I am installing 4 blue series switches in a 4-gang box.
My prior switches were only grounded through the metal tabs touching the box. I plan to put a grounding pigtail screwed into the box and then connect all the switch grounds to this. Also, I understand that I will need to make a pigtail off all the neutrals that are tied together with a wire nut and connect this to the neutrals of the switches.
If I buy wire to create neutral and ground pigtails to the switches, what is the smallest wire that is safe and appropriate to use? Is it okay to use stranded wire to make getting everything in the box easier or must this be solid?
Any practical tips for adding a pigtail to the neutrals that are all tied together by a wire nut? When adding a wire in this way, do I need to separate and straighten out each wire before putting them together with a new wire nut?
Btw, I did verify that everything in this box is controlled by the same circuit breaker.
Check the corresponding breaker - if it’s 15A, then 14g wire is good (but could use 12g if that’s all you have for some reason)
If breaker is 20A, then you must use 12g – 14 is not an option.
Stranded is definitely easier to work with and stuff around in a box, but not as common to have readily available. I keep scraps of leftover Romex to cannibalize for making pigtails, and Romex is solid, so that’s what I end up using.
Buy a short length or Romex in the proper gauge as noted above. That looks like #14, but confirm that you have a 15A breaker. While stranded may bend more easily, it’s not good for terminating. Cut a piece of Romex to length and then use a pair of Lineman’s or other heavy pliers to pull the white and ground out for your pigtails.
Pull the wire nut off and then wrap the additional conductor around the already twisted bundle. When you put the wire nut back on, it will further wrap the conductors. You may need to move up to the next size wire nut (red).
For bonding the ground to the box, the box should have a bump out that is tapped for a ground screw. The ground screws are green. You can find them in the electrical department of a big box store.