|« Voltage Problems and How to Locate Them||GFCI Protected Plug Strips for Projects and Applications »|
How to Wire a Multi Function Stack Switch
©Copyright Dave Rongey - Summary:
Wiring Guide for Stack or Tandem Switches: The Wiring Configurations for a Multi Function Stack Switch: Stack switches are great when two or more switches are needed in one space but there are tricky to wire, and they can be wired a few different ways as I explain here.
Wiring Guide for a Tandem or Double Switch
Electrical Question: I moved into a house that has a garbage disposal unit connected under the sink and the ON and OFF switch that is nearby.
- The previous owner had changed the switch to a two rocker stack or double switch to add a light with the neutral screwed to the switch box.
- Now I want to add another separate light controlled from the same location so I purchased a three stack rocker switch to control the three devices.
- Power comes from the outlet where the disposal is plugged into.
- The diagram shows power attaching to one side and then connecting individually to the three devices.
- Do I have to re-wire everything to conform to that wiring diagram.
- The way it is now, I can get either the two lights or the disposal to work, but not all three together. What I have to do?
This home electrical repairs question came from: Jaime, from San Juan.
Additional Comments: Excellent website. I learned a few tricks browsing thru your answers. I’ll keep it handy from now on.
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Jaime.
Wiring Configurations for a Multi Function Double Switch or Triple Switch
Application: Wiring a Stack Switch for a Garbage Disposal, or a Triple Switch which can be used for a Broan or other brand Exhaust Fan.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuits, turn each circuit OFF and Tag them with a Note before working with the stack switch wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
Stack Switches and Triple Switches are great when two or more switches are needed in one space but they can be tricky to wire.
A stack switch or double switch can be wired a few different ways depending on the wiring configuration.
- One Power Source
- If there is only one power source that will power the separately controlled lights or devices then the single power feed wire attaches to one side of the stack switch where there is typically a bridge or metal link enabling all of the switches to share the single power source.
- Multiple Power Sources
- If there is more than one power source then the bridge must be removed to enable the separate power sources to attach to the appropriate screw on the power side of the stack switch.
- Wiring Separate Functions
- The wiring leading to the separately controlled devices is then attached to the opposite side of the stack switch.
- Grounding the Switch
- The stack switch should be grounded with the circuit ground wire or with a grounded metal switch box.
- Stack switches are typically available in the toggle switch style or the flat rocker type or decorative style switches.
- Amperage Rating of the Switch
- The amperage rating of the stack switch will be either 15 amp for number 14 AWG copper wire or 20 amp for 12 AWG copper wire.
- Garbage Disposal Applications
- Garbage disposals require a lot of power to operate and a 20 amp rated switch will last longer than a 15 amp rated switch.
VERY IMPORTANT ABOUT NEUTRAL AND GROUND WIRES
- Switch Boxes
- This question described what leads me to believe that a neutral wire is attached to what may be a grounded metal switch box.
- If this is true then this is not safe and should be removed and the correct wiring provided with a separate insulated neutral wire for the circuit.
- If this is not true and the white wire is a jumper wire from the switch ground to the grounded metal switch box then the white wire is being used for a ground wire and will need to be colored green with green electrical tape or a green permanent marker.
- Ground Wires and Neutral Wires
- The concern here is that a ground source or ground wire can not be used for a neutral wire – this practice is highly dangerous and can produce electrical shock hazard conditions in the home electrical wiring system.
- If you are unsure about the wiring then please consult a licensed electrician who will make the appropriate checks and wring adjustments as necessary for a safe connection and operation.
Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher Wiring
Fully explained dishwasher disposal wiring diagrams with pictures for wiring the outlet that serves a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. One very important element can be easily overlooked as you will see in these pictures.
More about Electrical Wiring
Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
Troubleshooting and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.
» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.