I'm changing my switches and sockets at an apartment I bought, but I have serious problems with the way they are currently wired. Let me give you two examples:

  1. 1 way, 4 gang switch wired as:
  • 1 hot wire going into the first switch
  • 3 jumper wires from the line terminal of the first switch to the other three line terminals on the other 3 switches. This means there are 2 wires going in and out of every line terminal (which I don't like).
  • rest is wired OK with the load lines leaving the switches and ground wires connected to the screw inside the metal box.
  1. Socket connected as:
  • 2 hot wires going in the line terminal of the socket (I suspect one wire continues on to another socket)
  • 2 neutral wires going in the neutral terminal of the socket
  • 2 ground wires in the ground terminal.

Now, I don't really like having multiple wires going into the same terminal of switches and sockets. So I wanted to get some wire nuts and rewire as this:

  1. For the switch:
  • screwcap the hot wire coming from the box and pigtail 4 wires to the line terminals of each switch. Can I actually do a pigtail with 5 wires or should I do 4 + 3, ie hot + line1 + line2 + connection to 2nd screwcap, and then connection to 1st screwcap + line3 + line4?
  1. For the socket:
  • screwcap hot, neutral, and ground wires, and have one pigtail each to the socket.

Many thanks!

1 Answer 1


2 ground wires in the ground terminal.

This is a violation of NEC 250.148(B).

Everything else you've described depends on the type and arrangement of terminals. The cheaper screw terminals only allow one wire each. Backstabs and clamps can allow more wires.

Can I actually do a pigtail with 5 wires

It depends on the wire nut. The best ones come with a list of approved wire combinations. Five is usually near the upper limit of the larger wire nuts. I'll point out that it also depends on wire size. Trying to get a full twist in 5+ parallel 12 ga wires and then fitting that mess back into the box is not an easy task.

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