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mrb74

11:58AM | 01/21/04
Member Since: 01/20/04
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Hi,
I just finished replacing a 48 year old wall switch that goes to the front door overhead light. For reasons that are too numerous to go into here I had to connect two hot wires by putting them both under a single terminal screw. Is this a safe practice? The guy at home Depot's electrical department - said it was no problem. FYI, it's 14 gauge on a 15 amp switch.
It's hooked to a fluorescence light outside and the light seems to go on it to stages - first dim and then full bright. I don't know if this has anything to do with the switch replacement or the cold. I simple don't want to burn the house down.
Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks

rpxlpx

07:22AM | 01/22/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1678 lifetime posts
If you've made a good connection that's not going to work loose in time, then it's safe.

NordRhein

08:29AM | 01/22/04
Member Since: 01/08/04
7 lifetime posts
Flourescent lights definitely do not like the cold, there are units for cold areas but yours will warm up in a while which is what you describe it's doing. I never put two wires under 1 screw, instead take up pigtailing. Connect the two blacks and a short piece of black and after properly twisting it insulate it with a wire nut, Then connect the short piece to the switch. In this way an outlet or switch can fall apart but the other connection is still good for whatever it feeds.

k2

08:40AM | 01/22/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
I'm not an electrician, but my wiring book (which, admittedly is kind of dated) says "Don't do it." Also that putting 2 wires on one terminal is forbidden by the NEC.

Better to attach a "pigtail" (a short wire) to the other 2 wires using a wire nut, then attach the pigtail to the terminal.

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