I am running into an issue issue installing a 3-way and a dimmer switch into a 2 gang box. Both of the current switches seem to have a painted over connector (images below). Maybe I can get by with 2 WAGO 221 5 connector, but sort of confused on the best way to go about it. They painted the heck out of everything inside of the box it seems.

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I'm also quite nervous trying to push it all back into the box, the smart switches take up a lot more space.

  • 4 cables coming into the box, with 9 conductors. Grounds are 4 for the price of 1, so 10 conductors. Pigtails are free. Switches are yokes which count as 2 per yoke, so 14 "conductors". #14 wires get allocated 2 cubic inches so 28 cubic inches needed in box. If #12 it requires 2.25 ci, so 31.5 c.i. needed. The back of the box should be stamped with cubic inches, but honestly boxes of this size are typically that large. Aug 27, 2022 at 20:33
  • Thank you for the replay, but I'm confused, The current switches are analog (in the photos), but the new KASA smart switches I am looking to replace them with require the neutrals. Do I need to get a new connector that fits 5 neutral/white wires for each of the new switches? I'm not sure how to get the white wires out of the current connectors just yet, but have been looking at other questions and answers (and your reply here: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/238762/…)
    – Cable
    Aug 27, 2022 at 20:41

1 Answer 1


Clean off the wires enough to identify their color. If you see a black wire and it has white paint on it, just black it up with a sharpie to reduce confusion.

You can just attach to the pigtails already going to the switches. So that means you don't need to mess with hot splices.

For neutral, honestly... I would swap that 4-slot stab connector for a Wago 5-hole. Use one new pigtail wire + the 4 existing wires. (gonna have to buy that, most BETTER stores sell white solid THHN wire by the foot for like 20 cents). Then off that pigtail, attach your smart switch neutrals with any old thing, probably a yellow wire nut. Wire nuts don't take much space and we're talking milliamps of current.

The original contractor went with jab connectors because they're fast to assemble. They're not as good as a genuine Wago lever-nut, but not nearly as bad as backstabs. However, like backstabs, they are single-use and non-inspectable, which is a PITA when chasing a problem. You have to assume they are bad.

The most compact splice method by far is wire nuts.

  • Thank you! I think I understand. So the KASA switches have a neutral and ground out of the units, so I can just use a wire nut for each to the 4 white bundles or do i need to get a new pigtail coming from a 5 switch Waygo then wire nut to the new switch's neutral? Can the white bundles be broken up? https://i.imgur.com/lB9vwA6.jpg. I also see the lever nuts on Amazon if need be.
    – Cable
    Aug 27, 2022 at 21:11
  • There should only be 1 push-in connector with white wires on it. The other bundles are other colors of wire that have been painted white by nitwits. I warned you this would be confusing. Maybe take some time and remove that paint so you can see what you're doing. I would pull all 4 actually-white neutral wires out of the push connector and put them into a 5-port Wago, then add your new pigtail. Aug 27, 2022 at 21:15
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    @Cable as far FAKE Wagos and other cheap Cheese from overseas from shady 3rd party vendors off eBay, wish.com, BangGood and Amazon Marketplace... using that unsafe crud is between you and your Maker. Also your town inspector, insurance company, and mortgage lender. And that includes those Kasa switches. Are they UL Listed? (CSA or ETL is acceptable, CE is not). If not, return them as they are illegal to sell or use in the USA or Canada. That's why you don't see them in box stores and they're only sold mail order LOL. Aug 27, 2022 at 21:21
  • Thank you so much! OK, I will be sure to strip back some of the pain. I see what you are saying, the right most connector looks like the white one, and the left one seems to be the colored splices but will make doubly sure. Seems like I need to buy the Wago beforehand (Amazon) and will see if it has the appropriate markings per the manufacturer's website. The Kasa switches are UL listed. Seems like I will need the Wago or equivalent before I start moving things around, and figure out how to get the wiring out of the current "stab" connector.
    – Cable
    Aug 27, 2022 at 22:14
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    @Cable what, do you have a huge Amazon gift card you need to use up? 90% of Wagos on Amazon and 98% of all electrical gear on Amazon is Chinese garbage. Get it? Amazon=eBay. Our strongest recommendation is do not buy electrical gear on Amazon, buy it at real stores. Yes, I know you have Prime. So do I. Most retail shops do curbside and some do mail order. homedepot.com and lowes.com are safe supply. Aug 27, 2022 at 22:43

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