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Old 11-06-2010, 04:21 AM   #1
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Hi -
I feel I know a decent amount about electrical work. I worked for an electrical for about a year, but that was 10 years ago. I bought a house a few months ago and i have been updating it. Its a 70's house so the electical is outdated. I just got done remodeling my kitchen and this week i have been installing recessed lighting. Every possible issue came up. 2x6 ceiling, wires running directly above the holes i drilled, the circuit runs the plugs in the home office. I think i have most of the issues worked out. My total wattage is still below 1400 as it it 14/2. My question is as follows. I added the recessed lights so i wanted a new circuit. I bought a dual slider and was going to put in into my 2 gang box. Turns out they used this box as a junction box. 5 wires are coming in already. I think as it its over the capacity. I bought a 3 gang box and will have three switches. However, i have never had a situation where i had more then 5 wires in a wire nut. My solution was to create two pigtails for the hot wire by doing the following:
Since i am using three dimmers, Two have wires only and the other one has screws. I am going to use the screw to feed power and the push in to pigtail to the other two plugs. Doing this i will only have 5 wires in my black pigtail and the neutral should be fine as well. Does this make sense?

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Old 11-06-2010, 07:50 AM   #2
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I am not confident I am following, but I have learned a few things from this forum:

- it is bad to use the screw terminal on a switch to tie wires together. I am not certain that this is what you propose, but it sounds as if it might be. In my house, I have seen supply wires with insulation stripped mid-way towards the end, connected at the switch, leaving the remaining wire for use as a pigtail. I don't know if it is code, but it struck me as a safe option.
- there is a fill limit for wires and connections and devices for any given box. I believe it is based on volume of the box. What are the dimensions of yours (including depth)? Hopefully, one smarter than I can opine whether you have exceeded this.

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #3
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The box is big and deep capacity isnt a problem. I have a total of 6 wires in the box.
3 are wires to devices
1 is of course power
and the other two go to another room

I am using three dimmer, still have a lot of room
6 = wires = 12
ground = 1
dimmers = 6, i think

the box can go to 27.

What i am trying to do is find the best way to avoid having to many wires on a wire nut. The black wire would use up to 9 wires which is too many. I am trying to use two pig tail or run a jumper from switch to switch to cut down on the number of wires in the wire nut.

The white will have 6 wires, i think that is the max for 14-2, should i double pigtail this so i have 3 and 3 in a wire nut?
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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I have seen, in my house, cases where a short section of insulation was removed from midway on a wire. This bare section was mounted under a device screw terminal, with the remaining wire continuing on to another device. I can't comment on whether that is code-compliant, but it seems to me a nice trick.

Perhaps something like that will reduce the number of wires in a wire nut. Otherwise, your suggested approach is one that I would take.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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What you propsoe is fine.
A note on dimmers.
As you add dimmers to the same box, they must be derated.
3 600 watt dimmers in the same box should be derated to 300 or 400 watts.
What is the total wattage each dimmers will have on it?
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