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Old 11-25-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


I have a double gang box in my kitchen with a double switch controling two lights and a single 3-way switch controlling four lights. I want to change the double switch to two single switches so I can make one a dimmer and change the 3 way to a 3 way with dimmer.
I plan on removing the two gang and replacing with a three gang box.
Changing out the current three way with a dimmer seems straightforward, but I'm not clear about how to wire the single switches replacing the double switch. There are a bunch of white wires in the box all tied together.
Would appreciate help on which wires go where to the new single switches (one a dimmer) The blue tape in the photo is just a marker to remind me which switch controls which light. The second attached image gives a close up of the white wires with red wirenut.
Thanks very much.Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles-boxdetailswitches.jpg
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


You will have to pigtail your hot (power coming into box) so you have 2 pigtails, one for each switch. All neutrals go together and your switch legs will go to each switch. So you will have 2 hots to each switch and each individual switch leg to each switch.

You said that the 3 war was no problem, so this is just to eliminate that double switch for 2 individual single pole switches. Good luck and i hope this helps you out

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Old 11-25-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


To eliminate the double switch:
You will need to pigtail your feed(power coming into the box) so you have 2 pigtails. (1 for each single pole switch) all your neutrals go together. Then each black from each lite will go to the new switches. Do each switch will have a hot fees and a switch leg.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


see if this helps. No ground wires shown for ease of drawing.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
see if this helps. No ground wires shown for ease of drawing.

LOL::: Good illustration to follow. Like that for any newbie.. or someone whos alil rough around edges, haven't worked with a project like this in some time/yrs!
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Thanks for the quick response. Few questions.

What do you mean by "Switch Leg"?

Can I just leave all the white neutrals already pigtailed together with the red wirenut?(#5 on new photo)

I've attached a new photo with numbers on the wires. Could give the instructions referencing where each of the numbered wires go?

THANKS!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by eddj View Post
Thanks for the quick response. Few questions.

What do you mean by "Switch Leg"?

Can I just leave all the white neutrals already pigtailed together with the red wirenut?(#5 on new photo)

I've attached a new photo with numbers on the wires. Could give the instructions referencing where each of the numbered wires go?

THANKS!!
No you can't leave the nut secured to the white(neutrals).. if replacing entire box to a triple "work repair box". You can use your pics as your marker to know the white wires ties back together.. once new box is installed.

Switch leg= the black wire in illustration showing the wires coming from the light unto the side/back of the switch.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


switch leg is the conductor which becomes hot when the switch is flipped on. In my diagram they are the conductors coming off the tops of eacg single pole switch
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Ok, this is based off of your newest photo:

Wires 1 & 2 are your switch legs. Wire 1 will go onto its own new switch along with wire 2 will go on its own new switch.

Your 2 hot pigtail will come off of wire 4, 1 pigtail to each new switch.

All neutrals will tie together (wire 5)

Re wire the 3 way switch as it is.

Good luck, hope this helps
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochsolid View Post
Ok, this is based off of your newest photo:

Wires 1 & 2 are your switch legs. Wire 1 will go onto its own new switch along with wire 2 will go on its own new switch.

Your 2 hot pigtail will come off of wire 4, 1 pigtail to each new switch.

All neutrals will tie together (wire 5)

Re wire the 3 way switch as it is.

Good luck, hope this helps
I agree, Rochsolid is correct.

What JuzRick was trying to say about the white wires is that you will have to take them apart to change out the box, but they will go back together exactly the way they are now in the new box. Same with the bare ground wires.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
see if this helps. No ground wires shown for ease of drawing.
WOW, that diagram is so helpful! Cob webs are beginning to clear. (I did a fair amount of electrical abt 40 years ago.)

Thank you all. I think I got it now. I may have to run out and get some wire for the wire from one of the new single switches to the pigtail.

Thanks again!

Last edited by eddj; 11-25-2012 at 03:21 PM. Reason: to take into account recent posts
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #12
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
You got it.
Don't use a wire from a usb cable, you need to use either 12 or 14 gauge solid, depending on what's there now. bring the pigtail to home depot or lowes and they can tell you what size it is, also you can buy as little as 1 foot of wire there.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:24 PM   #13
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by eddj View Post
WOW, that diagram is so helpful! Cob webs are beginning to clear. (I did a fair amount of electrical abt 40 years ago.)

Please confirm these understandings:

White neutrals are all set. No need to rewire anything there.

I can use the wire to the lights from the switches from the double switch. Just take them off and put them on the two new single pole switches.

I can use the power wire from the double switch for one of the new single switches and need to get another wire for the other single switch. Don't have any wire so will have to run out to get this unless I can use a wire from a heavy duty usb cable I have.

Thanks again!
That is correct. If the MC wire the same ampere as the existing.. yes that will work. If you got at least 12"in. of it you can divide the MC blacks in half- cut it.. then pigtail the.. connect them both to the hot.

You will then have two hots to feed unto both of the switches!

My error:: he did say usb cable... lol= Ooops!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Quote:
Originally Posted by TTW View Post
I agree, Rochsolid is correct.

What JuzRick was trying to say about the white wires is that you will have to take them apart to change out the box, but they will go back together exactly the way they are now in the new box. Same with the bare ground wires.
TTW: I appreciate the comprehension there. Thanks!!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Help Requested for Changing Double Switch to Two Singles


Thanks again for the help in changing the double switch to two single. Everything went well though changing the box to a three gang and pulling all the wires through took a lot longer than I was thinking it would.
After I got everything neat and tidy and working it occurred to me (and wife concurred) that it would be more convenient to have all my recessed lighting in the kitchen on the three way switch that is in this box, which I'm going to convert to a dimmer.
So my question is whether I can use the wiring from the single switch to tie it into the three way in the same box. Hammerlane's diagram posted above gives the current wiring. I won't need the three gang box if I can do this, but as it turns out functionally it will work better.
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