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Thread: Basic Wiring Question

  1. #1

    Default Basic Wiring Question

    I am planning a new circuit. It will be a 15 amp circuit running from the panel to a four gang box. The circuit will power a bathroom fan and three light fixtures.

    In order to wire the four switches I'll need to make a pigtail from the line to each switch in the four gang box. That means I'll have four wires plus the line for a total of five wires in this single pigtail. Is this safe to do? Further, is it required that I twist all five wires together to make the pigtail or is it OK to align them with one another and twist a wire nut onto the end.

    Just need some help with the mechanics. Thanks,

    Joe

  2. #2
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Your pigtail method is fine. That is exactly how I do it.

    As far as twisting, that is a highly contentious issue among electricians.
    Pre-twisting is not usually required, but most of us do it.

    I will just say, if you do not pre-twist the wires, and you remove the wire nut after, it should look like you did twist them. Understand?

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Pete. I'll have to practice on some scrap material first. I'm thnking it would be easier if i strip off more than 3/4" from each wire - say about 2 inches - twist them neatly and trim the whole thing down to the right length.

    Regards.
    - Joe

  4. #4
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    The boxes on at least some wire nuts say not to pre-twist the wires.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alternety View Post
    The boxes on at least some wire nuts say not to pre-twist the wires.
    I'd like to see that. That would rule out ever buying that brand again.
    The only thing I have ever seen is where it says: Pre-twisting not necessary

  6. #6
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcheech View Post
    Thanks, Pete. I'll have to practice on some scrap material first. I'm thnking it would be easier if i strip off more than 3/4" from each wire - say about 2 inches - twist them neatly and trim the whole thing down to the right length.
    Good idea. I hold the bundle of wires with one pair of pliers, and twist with another, then trim the twist to length, nice and neat. Lately, I've been using some push-in splice blocks that I'm really beginning to like, especially for big bundles -- they come in up to eight-hole versions.
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  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default switches

    I would take a piece of wire about a foot long, strip several areas along its length then loop each bare section around one of the switch terminals, then wire nut the loose end to the hot lead. Eliminating a big ball of wires and giving a tight connection at the switches.

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone for the input. Mission accomplished! I created 4 12-inch strands of wire, stripped off about two inches from each one and twisted them together with the line feed, then i cut it down to length and put a wire nut on it. It was nice and tight and even looked like a seasoned pro did it.

    Thanks again.
    - Joe

  9. #9
    In the Trades mattbee24's Avatar
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    In cases like this, I prefer using the back-wired switches.(not the push-ins). You can jump from one switch to the other eliminating the "mess" of all that extra wire in the box.

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