Single Gang Double-switch To Double Gang W/ Two Single Switches - Electrical - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #16
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My apologies Jim... I could have sworn the NEC included wire connectors for box fill. But now having chkd my 2011 & 2008 editions, you appear to be correct. It appears to be another NEC deficiency. (We certainly have the proovision in the CEC & ESC!)

Many split-bolt connectors, however, are listed for substantially more than two wires. All depends on the wire sizes.

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Why would you think that it is a deficiency? Perhaps the CEC goes overboard?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:55 PM   #17
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Because it can't be ignored that wire connectors take up space. Arguably more space in the US (under NEC) than Canada (CEC), considering the prevalence of 20A ckts and corresponding 12 AWG wire under the NEC. OTOH, voltage drop allowances under NEC are only recommended while under CEC they're mandatory.

Talk about a code going overboard, see the 2014 NEC! One wonders how many jurisdictions will [ever] adopt it, and when...

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Old 07-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #18
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To BK, a properly installed wire but will look no different than a pre-twisted connection under a wire but.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:22 AM   #19
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All -

OK, here are some pix of this completed light/fan switch conversion. A couple of things to note:

1 - I did not have the wire length to twist the four 12-gauge hot wires before applying the wire nut. I made sure the wire nut I used (the gray one) was the right size / was made to hold 4 12-gauge wires but (after cutting some extra wire and testing it out on a test wire nut and seeing how securely it fit) I simply stripped each wire back about 3/4", laid them neatly together (attempting to hold the bundle 2 wires wide and 2 wires tall) and screwed the wire nut on as firmly as I could. Not ideal in my opinion but I thought that was best given the reason above.

2 - Initially I wired the light switch (the one on the left) incorrectly. Notice that in the 2nd pix (#5) I have the black jumper wire (that comes from the 12-gauge four-wired nut mentioned above) going into the bottom side terminal. Wired this way the light switch did NOT work. I looked at the wiring diagram included with the switch, took a guess as to what wiring format I had (single-pole [which I knew] with the fixture (the light) at the end of the circuit [that was the guessing part]) and moved the hot jumper wire from the side terminal down to the "Neutral" terminal at the bottom of the switch (see the 3rd pix (# 6)) and now the light switch works as it should, including the dimmer. If anyone can tell my why a hot wire is supposed to be wired to a neutral terminal I'd appreciate it. All I can say is that is what's on the wiring diagram from the company and the switch now works. Strange.

To future DIYers that stumble on this page, the switches I used were:

- Light switch with dimmer: Cooper Aspire 9530WS-K (sometimes sold w/o the "K" at the end)
- Ceiling fan: Cooper Aspire 9501WS

I'm off to install a new outlet in the closet in preparation for painting this room!

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice, especially about the jumper wires!
Attached Thumbnails
Single Gang Double-switch to Double Gang w/ Two Single Switches-single-gang-double-switch-wiring-3.jpg   Single Gang Double-switch to Double Gang w/ Two Single Switches-single-gang-double-switch-wiring-5-wired-wrong-.jpg   Single Gang Double-switch to Double Gang w/ Two Single Switches-single-gang-double-switch-wiring-6-wired-right-.jpg   Single Gang Double-switch to Double Gang w/ Two Single Switches-single-gang-double-switch-wiring-7.jpg  
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:37 AM   #20
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The plastic box needs to be changed out. You have also lost the use of the conduit as the ground.

You should have left the original box and just added a second gang onto it.

What a mess, sorry.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #21
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The plastic box needs to be changed out. You have also lost the use of the conduit as the ground.

You should have left the original box and just added a second gang onto it.

What a mess, sorry.
Jim -

1st - Why does the plastic box need to be changed out? I'm remodeling, not new construction. How do you NOT add a plastic box in a remodeling project? And even if I could use a metal box how do you connect it to the original? That box was installed in 1971 when the house was built. I doubt there are metal boxes with the same design/have add-on capability. Pls explain.

2 - Yes, there's metal conduit but there was no ground wire at all from the conduit to the original switch. It worked fine for over 40 yrs that way. However, if heads will explode I could just install a ground wire from the switch to a metal screw-type expanding band put around the conduit. Thoughts?

Sorry you're disappointed but I'll tell you this, it works and is installed more neatly/precisely than any electrician in my town would do it. I know, I've hired them out before.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #22
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First, I am sorry to hear that all you have a hacks doing electrical work in your area.

The conduit and metal box were the ground. Now that there is no continuity that grounding is gone.

You could have added a new gangable metal box next to the old box. They are a standard size and have been for years. You would have had some drywall to repair.

The large gaps around the conduit can allow sparks to fall into the wall and start fires.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:30 AM   #23
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First, I am sorry to hear that all you have a hacks doing electrical work in your area.

The conduit and metal box were the ground. Now that there is no continuity that grounding is gone.

You could have added a new gangable metal box next to the old box. They are a standard size and have been for years. You would have had some drywall to repair.

The large gaps around the conduit can allow sparks to fall into the wall and start fires.
- Please explain how the conduit and metal box were the ground. I mean the only bare / exposed wiring before only connected/touched the old switch terminals and none of that was ground wiring. The wiring is (obviously) encased in plastic sheathing so even though it runs inside a metal conduit, there's no metal to metal connection so how was that grounded before? Not saying you're wrong, just not understanding you.

- Adding metal gangboxes to remodeling: OK, good to know. Didn't know you could do that. Would have been a lot easier.

- Gaps: Yeah, not my preference but I told my son to cut the lower hole and then had to leave to take care of something. I pride myself on precise work. I should have told my son EXACTLY what I wanted, he tends to rush things. If I'd have cut it myself I would have had a hole just large enough to fit the conduit and I would have then re-installed the metal conduit retaining nut. Like I said, I like precision and a job well done.

BTW, sparks. Why would sparks occur? That's obviously not normal in switch boxes.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #24
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The conduit was grounded by its connection to the panel
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:42 AM   #25
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The metal box and the conduits form the grounding system.
The switch was grounded by being screwed into the box.

Stuff happens with electrical and you could have a short inside the box with no way for it to trip the breaker.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #26
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The conduit was grounded by its connection to the panel
OK, so what about grounding it via a wire from the ground terminal to the upper conduit (which is still connected to the CB panel) by using an expanding, screw-type collar band?

And.....what is the likelihood of sparking?
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #27
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OK, so what about grounding it via a wire from the ground terminal to the upper conduit (which is still connected to the CB panel) by using an expanding, screw-type collar band?

And.....what is the likelihood of sparking?
You are rationalizing. That really needs to be torn out and corrected as others have suggested.

You also have disconnected the ground from anything downstream from this box.

If you had this inspected there is no AHJ anywhere who would approve this.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:59 AM   #28
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The metal box and the conduits form the grounding system.
The switch was grounded by being screwed into the box.

Stuff happens with electrical and you could have a short inside the box with no way for it to trip the breaker.
Grounding: OK, that makes sense now. I was thinking the wiring itself had to make contact with metal somewhere. Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:12 AM   #29
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You are rationalizing. That really needs to be torn out and corrected as others have suggested.

You also have disconnected the ground from anything downstream from this box.

If you had this inspected there is no AHJ anywhere who would approve this.
AHJ?

BTW, I am planning on at least eliminating the gaps around the conduit and grounding the switches. Did not know that electrical switches, etc "spark" (though no one has said how much of a likelihood that is....gotta be mighty, mighty rare) and as far as grounding goes, yes, I want to be safe. I'm working too bloody hard on this home to have it burn down. However, I see stuff all over this home that I didn't do that is not grounded. Not sure if I'll replace the entire box or not. Do you guys have something against plastic remodeling boxes? IF I used plastic again I think I'd go with the more expensive, heavy duty plastic boxes because they are more rigid / sturdy. They didn't have those in stock the day I bought the lighter weight plastic box.

Hindsight being 20/20 I would have simply added a metal box. Went to Lowe's today and though the home is over 40 yrs old, they had the same (add) boxes just like you guys said. Had no idea you could do remodel work with metal boxes. I learn something new every day.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:55 AM   #30
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AHJ Authority Having Jurisdiction ie: electrical inspector.

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience." apparently not
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