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Bypassing wall switch, recommendation by EE but I'm concerned

Bypassing wall switch, recommendation by EE but I'm concerned

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Old 04-02-20, 09:54 AM
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Bypassing wall switch, recommendation by EE but I'm concerned

First posting, thanks for your patience. In TN.
I have a wall switch I'd like to bypass. It has a hot coming in, piggybacked by a wire supplying lighting in a bathroom. The switch operates two outside floodlights that I want to change to always on for security cameras. There is fifth wire that has no known function but is switched. Connecting all the wires together with a nut seems unsafe. I have been advised to bypass the switch with a single wire connecting the switch screws. Is this safe?
 
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Old 04-02-20, 10:27 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It is perfectly acceptable to remove all the wires from the switch and connect them together in one splice. Connecting across the screws with a piece of wire may be a little awkward.
 
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Old 04-02-20, 01:20 PM
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You just need a properly sized wire nut.
 
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Old 04-02-20, 01:46 PM
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Remove switch entirely then put blank plate over the box.
 
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Old 04-02-20, 01:53 PM
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A jumper on the switch would be against code since it would mean two wires under each screw. Two wires is not permitted. Remove the wires and connect with a proper size wire nut.
 
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Old 04-03-20, 08:34 AM
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I have been advised to bypass the switch with a single wire connecting the switch screws. Is this safe?
I wouldn't eliminate the switch, but would replace it with a keyed switch and leave the switch in the "On" position for operation of the cameras. The keyed switch would be a convenient disconnect in the event the cameras need servicing.
 
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Old 04-03-20, 10:18 AM
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The short answer is yes, it's safe to use a wire nut (assuming the current situation is safe). When the switch is in the 'on' position, current flows through all 5 wires (hot coming in, hot to bathroom, two hots to floodlight, one unknown hot). Combining the 5 wires into a splice with a wire nut has the exact same effect as turning the switch on.
 
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Old 04-03-20, 10:26 AM
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I like Joe's idea. Use the keyed switch or get one of those switch shields.
 
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Old 04-06-20, 04:13 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the excellent responses! I spliced the wires with a nut. Interestingly enough, while working on this switch I noticed that one of the adjoining switches in the same group sparked when thrown. I turned breaker back off and noticed every wire going to it was loose, including the ground. I tightened them. This house is 16 yrs old. Can screws loosen? Do I need to go through every switch in the house to check them now? Thanks again!
 
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Old 04-06-20, 02:43 PM
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Can screws loosen? Do I need to go through every switch in the house to check them now?
Normally, no. If the wire is aluminum they can get loose from the wire heating up and cooling down, over and over. I suspect it was not properly tightened in the first place. It might be a good idea to check a random few to see if there are any more that are loose.
 
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