I am replacing a double set of single pole wall switches. One switch controls a ceiling fan and another controls the fan lighting.

There are 4 runs of romex terminating in the box, 1 from the fan/light and the other three from other parts of the circuit.

The fan switch has the black wire from the fan stabbed at the top of the switch and at the bottom there are two black wires, one is stabbed in and the other is stripped in the middle, wrapped around the terminal screw and then run to the other switch.

The light switch has the red wire from the fan's light fixture stabbed at the top and at the bottom the black wire from the other switch is stabbed in and the third black wire is hooked to the screw.

Does this make sense? Why would the electrician have run the black to one switch and then the other?

I cannot use the backstabs in the replacement switches as they don't accept 12 gauge wire. I had a couple of ideas on how to rewire these:

  1. Use an Ideal In-Sure 5 port connector and run two pigtails one to each switch terminal. These don't seem to be sold at home stores and they are quite pricey.

  2. Using an Ideal In-Sure 4 port connector connect the 3 hot wires and a single pigtail which would run to an Ideal In-Sure 3 port connector where two pigtails would then run one to each switch terminal.

Neither of these options seem like great ideas, can anyone provide some advice?

1 Answer 1


Whoever wired this was trying to cheap out on wire nuts and pigtails in a sloppy/cheap way instead of doing a proper pigtailing job -- "through wiring" a terminal screw like that is not considered proper workmanship and also violates the device's listing.

What I would do is use a 6-port push-in type connector (Ideal In-Sure, Wago connector, or equivalent device) as the unused port is finger safe, and then pigtail to each switch terminal. (The 6-port type seems to be much more commonly stocked than the 5-port is.)

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