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Old 01-22-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
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pig tailing switches


I am going to put four switches in my washroom. I have a four gauge device box. Now i want to pig tail the main hot wire to all the switches.

My question is, what is the trick to stripping the middle of the wire and to make it look neat?

I have done one pigtail to run power, but how exactly do i pigtail that same wire 4 times?

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:51 PM   #2
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pig tailing switches


It is called rabbit ears. All you need to do is get your wire stripper, not linesmans or dikes and Make sure the wire is really long coming out of the 4 gang box. Now take your wire strippers where you want to make the rabbit ear and squeeze and push the insulation towards the end if the wire i would say prob around 1/2 inch or a llitle more. Now put that around the screw terminal and move on to your next switch. just repeat the steps until you are done. you want to leave a little in between the switches for access but this should help you out.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
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You literally would have to cut four strips of wire, pigtail them all together with the hot coming into the box, and then connect the end of each to a switch. You can't strip the middle of a wire - against code. You can only strip and connect ends. I think stripping the middle of wires may have been allowed decades ago , but definitely not now.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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I see no reason to attempt to strip the insulation of out the middle of a cable. I have pigtailed six or seven wires together without having to do any fancy wirework. Make sure you have a correct size wire nut. Make sure all the cable ends are aligned when you twist the wire nut on. Make sure no wires can pull out easily.

I have found it useful to tie larger wire bundles together with electric tape prior adding the wire nut. This keeps the ends together when you twist the nut onto the bunch. Of course you need to keep the conductor exposed for the wire nut to make contact.

In your case you would have a bundle of five wires. One for the supply tied to four pigtails to each of the switches.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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It is legal. We pass inspections all the time doing this. less wire nuts and a lot cleaner in the box.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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Where does it say that in the code?
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by adpanko View Post
You literally would have to cut four strips of wire, pigtail them all together with the hot coming into the box, and then connect the end of each to a switch. You can't strip the middle of a wire - against code. You can only strip and connect ends. I think stripping the middle of wires may have been allowed decades ago , but definitely not now.
Not only legal, but IMHO a much cleaner way to wire multi-ganged switches.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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thanks chevy. I didn't know the term was called rabbit ears. So ill try that method of just squeezing the wire. Ive tried that method but i was never that good at doing it. I guess i just need more practice to get better at it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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The more you do it the better you get at it. Np and good luck.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:48 PM   #10
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It is legal. We pass inspections all the time doing this. less wire nuts and a lot cleaner in the box.
Yes inquiring minds want to know. Even in the Navy, this was a no no by MilSpecs.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:51 PM   #11
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I always keep lengths of scrap for this purpose. It gets harder when trying to pigtail #10 & #12. Just make sure that you are using the correct wirenut. I keep different ones in my bucket in the pouch, so that they are easily avail. It is better to get a bag or two of each one, just to have, because later on down the road, you never know when you will need them again for another job. Same for keeping spare switches and outlets, along with their covers in your parts bins.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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Yes inquiring minds want to know. Even in the Navy, this was a no no by MilSpecs.
well we arent in the navy now are we.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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Does not matter, what you orig. stated is not code by NEC, nor by local code offices. I hope that I never stay anywhere that you inspected.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:17 PM   #14
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Tell we where it says it in the code.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:33 PM   #15
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Are you talking about how I said to leave the wire reallylong? All i meant by that was so that he would have enough to work with. than he would trim the excess off. I am not going to waste my time with this. I have better things to do.

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