Help with wiring multiple switches!

Help! I wanted to change a three switch box to a four switch box. I've swapped the box successfully, but now I need to reconnect the switches. I thought I eyeballed the connections before I undid them, but I can't seem to make them work properly.

The power comes into the switchbox first. All switches are powered by the same source. Each switch is supposed to operate independently.

I have connected all the ground wires together into one dreadlock.

What I have is incoming power - 1 black and 1 white.

I have three blacks going to the fixtures, and three whites going to the fixtures.

Each switch has had one black pigtail added to the silver screw, and a black pigtail coming off of the brass screw.

Total 4 whites, 4 blacks, and the six black pigtails.

Can anyone give me some guidance here?



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On Sat, 26 Jun 2004 04:28:52 GMT, r put forth the notion that...

Assuming they're all simple single pole switches, wire nut all your white wires together. Don't connect them to the switches. Now run the incoming black wire to one side of all the switches. You can do this by connecting a pigtail from each switch to the hot wire with a wire nut. Finally, connect one of the black wires going to each of the loads to the other side of each of the switches.

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Couldn't have said it better, myself. Don't have equipment grounding conductors, huh? The bare copper wires?

Reply to
Blue Crown
040626 0856 - Blue Crown posted:

The OP wrote: " I have connected all the ground wires together into one dreadlock."

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indago wrote in news:BD02F0D9.2B75%

Personally, I despise running a feed into a switch box, but, that's just me I guess.

Much prefer running the feed into the load box and running the switch legs out to the switch box. Makes things much simpler for the homeowner after you have left. (they change to a dimmer or something, they only have 1 white, and 1 black + gnd to deal with) Pigtail out of the lightbox connections to the load. Everything else in how it has to work is then in the background.

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Thanks for the reply. I will go to work on it.

I am not used to the feed coming in to the switch box. And the multiple switches just confused me more.


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It used to be quite common to run the feed (and usually pigtail to conductors running to other fixture outlets) to a light fixture outlet, and then a switchleg run to the switch location.

While electrically and functionally it's the same as running the feed to a switch box, there are a few drawbacks. Consider troubleshooting a dead circuit with feeds run to ceiling fixture outlets when someone has replaced the fixture with a monster the size and weight of a lawn mower, mounted a ceiling fan, or placed objects under the fixture that are next to impossible to move, or mounted three extension rings to the outlet box to accommodate remodeling. It usually isn't much of a consideration until service is required. Having the neutral in the switchbox is additionally handy where an indicating lamp, or other load device (timer etc.) is added at the switch location.

Next consider the feed run to a switchbox. Troubleshoot standing on your feet with no ladder required (can you spell thirteen foot ceiling? :-] ), no objects to move to gain access, etc. Most electricians (at least the ones under 50) I talk with hate to troubleshoot in a facility where the feeds are run to the fixture outlet.

Either way works electrically, but I believe in most cases I would prefer the feed to the switch location.


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Reply to
Louis Bybee

I agree with you regarding running source to the switch and not to the ceiling for more reasons. It is easier to add more lights to a room (ie under cabinet lights in a kitchen) if there is power at the switch location. Also, if you use florescent lights, you have to use special (ones with relays) automatic switches (such as timers or X-10) that require a neutral line.


Reply to
Jeff Prevett

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