Multiple Switches In Same Box


  #1  
Old 10-26-05, 04:52 PM
FLASHPD
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Multiple Switches In Same Box

I have three switches in one box. Two switchs controls different lights and one controls a fan in a bathroom addition. Each of the three fixtures have their own 3-wire cable coming into the box. In addition there is the line and load cables (3-wire) coming into the box. Currently the black line and load wires are twisted with pigtail. All whites are twisted together. All grounds are twisted with a pig tail. This was all done by electrician. How do i now connect these wires to my three switches?
 
  #2  
Old 10-26-05, 05:04 PM
S
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I'm going to make the assumption that none of these is a three way switch. You hook up a hot black wire to the switch and then the black wire that goes to the light or fan it's supposed to run. Better safe than sorry, turn the power off at the breaker first.
 
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Old 10-26-05, 05:32 PM
FLASHPD
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Pigtails?

I only have one hot (black) wire coming from the Line/load pigtail. Do I need to add two more pigtails so that i can run one to each switch?
 
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Old 10-26-05, 05:56 PM
J
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I'm going to assume that by "3-wire cable" that you mean a cable with black, white and bare wires.

I am also going to assume that you have five such cables coming into the box (if I counted right).

So all five white wires should be connected together and pushed to the back of the box (as it is now).

Then all five bare wires must be connected together along with three bare pigtails, one to the green screw on each switch.

Then the black line and load wires must be connected to three black pigtails, one to a screw on each switch.

That leaves three black wires, one to each controlled fixture. These wires connect one each to the remaining screw on each switch.

You're going to need to be very neat and orderly if you want to get these wires all packed safely and neatly back into the box.
 
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Old 10-26-05, 06:26 PM
Crafty
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One Light, Two switches

I am attempting to add an additional switch on the other side of the kitchen for a total of one fixture with two switches. How to do so is my quandry.
 
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Old 10-26-05, 07:17 PM
J
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Run a three wire+ grnd cable from the existing switch to your new switch(SW2). Remove your existing switch and replace it with a three way switch(SW1)
Remove the two wires from your existing switch.
Connect one of them to the common of three way switch SW1.
Connect the other one to the black of the new cable.
Connect the white and red from new cable to the traveler screws of the new switch SW1.
At SW2 connect black to common screw and red and white to traveler screws.

Connect all grounds in to boxes if metal and switches.
 
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Old 10-26-05, 07:24 PM
C
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Originally Posted by Crafty
I am attempting to add an additional switch on the other side of the kitchen for a total of one fixture with two switches. How to do so is my quandry.

Edit: JOED's post is much simpler...Just do it his way.



You will need to purchase two three way switches and enough cable to run from the old switch location to the new. If this is a 20 amp circuit, the cable should be 12-3wg (black, red, white, and bare). If it is a 15 amp circuit, use 14-3wg.

Your current switch will be configured in one of two ways:

1. A switch loop. In this case, there are wires from exactly ONE cable connected to the switch. Usually this means a black wire and a white wire (possibly reidentified as a hot wire with electric tape or magic marker) are connected to the switch. NO other cables enter the box (unless there are additional switches and/or recepticals in the box).

2. Two cables enter the box, one bringing power to the switch, the other carrying power from the switch to the light. In this case, you will see two black wires connected to the switch, one from each cable. You will also see the two white wires connected together with a wirenut and pushed into the back of the box.


Here's how to do what you want:

Document EXACTLY how all the wires are connected currently. Remove the existing switch.

Run the new cable from the existing box to the new box (this is the hardest part of the whole job). I find that the easiest way to get a cable into an existing box without damaging the wall is to remove the old box (by destroying iif necessary), fishing the new cable down the wall, and bringing the new and old cables into an old work box which will then replace the old box--Make SURE that the hole for the box is not too big for an old work box.

Once you have a new box installed for the new switch, and the new cable running from the old box to the new, proceed as follows:


IF you have case one: Connect the white wire from the old cable to the white wire of the new cable with a wirenut. Connect the two ground wires to a bare pigtail (6" peice of bare wire from scrap) and connect the pigtail to the new switches green screw. Connect the black wire from the old cable to the COMMON screw on the new switch (this screw should be a different color than the other two screws). Connect the black wire of the new cable to either of the remaining screws on the new switch, and finally the red to the last remaining screw.

At the new box, connect the white wire to the COMMON screw, and the red and blacks to the remaining two screws (doesn't matter which goes to which).


IF you have case two: In this case, there are two existing cables, and one new. Determine which one feeds the switch by carefully testing which black & white pair will light up a tester with the breaker on (make sure no wires are touching while the breaker is on). Once this is determined, connect the black wire that is from the supply cable to the white wire of the new cable. Connect the two remaining whites (from the two original cables) together. Connect the remaining OLD black wire to the COMMON screw of the new switch. Connect the black wire of the new cable to either of the remaining screws on the new switch, and finally the red to the last remaining screw.

At the new box, connect the white wire to the COMMON screw, and the red and blacks to the remaining two screws (doesn't matter which goes to which).
 
 

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