How to Wire a Triple Light Switch

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Things You'll Need

  • Voltage tester

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Wire stripper

  • Screwdriver

  • Triple switch and matching cover

  • Wire-nuts

Add a triple-switch to control your lighting.

The basic concept of a triple-gang switch is simply three individual switches stacked on top of one another. The triple-switch is convenient because it only requires a single-gang box instead of a triple-gang box. The switches are mounted one above the other, and the switch activates by moving the button horizontally instead of vertically. A double-gang switch is also available.

Step 1

The switch-box you will be using will have four black and/or red wires inside. One of the wires is the power feed. It is also called the "hot-wire." The remaining three go to the three light fixtures that the switches will control. They are called "switch-legs." Use the voltage tester to determine the hot wire before turning off the power. It is the only powered wire when the main-breaker is on.

Step 2

Turn off the main-breaker. Put a piece of tape over it to prevent someone from turning it on.

Step 3

Strip the three switch-leg wires 1/2 inch from the ends. If the switch has push-in connectors, push the wires into the three slots labeled "load." If it does not have push-in connectors, use the needle-nose pliers to bend the end of the wires into a loop and insert them under the "load" screws. Tighten the screws firmly.

Step 4

Strip the insulation on the hot-wire 1/2 inch from the end. Look on the "line" side of the switch and see if there are small metal jumpers connecting the three terminals. If there are, push the hot-wire into any of the three "line" slots. If they are not there, cut three 6-inch lengths of wire and strip each end of the wires 1/2 inch.

Use a wire nut to connect the three wires (pigtails) to the hot-wire. Push the open end of the pigtail wires into the three "line" slots. If there are no slots, use the needle-nose pliers as in Step 3, and insert them under the "line" screws. Tighten the screws firmly.

Step 5

Gently push the wires into the switch-box and secure the switch to the box. Add the cover plate.

Step 6

Turn on the main breaker and turn on each switch, to verify that they are working properly.


Better quality switches have push-on connectors. They are much easier to work with, and they will last a lot longer than inexpensive switches.


Electricity can cause serious injury or death. If you are not comfortable working with it, hire a licensed electrical contractor.

Phil Altshuler

Phil Altshuler has written award-winning ad copy and sales-training literature since 1965. He is an expert in conventional and sub-prime loans, bankruptcy, mortgage loan modifications and credit. Altshuler was a licensed mortgage broker in California and Arizona, as well as a licensed electrical contractor. He has a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering from California Polytechnic State University.