4-gang switch boxes

sw_ross

Senior Member
Location
NoDak
Talking about residential only
I don’t like using them. Mainly because the homeowner has a hard time remembering what switch operates what lights and gets confused.
I understand sometimes you don’t have a choice, but I try to limit switching to 3-gang or less if possible.
I’ve had instances where I actually had to put labels on the faceplate for what lights are controlled.

Anyone else have this issue?
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
4 gangs is my cut off- it isn't too hard for that.... When we get to 5 gangs then I go with stacking the boxes-- 3 gang and a 2 gang and if possible I will try and get another switch so it is 2- 3 gang boxes.
I've noticed that boxes start getting incredibly expensive after you go to 5-gang and beyond.
It looks like they make a nice margin on 9-gangs:


Granted, they probably don't sell too many of those and so the fixed costs may be high. Also, the customers that need a nine-gang can probably afford it. :rolleyes:
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
In order to eliminate 4-gang boxes, sometimes I'll go with a 3-gang that has stacked switch alongside 2 standard switches. I'll use Decora in those instances

Pick 2 loads which are easy to remember being a group to put on the stacked switch, like fan-light combo in a bathroom, then vanity lights on full switch and ceiling lights on the other.

I just wired a finished basement with 4-gang box at the back door - 2 outside wall lights, 2 ceiling fans without light, recreation room can lights, and hall can lights.

I suggested to the owner a 3-gang box with outside lights and fans on a stacked switch, then inside lights on full switches. Easy enough to remember that way. He preferred a 4-gang box
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I would prefer 4 gangs to 2 gangs but sometimes we have to because of the stud space. There you just try and make sense of what switches would go where. I usually ask the home owner.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
I usually put the most used switch closest to the door, then the next switch for the further away or ambient lighting, then entrance wall or porch light, then floods at the far end.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
I often will put switches for outside lights at 5 ft AFF, and put the room lights at 4 ft AFF typically two 2 gang boxes. This and this is much easier to remember and the outside lights are often on a PE, being separate they don't get turned off.
I don't do much resi, but a couple of rewires with old work boxes, much easier to use 14 AWG, especially with limited size in cut in boxes
 
I've noticed that boxes start getting incredibly expensive after you go to 5-gang and beyond.
It looks like they make a nice margin on 9-gangs:


Granted, they probably don't sell too many of those and so the fixed costs may be high. Also, the customers that need a nine-gang can probably afford it. :rolleyes:
Lol wow. Did you see the other picture, the one with a single emt going into the box 🤔
 

Bluegrass Boy

Member
Location
Texas
Occupation
Commercial/ Industrial/ Maintenance Electrician
According to the State of California, everything causes cancer. :D
I have noticed that it seems that way, but at times have wondered if that only applies to you if you are actually in California at the moment of said exposure to everything known to mankind? LOL!
 

junkhound

Senior Member
Location
Renton, WA
Occupation
EE, power electronics specialty
PS:
Switch just inside my front door, which connects to garage via breezeway.
IIIRC, there are about 13 different RR3 and RR7 controlled by these (and other) switches feeding approx. 35 or more fixtures.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Talking about residential only
I don’t like using them. Mainly because the homeowner has a hard time remembering what switch operates what lights and gets confused.
I understand sometimes you don’t have a choice, but I try to limit switching to 3-gang or less if possible.
I’ve had instances where I actually had to put labels on the faceplate for what lights are controlled.

Anyone else have this issue?
I agree and would ask the customer what they would control. Unless they were 100% sure I would try to talk them into putting a 2 gang somewhere else. A corner light doesn’t necessarily need to be next to the door..

I have a four gang next to my front door. I’ve been in my house for 27 years. Thinking about it now, I can’t walk over there and tell you what each switch does. I do like everyone else and flip them until I get what I want...
 
I agree and would ask the customer what they would control. Unless they were 100% sure I would try to talk them into putting a 2 gang somewhere else. A corner light doesn’t necessarily need to be next to the door..

I have a four gang next to my front door. I’ve been in my house for 27 years. Thinking about it now, I can’t walk over there and tell you what each switch does. I do like everyone else and flip them until I get what I want...
I did this house in 2006 and the guy went a bit nuts with the 4 gang boxes. I've been there every year or two ever since doing little things, and I see him still fumble around trying to get the switch he wants 🤨
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I agree and would ask the customer what they would control. Unless they were 100% sure I would try to talk them into putting a 2 gang somewhere else. A corner light doesn’t necessarily need to be next to the door..

I have a four gang next to my front door. I’ve been in my house for 27 years. Thinking about it now, I can’t walk over there and tell you what each switch does. I do like everyone else and flip them until I get what I want...
Switches for outdoor receptacles, yard lights, or other items that may not be primary entry use type switches I might put on the hinge side of a exterior entry door instead of on the latch side.

Say you have a large living room with three light switches and then a couple ceiling fan switches - those fan switches maybe don't go near the main entrance to the room just to not have so many switches at one location as well.
 
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