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Old 12-01-2008, 11:26 AM   #1
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Basic Wiring Diagram Questions


Hello.

i have a couple of things I'm not 100% sure about doing on this new circuit. It mainly has to do with box size and type/color and location of merits.

I live in Manitoba Canada if this helps. (also not all of my light switches have a ground screw so I'm assuming grounding to the metal box is sufficient because the switch is attached to the box?)


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Old 12-01-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Basic Wiring Diagram Questions


I'd say everything looks good to me. Looks like you have no more than 3-4 wires per yellow wire nut which is fine especially with 14 gauge wire. I can't say much on the box fill, but i'd say you are probably fine there as well. 2 1/2" deep boxes are pretty big and the number of wires coming in to each of those boxes is pretty minimal. The only one that may have some issues with box fill would be switch #2, 3 sets of 14-2 and a switch may be too crowded. Someone else who knows more about box fill will chime in soon i'm sure.

The light switches in a new install need to be properly grounded; just having the switches screwed in to the box does not nessecarily mean they are grounded. If this is all a new install you would need a ground wire to be pigtailed to both the switch and the box (if it is metal) and of course the rest of the wiring.

If you are replacing switches, the new switches must be grounded or you can put the entire circuit on a GFCI if there is no ground. Other option would be to install a non-metallic faceplate with nylon screws. There was a recent thread regarding this debate on grounding light switches, i'd suggest looking for that thread here if you need additional info on this topic.

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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How to I ground a switch that doesn't have the 3rd (green) screw?
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mfleming View Post
How to I ground a switch that doesn't have the 3rd (green) screw?
If the switches are self grounding and the boxes are metal than you just need to make sure the box is grounded. But in most cases you need to replace the switches with grounded switches, that is a switch with the ground screw. I have seen people wrap a bare ground around the mounting screws to ground it, however this method is not an acceptable means of grounding the switch.

Below is a picture of a self grounding switch with the proper contacts on the ends of the switch yoke. These are only acceptable with grounded metal boxes.

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
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I live downstream from all your cold weather, in Ontario. We have enough, so don't bother to send any more, thanks!
Your wiring looks to be good! I would suggest that you would use a switch box with expanded sides for the dimmer.
These always take up a lot of space!
Its my opinion that putting a ground screw on a switch was dreamed up by someone trying to look busy, while the boss was watching!
I'm unsure whether a ground on a switch is required in Manitoba, but I if it is required, it will likely be only if a terminal is provided.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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How to I ground a switch that doesn't have the 3rd (green) screw?
You don't. You are not required to ground switches.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
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2-1/2" deep boxes are NOT very deep and you really need to be aware of box fill.
In the US, a 12.5 cu/in box with three 14/2's and a device is WAY over filled at 18 cu/in. So is your 16 cu/in box.

Six conductors;
Two counts for a device;
One count for all the grounds;
Equals nine conductor counts.
Each #14 counts as 2 cu/in.
2x9 = 18 cu/in
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:45 PM   #8
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can you even put a 3" deep box in a 2x4 wall? I'll check my existing stuff but I think its all 2-1/2" 16cuin box with 3 - #14 wires.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:48 PM   #9
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The 16 cu in boxes will useally not cut in much at all and you should able get at least 20 cu in single gang box they are pretty deep and serve most useage.

However due the OP is in Cananda there is one more step to determed the box size that not only count the conductors but they will count the wire nuts ( Marttres {sp} ) as well.

Merci,Marc
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:30 AM   #10
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can you even put a 3" deep box in a 2x4 wall?
Sure. Why couldn't you? You have 4" to work with.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:18 AM   #11
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I checked some of my existing boxes. 1 box I found was the same as mine 16cuin and it had 1 - 14/3, 2-14/2 and it was built in 2007 and passed so I'm assuming we have different codes here or the inspector mist it. Anyways I can't even buy the 3" 18cu.in boxes at HD or Rona (even though its on their website) so for the dimmer box I used two 12.5cu.in 2-1/2"deep gang boxes and the because of the large size of the dimmer switch and for switch#2 I'll just use a 16cuin box.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
2-1/2" deep boxes are NOT very deep and you really need to be aware of box fill.
In the US, a 12.5 cu/in box with three 14/2's and a device is WAY over filled at 18 cu/in. So is your 16 cu/in box.

Six conductors;
Two counts for a device;
One count for all the grounds;
Equals nine conductor counts.
Each #14 counts as 2 cu/in.
2x9 = 18 cu/in
I Canada we don't count bare wires, so grounds don't count. We do count wire nuts. One count for every 2 nuts. So 1 nut count 0, 2-3 nuts count 1.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:05 PM   #13
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So what I have should work?

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