Ground Wires in a 3 Gang (Switch) Box


Old 09-06-01, 05:47 AM
MKM is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: USA
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I have a 3 gang box that will hold switches going to a wall sconce, a vent fan, and a recessed lighting fixture.

I have power coming into the box on an NM 14/2 with ground.

I have three NM 14/2 w/grounds leaving the box to the fixtures.

I will tie three black pigtails to the incoming black wire and run each of the pigtails to one side of a switch.

The three black outgoing wires will each be connected to the other side of a switch.

All four of the white wires will be tied together.

My question is about the ground wires.

My first thought was that I would need to tie together SEVEN ground wires (1 incoming, three outgoing, and then three more to pigtail to the switches).

Please tell me this is wrong, or tell me how to tie seven wires together - Do they make wirenuts big enough for this?.



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Old 09-06-01, 06:26 AM
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You will need to ground the switches. If the box is metallic you could tie to the box. 380-9(b)(1) permits the switch mounting screws to provide the required bonding for the switch if in a metallic box. You could take one long jumper for all three of the switches, meaning you would only have 5 wires in the wire nut. I don't know of any wire nuts listed for 7 #14 wires. You could use 2 wire nuts and jumper between them. Ideal #452 red wing nut is listed for 2-6 #14s.
Old 09-07-01, 12:09 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 536
You could use the metal crimp (barrel) connectors, which will accept at least 5 14-ga. wires. Take a length of bare 12-ga. wire about 8" long. Attach a 6" piece of 14-ga. wire to each switch ground screw. Crimp these 3 grounds to one end of the 12-ga. A few inches up, crimp the incoming ground and the 3 fixture grounds. If the box is metal, cut the excess off the 12-ga. wire and attach the remaining end to the box. If it's a plastic box, just cut off the excess.
Old 09-07-01, 02:12 PM
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As I understand it you have three switches and 4 Romex cables size 14 awg in a three gang device box. We don't know at this time if the box is metal or plastic. If this box is metal then cut the bare wires about 6" long coming out of the Romex cable sheathes. Cut a bare or preferrably a green insulated 14 awg wire about 10" long. Wire nut the four bares from the Romex cables and the long 10" green ground wire under the same red wire nut designed to accept at least 5 14 awg conductors. Then slice the insulation off in a section of the green wire in an area of that green wire and connect this wire to a green screw that is designed to be screwed into the back of that metal box, wrapping that bared section of the green wire around that green screw bonding the metal box. Then slide down the wire a piece and again strip a section of that wire that will easily reach the green screw of the first switch, wrap that wire around that screw and squeeze it tight and tighten that green switch screw. Slide down the green wire again and strip another section to connect to the second switch's green screw and again squeeze the wire tight around the screw and tighten that screw, then strip the end of that green wire and connect that end of that green wire to the last switch's green screw. You just daisy chained all metals to be bonded by that bare bonding wire connection in a manner requiring only 5 wires under your bonding wire nut connection of those bare wires coming into that box.

If you have a plastic box then omit the bonding to the box in the above suggestion.

Hope this helps

Old 09-07-01, 11:33 PM
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I wil usually make up a box with one long entry, and use it's g-wire in this situation under a greenie wire nut with the others. if it's short, i'll do as WG says..

Old 09-08-01, 02:51 PM
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Just remember that even though the "greenie" looks like a red in size it is only listed for 2-4 #14s while a red is listed for 2-6 #14s. In this case if the long wire out of the end of the "greenie" used to bond all of the switches it would be fine as there would only be 4 #14s in it.

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