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Old 01-01-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Large homebuilders and quality


My brother in-law had two bad switches he needed repaired. His house in the Philly suburbs was built in 1992 by a very large home builder and was part of a 100 home development. I figured it would be an easy repair compared to working on my 1964 house with AC cabling and small boxes. Boy was I wrong. The switches were in a 2-gang box and a 3-gang box. First they must have spray primed the walls because you couldn't tell they were blue boxes unless you looked really hard. Also many of the wires were hit with paint as well making many of the wires look the same. In both cases they had the hot wire shared between multiple switches by looping the hot wire from switch to switch. They also had multiple 14awg wires on a single terminal. On one switch they even had used the back wire in addition to the two wires on a single terminal. Same for the ground - the ground wire was a single wire looped around the ground terminal on each switch.
So two boxes and both were a mess in my DIY opinion. After creating a few pigtails and a few wire nuts the switches were replaced and all was well.

Were my expectations too high that i would find a bunch of cleanly wired boxes? Wouldn't the homebuilder have to use licensed electricians? Wouldn't the inspector pick up on some of this goofy wiring? Am I just being too particular about how things should have been done versus things being done that violate the NEC code in place at that time?
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:22 PM   #2
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Large homebuilders and quality


Looping between switches is allowed
Over spray is a problem, but not the electricians fault
Multiple wires under a screw are not allowed as far as I know
...single terminal - as in a switch ?
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #3
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Single terminal as in a single screw on the switch. So it sounds like other than the multiple wires under a single screw everything else is more preference (i.e. pigtailing wires versus looping). I realize over-spraying is not the electricians fault just makes it more difficult to trace the wires by sight in the box as color is indistinctive at times.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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Large homebuilders and quality


the only way more than one wire on a screw would be ok is if it was a clamp.

yes the painters us off

remember the NEC is not a design manual, and is only a minimum standard.(to lenient in some cases)
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