My wiring job.

Hi,
Just wondering whether I did something obviously wrong in my wiring job:
http://freeboundaries.com/Wires.jpg
It's probably not easy to tell much from a picture like that, but maybe there is something obvious that I missed. Facing you is a box with a three way switch for the ceiling light, a double switch for two outdoor lights and an outlet. On the other side of the wall there are four switches controlling a fan/heater/night light/light combination. The fan is actually on a timer. The 12 guage is the power for the heater on a 20amp circuit.
Many thanks in advance,
Aaron
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I can't see any of your splices inside of the boxes so I can't comment on that. Otherwise it looks like a neat job, but you only needed to use one ground clip and then splice all of the other ground wires together with the wire from the clip. A ground screw in the back of the box would have sufficed as well. From the angle of the photo I cannot tell how big that wood is. It looks to me like you need safety plates, but if those are 2" x 4"s you should be okay.
Did you figure out the box fill for the number of conductors and devices?
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It looks to me like they're shallow gems , (cut in's no less) mounted on 2x2's with no staples or nail plates. The boxes may be over stuffed, and there's no way the drywall is going to fit tight enough unless he uses goof plates, but it is indeed neat.

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Hi,
The boxes are 3x2x2 so, in the three gang, I am allowed 3*(5-2) = 9 #14 wires is that correct?
Why do you say I don't need ears? I'm putting screws through the ears to secure the boxes to the wood. What other way to I have to secure them?
What a goof plates? I'll bend the ears slightly while mounting the drywall and then bend them back. Also, I can always use two pieces of drywall, one from above, one from below.
Thanks again!
Aaron
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On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 06:42:51 -0700 (PDT), Aaron Fude

You deduct 4" for each device and 2" for each wire. Total is 36cuin. 3 devices and 15 wires is what I come up with.

If they are secure, that is all the code asks for.

When wire goes through bored holes it must be 1.25" behind the face of the stud, otherwise you have to nail up a protective plate to stop drywall; nails/screws ... or he means you need a bigger cover to conceal the hole but since you haven't hung the drywall jet, we don't know that. You should be able to bring the drywall right up to the lip of the box

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I didn't see in the photograph the screws holding the boxes to the wood and was wondering how you secured them. Normally the ears on the box are for supporting the box against the drywall for old work. However in your case you are using them for old work and need the ears for mounting. On some brands the ears are adjustable or you can turn them around so that the box protrudes 1/2" for the drywall, but the ears can be flat against the wood. Look on the top and bottom of each box and you should see screws holding them on. Doing this will enable you to cut smaller holes for your electrical boxes. Once the drywall is in place and painted you will then install your devices which will be supported against the drywall if you cut the holes tight enough. If your holes are too big your devices will not rest against a solid surface and your holes may be too big to be covered by a standard wall plate. In which case you will need to install an oversized wall plate which is also known as a "Goof plate".
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On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 17:13:13 -0700 (PDT), Aaron Fude

You used cut in boxes on the unfinished side. That will make it hard on the dry wall guys. I would have used a deep 3 gang box with plaster ring.
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Aaron Fude wrote:

Just B4 it enters the box, wire should have some loop(7 inch or so extra length). Now if womething happens to the wire inside the box, can you pull it to hook it upto switches, dimmers, etc.? Probably that is per code.
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Hi,
Thanks to all who replied.
To give you more information, this is a very shallow wall, where I only have 1.5" to play with, that's why I used those boxes. I _am_ the "drywall guys". Should I redo the grounds or leave them as is? (It seems that the proposed way is easier, but this is more versatile since one doesn't need to untangle grounds if something happens.) Are safety plates those metal plates that you put on studs to prevent nails from going into wires? In that case, can I slip them in on the "other" side b/w the drywall and the wood? Finally, is the slack just ouside the box a requirement? I actually leave about 10" of unsheathed slack inside the box - I think that's plenty for changes going forward. Also, I must confess that I use and really like those Ideal push-in connectors. They are very economic in terms of space and if I ever need to redo something, I only lose 5/8" of wire at a time. I find that when I use twist on connectors and I ned to redo something, I feel compelled to cut-off the previously twisted part which usually loses me closer to 1".
Once again, thanks a lot! Sounds like I didn't totally blow it!
Aaron
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wrote:

Hi,
Thanks to all who replied.
To give you more information, this is a very shallow wall, where I only have 1.5" to play with, that's why I used those boxes. I _am_ the "drywall guys". Should I redo the grounds or leave them as is? (It seems that the proposed way is easier, but this is more versatile since one doesn't need to untangle grounds if something happens.) Are safety plates those metal plates that you put on studs to prevent nails from going into wires? In that case, can I slip them in on the "other" side b/w the drywall and the wood? Finally, is the slack just ouside the box a requirement? I actually leave about 10" of unsheathed slack inside the box - I think that's plenty for changes going forward. Also, I must confess that I use and really like those Ideal push-in connectors. They are very economic in terms of space and if I ever need to redo something, I only lose 5/8" of wire at a time. I find that when I use twist on connectors and I ned to redo something, I feel compelled to cut-off the previously twisted part which usually loses me closer to 1".
Once again, thanks a lot! Sounds like I didn't totally blow it!
Aaron
A 3" x 2" x 1.5" switch box can only have 3 #14 conductors or 3 #12 conductors. A 3" x 2" x 2" switch box can only have 5 #14's or 4 #12's. For each device you must deduct 2 conductors. Are your boxes are overloaded?
Since you are the drywall guy, it will be easier to get a better fit if you remove the devices installed in the boxes and also remove the ears on the boxes as they are not needed for this type of installation.
Safety plates are to prevent nails and screws from penetrating the wire. They have raised tabs on them for nailing purposes so it would be difficult to slip them between wallboard and a stud. You could try something like 4" square blank covers to slip in.
An extra loop outside of the box is not a requirement, but not a bad idea though the cable needs to be secured within 12 inches of the box. In your case since the cable passes through the wood studs so close to the boxes, additional stapling is probably not necessary.
As far as the grounds are concerned, I am not sure if that is an approved method of joining them together. Wait and see what the inspector says.
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and
Yes, the triple 3x2x2 can handle 9 #14s plus the 3 devices. And you have 4 wires going into the box, so if they are all 14/2, you have 4*2 + 1 allowance for the grounds = 9 allowances. But you say that there is a three way switch, so one of those wires must be a 14/3. Now you are up to 10 allowances and the box is overfilled.
As to the quadruple box below, it has a volume of 40 in^3. If all of the cables going into the box are 2 conductor (plus ground), you have (3) 14/2s and (2) 12/2s. So that's 6*2 (the 14/2s) + 4*2.25 (the 12/2s) + 1*2.25 (all the grounds) + 3*2*2 (the 3 switches with 14s) + 2*2.25 (the switch with the 12s) = 39.75 in^3. So it just works--as long as you don't have any internal wire clamps.
BTW, is the fan/heater/night light/light all on one circuit? Just curious.
Cheers, Wayne
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Thanis Wayne!
One final question.
What good would slack outside the box do me, since the romex anchors have bolts tightened outside the electrical box and they would be inaccessible?
Thanks.
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IMO, slack outside the box isn't a big deal and isn't worth redoing the job. Box overfill or not running the neutral conductor with the hot conductor would be reasons to redo the job. It seems like either the upper box is overfull, or you are running your 3-way switch travelers on 14/2 and getting your neutral elsewhere. In either case that's a problem.
To answer your question, if you need more cable in the box, then if there is no slack you have to add a junction box or rerun the whole thing. If you have slack outside the box but tightened, you'd have to open the wall to get it, but that would probably still be easier and involve less damage than the alternative. But with 10" of wire in the box, you probably won't ever need more.
Yours, Wayne
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On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 17:13:13 -0700 (PDT), Aaron Fude

If you re cut the top of your sheet rock opening level, you should be able to replace the sheet rock using one piece. Putting the patch back will be much easier if existing cut is square and level. You have done a good job of framing for the patch. It might not even be necessary to screw the sheet rock anywhere except on the outermost studs.
If the wall is only 1.5 then you are going to have a big risk of putting screws into the wire. I would mark on the existing walls where I could put a couple of screws in the patch and protect the wires with metal plates..
Also, as has been suggested, take the switches out (not loose) and take the ears off the boxes. Cut 6 V shaped notches in the patch for the screws.
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Hi, thanks so much for the advice, I really appreciate it.
Are you talking about the screws that connect the devices to the box? I feel that I need to secure the box to the wood and I was plannig to do it through the ears of the boxes. If I remove those ears, what will I put the screws through?
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dunno. I would have mounted the box before I put any wire in it. I didn't know your box was not supported.
So I guess your plan is to put the sheet rock in in pieces? That means lots of screws near your wiring.
Good luck
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