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I'm replacing a few light switches to new WeMo smart switches. The instructions show the neutral wire from the new switch connecting to the existing neutral wire.

I have an outlet with 2 switches and 4 existing neutral wires. The 2 additional neutral wires (one from each new switch) will make 6 total wires. This seems like too much to crush into a connector.

Can I connect 3 and 3 separately, or do all 6 need to connect together?

migrated from electronics.stackexchange.com Mar 26 '16 at 22:29

This question came from our site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

  • Welcome to EE.SE. We don't know what WeMo smart switches are. We like links. We like schematics. We like photos when they're relevant. There's a schematic button and an image button on the editor toolbar ... – Transistor Mar 26 '16 at 18:44
  • Also, if this is about wiring in your home or some other building, home improvement is probably a better place to ask about it. (But don't cross-post, flag your own question and ask the mods to migrate it). – The Photon Mar 26 '16 at 21:52
  • If you're using wire nuts, they're available in a variety of sizes, accommodating different combinations of wires. At least one type is able to take 6 #12 wires. – The Photon Mar 26 '16 at 21:58
  • If the reason you have 4 existing neutral wires is that you have two feed lines, you only need to connect the neutral wire from one switch and that switch's load to the neutral of each feed line. – The Photon Mar 26 '16 at 22:01
  • Thanks for the tips! Great information so far - it's my first time on here. I'll add a WeMo link. – JGDev Mar 27 '16 at 19:53
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So you have 6 neutrals: supply, neutral to two lamps, and pigtails from the outlet and 2 switches.

If your wire-nuts are not certified for 6 wires, you can use a 6” jumper and nut them 3 and 3 (well, 4 and 4 with the jumper).

Now this will come up if you have two hots coming from the breaker box: Every neutral has a partner "hot" - that's most obvious in Romex 14/2 where you have a white and a black. These are monogamous partners: hots do not share their neutrals with other hots. The reason is circuit protection. If a neutral wire breaks, you want the circuit to go dark, you do not want another neutral to be overloaded trying to handle double load. Neutrals do not have circuit breakers. So if you have two hots, you must be careful to keep the neutrals paired with the hots everywhere they go, so all the current always returns on the partner neutral. This is mandatory with GFCI breakers, since they compare current flow on hot vs neutral to detect leakage.

It is OK to tie grounds together.

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Except in very rare situations, all neutral wires in a box must be connected. The neutral is how the current flows back to the supply, so if you don't connect a neutral to one fitting it won't work.

You could connect three in one connector, then three in another, and have a link between the two. But it should be possible to do six in one.

Beware that not all white/grey wires are necessarily neutral.

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