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I'm replacing an electrical box in my bathroom that connects to both a vanity light and a fan. The idea is to put in a GFCI outlet and a duplex switch for separate light/fan switching.

Right now I'm stuck on grounding:

I have three ground wires coming into the box (line, light, fan). Plus one to ground the box itself, plus one each to the GFCI and the switch. That's 6x12 AWG wires that all need to be connected.

How do I connect that many wires? The largest readily-available wire connector (red) is rated for 4x12 AWG.

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First off, you do not need a separate tail to the box itself. Typically we'll wrap one of the grounds around the box grounding screw then on to the splice.

Personally, I use ground crimps. I twist all the grounds at the point I want the crimp, then I leave tails for the number of devices in the box, and cut the rest off right at the crimp spot, then put on the crimp. Now each device has its own tail and the spice is nice and neat and small.

Another option is to use a green wire nut, the one with the hole in the end. Twist, and them cut off all but one long tail and put the wire nut on. This tail will go to one device then on to the next in one continuous piece.

  • 1
    Thanks, great answer. I tried the two-nut solution mentioned by Craig, but if I need to redo it this is a good suggestion. – Joel Mar 30 '15 at 20:24
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I'm a HUGE fan of Wago's "Wall-Nuts" ...

They exceed all NEC pull-out tests and they're much more secure than the crappy wire nuts everyone has been using since plastic was invented. And they come in up to 8-port. There are 6-port versions as well just not pictured.

wago wall nuts

  • Where do you get them from? – wallyk Mar 29 '15 at 17:56
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If you search the IDEAL Connector UL Listed Wire Combinations (pdf) document for "6 #12", you'll find they offer a few twist-on wire connectors that can handle six 12 AWG conductors. Like the Wing-Nut 454 Wire Connector

Wing-Nut 454 Wire Connector
(source: idealind.com)

If you're only working with grounding conductors, IDEAL also has Splice Cap Crimp Connectors that can handle six 12 AWG conductors.

Splice Cap Crimp Connectors http://www.idealind.com/media/img/product/medium/2011S.jpg

Though you'll need a crimp tool to work with these.

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The Wall-Nuts gadgets are a handy option.

Another option is to just cut a length of bare copper #12, pigtail it to 3 of the ground wires with a red wire nut, then connect it to the remaining 3 ground wires with another red wire nut. Mission accomplished.

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