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Old 03-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #1
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Can I use this switch??


I was thinking of using a switch like this to power the lights in my garage so I would be able to choose the amount of light I need.

However, if I install this switch in the current single gang box, wouldn't the box be overloaded? You can't have (4) 14-2 cables going into a single gang box can you? If not, how would you ever be able to use this switch in a single gang box??


Last edited by mopowers; 03-03-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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Edit...I want to re-think my answer before I post, but check out this article:
http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/home-...tions-2002.php
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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I am thinking that the minimum size box you can use for that switch + (4) 14-2 wires would be 22 cubic inches.

2 cubic inches for each of the 8 current-carrying wires = 16
2 cubic inches for all the ground wires together = 2
4 cubic inches for the switch itself = 4

Total: 22

Like this box:
http://www.smarthome.com/25401/Singl...-Inches/p.aspx
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:43 PM   #4
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you can use that switch. All you would need to make sure of is the box fill. you said you had four 14's correct? If so that would be 22 cubic inches. each 14 counts as 2 cubic inches. so you waould have 4 neutrals four hots and four grounds and 2 for the yoke. the grounds count as one so you would have 11 14's so 11 multiplied by 2 cu inches is 22. you would need a 22cu inch single gang box. This is only if you are using a plastic box. metal boxes are different because they can have clamps and other stuff too add to the calculation. Also pigtails do not count as box fill.

Last edited by Chevyman30571; 03-03-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #5
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Beat ya!!
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:51 PM   #6
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LOL. I type slow i have sausage fingers
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. How do I figure out what size box I currently have installed?
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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Plastic boxes will have the cubic inch capacity stamped in the box. Metal boxes use the chart in the NEC unless stamped with the capacity.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Thanks guys. How do I figure out what size box I currently have installed?
Many plastic boxes have a stamp at the inside-back of them indicating the size of the box is cubic inches. You'll likely find something along the lines of "18 cu.in.", with 20 and 22 being other common sizes.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! I'll have to see how big the current singe gang box is.

If it is too small, is there a way to take out an existing box without having to cut out sheetrock? The current box is nailed to the stud on the top and bottom of the box. That way, I can just install a 3 gang box with 3 separate switches.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
That way, I can just install a 3 gang box with 3 separate switches.
But those little triple switches are slick looking!
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
But those little triple switches are slick looking!
I know! Maybe I'll see if I can find an 'old work' single gang box that is 22ci at the local home depot or lowes.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:57 PM   #13
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One trick to remove the box is to use a hacksaw blade on the stud side and cut thru the nails. be careful so as to not cut any cables stapled close to the box.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopowers View Post
Thanks guys! I'll have to see how big the current singe gang box is.

If it is too small, is there a way to take out an existing box without having to cut out sheetrock? The current box is nailed to the stud on the top and bottom of the box. That way, I can just install a 3 gang box with 3 separate switches.
Just cut the hole for the 3 gang box, pop a pry bar and push that box to the side. Those nails will pull right out. You will have plenty of room in a 3 gang cutout to get the box out.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:21 AM   #15
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I hate anything more then a double box
I have one of the triple switches & the overhead fan/light switch in a double box

I usually only use the double switches



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