Basic Wiring Question

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jcheech, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. jcheech

    jcheech New Member

    Messages:
    8
    I am planning a new circuit. It will be a 15 amp circuit running from the panel to a four gang box. The circuit will power a bathroom fan and three light fixtures.

    In order to wire the four switches I'll need to make a pigtail from the line to each switch in the four gang box. That means I'll have four wires plus the line for a total of five wires in this single pigtail. Is this safe to do? Further, is it required that I twist all five wires together to make the pigtail or is it OK to align them with one another and twist a wire nut onto the end.

    Just need some help with the mechanics. Thanks,

    Joe
  2. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Your pigtail method is fine. That is exactly how I do it.

    As far as twisting, that is a highly contentious issue among electricians.
    Pre-twisting is not usually required, but most of us do it.

    I will just say, if you do not pre-twist the wires, and you remove the wire nut after, it should look like you did twist them. Understand?
  3. jcheech

    jcheech New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks, Pete. I'll have to practice on some scrap material first. I'm thnking it would be easier if i strip off more than 3/4" from each wire - say about 2 inches - twist them neatly and trim the whole thing down to the right length.

    Regards.
  4. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    650
    Location:
    Washington
    The boxes on at least some wire nuts say not to pre-twist the wires.
  5. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I'd like to see that. That would rule out ever buying that brand again.
    The only thing I have ever seen is where it says: Pre-twisting not necessary
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Good idea. I hold the bundle of wires with one pair of pliers, and twist with another, then trim the twist to length, nice and neat. Lately, I've been using some push-in splice blocks that I'm really beginning to like, especially for big bundles -- they come in up to eight-hole versions.
    Ideal push-ins.jpg
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    switches

    I would take a piece of wire about a foot long, strip several areas along its length then loop each bare section around one of the switch terminals, then wire nut the loose end to the hot lead. Eliminating a big ball of wires and giving a tight connection at the switches.
  8. jcheech

    jcheech New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Thanks everyone for the input. Mission accomplished! I created 4 12-inch strands of wire, stripped off about two inches from each one and twisted them together with the line feed, then i cut it down to length and put a wire nut on it. It was nice and tight and even looked like a seasoned pro did it.

    Thanks again.
  9. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Fremont, OH
    In cases like this, I prefer using the back-wired switches.(not the push-ins). You can jump from one switch to the other eliminating the "mess" of all that extra wire in the box.
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