No Pigtail, Interesting Wiring,

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by molo, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. molo

    molo Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    Cold New York
    I noticed a method used to wire a switch and am wondering if it's safe.

    Power comes into the box and on that wire there is a 1/4" section removed. That section was secured under the switch screw and then continues on to bring power to the second switch.

    Is this safe? Should it be pigtailed?

    Thanks for any replys!
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Nov 20, 2008
    Chicago Illinois Licensed Plumber
    Chicago, IL
    I seen many electricians do this many times. Never thought much of it. But then I am no electrician.
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  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Jun 16, 2007
    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    NY State, USA
    I used to do it that way before I knew any better. Now I HATE that method.
    I pigtail a separate wire for each switch.
  5. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    In the olden days of solder, it would in some cases save a splice and would save time.

    Today, not so much.

    Occaisionally on a double duplex with a single cable in, I will use this method. Just leave a little extra wire, strip a bare spot and wrap them.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    For ganged switches it can save a lot of space, but does take more time.
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    It can also be a PITB when replacing a bad switch...
  8. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Apr 2, 2008
    I would think that would be fine so long as the bare portion of wire wrapped around the screw and had a good connection. And actually this would be a better connection than a pigtail/wire nut as it would be one contiguous piece of wire...

    However, try stripping a wire "in the middle" of a run. Not very easy. And the insulation wants to spring back to where it was to begin with. I would not mess with this myself.
  9. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Sep 5, 2008
    Code Enforcement, Instructor
    North Carolina
    This is quite a common method seen every day in the field. As far as safety there is no problem. If you are going to change a switch wired this way you should turn the power off to the circuit. Also its a good rule to always turn a circuit off when working on one. One should never work on live circuits.
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