads come in one end and somehow they're clamped to the connector then one lead can go into the other end and it gets clamped.

If this is correct, how do the wires get clamped/tightened to the connector and where do I get them?

The one in your picture looks like it's splicing coax. How long is the connector without wire?
 
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Old 10-14-17, 07:49 PM
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There is a set screw that tightens on the wire. There are many style. Home Depot and Amazon carry some. You might have to go to an electric supply to get exactly what you need. Never used them, never looked for them and am not having much luck finding ones that would work for your purpose at a reasonable price. Maybe my idea isn't good. Wait for the pros.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-14-17 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 10-15-17, 05:00 AM
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Not sure it will work for code but you could solder the wires and put wire nut over it.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 01:05 PM
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You could use wagos or ideal push-in connection blocks. Not my favorite choice but are UL listed.
Name:  pis.jpg
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Ideal 34 Yellow In-Sure 4-Port Connector - The Home Depot

PUSHWIRE® connector from WAGO, Series 773 WALL-NUTS®.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 04:08 PM
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By Jove I think you have it. Where can I get wagos for three wires and how big are they. I have to put it in an already crowded electrical box.

Update: I found and ordered them from Amazon
 

Last edited by i_am_jim; 10-15-17 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 10-21-17, 05:32 PM
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Exclamation

I got the Wago connectors and they connect the three wires and I then used one to replace the other wirenut. It turns out the wirenut connections weren't the problem. I've spent hours on this problem now. After replacing the wirenuts the switch worked when when pulled out of the box but quit working when buckled up. I must have done this 10 times trying different things. Nothing worked. My airhead sister-in-law said "I'd just replace the switch." As of now that seems to have fixed it. The screws on the switch were tight and it looked good. If it was the switch I guess I'll never know how it could work consistently outside the box and be intermittent inside. But, the problem was/is intermittent so I thought I had it fixed several times for it to just blink off again.

It troubles me there's no Ground wire in the box.

Comment: The first Wago I put on the three wires, the center wire wasn't secure so I replaced it with another Wago and all was well. I had to buy a sack of 10 so I had plenty to waste.
 
 

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