How to Wire Three Switches in a Gang Box

Your gang box looks like an octopus with wires emerging from it like the tentacles of the Kraken that sank the Black Pearl. How to wire three switches in a gang box seems a bit daunting just looking at it. You have only one power supply wire and three different fixtures to be wired to that power supply. Tame the tentacles and provide the power that will allow each fixture to be operated by a dedicated switch.

Preparation

Step 1

Turn off the power to the circuit at the breaker panel.

Step 2

Make pigtails. You will need three black wire pigtails and five green wire pigtails. Cut three six-inch lengths of 14 solid THHN black wire. Use a wire stripper/cutter to strip ½ inch of insulation off of each end of the black pigtails.

Step 3

Cut five six-inch lengths of 14 solid THHN green wire. Use the wire stripper/cutter to strip ½ inch of insulation off of each end of the green pigtails.

Wiring the Neutral Wires

Step 4

Connect the white, or neutral, wires together in the gang box. Currently you have a total of four white wires. You have the power supply white wire that leads back to the breaker panel and you have the three white wires that connect to the three fixtures. Use a yellow wire nut and twist all four wires together.

Step 5

Tape the wire nut to the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wire nut and onto the wires. This is not necessary but will give added security.

Step 6

Push the four white wires into the back of the gang box.

Wiring the Hot Wires

Step 7

Connect a black, or hot, wire from each of the three fixtures to the top screw on the right side of each switch. Tighten each screw.

Step 8

Connect the black wire from the power supply to all three of the black pigtails. Twist all four black wires together with a yellow wire nut. The power supply wire is the wire that connects directly to the breaker panel. Tape the wire nut to the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wire nut and onto the wires.

Step 9

Connect each black pigtail to the bottom screw on each of the three switches. Tighten each screw.

Wiring the Ground Wires

Step 10

Connect two of the green pigtails to the bare copper ground wire. Twist the wires together with an orange wire nut. Tape the wire nut to the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wire nut and onto the wires.

Step 11

Connect one of the green pigtails from the orange wire nut to each of the bare copper ground wires that are connected to the three fixtures. Twist the wires together with a yellow wire nut. Push the wires into the back of the gang box. Tape the wire nut to the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wire nut and onto the wires.

Step 12

Connect the remaining green pigtail in the orange wire nut to the three remaining green pigtails. Twist these four wires together with a yellow wire nut. Tape the wire nut to the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the tape around the wire nut and onto the wires.

Step 13

Connect each of the three green pigtails to the green ground screws on each of the three switches. The green ground screws are located at the bottom left of each switch. Tighten the green screws.

Installing the Switches

Step 14

Connect all three switches to the gang box. Each switch will connect to the gang box by screws, one at the top of each switch and one at the bottom.

Step 15

Cover the three switches with a triple switch cover plate. The cover plate will connect with screws, three at the top and three at the bottom.

Step 16

Turn the power on to the circuit at the breaker panel.