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Old 01-29-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
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Switch wiring


I have a limited knowledge of wiring--enough to change a switch if everything looks as expected. I pulled out a light switch today and found an unexpected connection.

At one connection on the switch, the black, incoming current, wire is connected onto the side screw, and a red wire ( other end goes to an unswitched outlet) is plugged into the back at the same position. The rest of the connection at the switch made sense to me.
It seems like this double connection is using the switch as a bridge between the black and red to power the unswitched outlet. It has worked fine but I'm wondering is this safe/ to code?

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Old 01-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #3
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Switch wiring


You are correct that the switch is acting as a wire nut to connect the black to the red. Many would prefer to pigtail ta connection like that, but what you have is a code legal method. It will not be as reliable as a pigtail.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:05 PM   #4
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
You are correct that the switch is acting as a wire nut to connect the black to the red. Many would prefer to pigtail ta connection like that, but what you have is a code legal method. It will not be as reliable as a pigtail.

Hey Jim I don’t use the back stab at all. I am not disputing that using the switch as a wire nut is code. But why would they allow that?

Also there is an outlet on that switch, I don’t see a neutral. Am I missing something?

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Old 01-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
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The device have been tested to allow those connections by UL.

The problem is that they rely on a small area of spring material to make the connection which becomes less springy over time with heavy loading and starts to fail.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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The device have been tested to allow those connections by UL.

The problem is that they rely on a small area of spring material to make the connection which becomes less springy over time with heavy loading and starts to fail.
I have remove outlets for what ever reason and have had the back stabbed wire slide right out,
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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Switch wiring


Some cities do not allow back feeding of plugs/switches,they require everything to be pigtailed before the plug/switch
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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Some cities do not allow back feeding of plugs/switches,they require everything to be pigtailed before the plug/switch

the only way to go!

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