Electrical – 2 wires going into one terminal on a single pole switch


I am very much a newbie when it comes to this stuff. I have to replace a broken light switch. When I took it apart, this is what the wiring looked like- one wire backwired and one using the side screw. What does this mean? Can i rewire it the same way with a new switch? Thank you in advance. enter image description here

Best Answer

Yeah, it's real common inside junction boxes to have a lot of other stuff going on besides just your switch. Sometimes the wires that go to your switch also need to go elsewhere.

These multiple wires have to be spliced together somehow. A lazy/easy way to connect 2 wires and also a switch, is to use the switch as a splice block. In your case by attaching a wire to the screw and another to the backstab. Most of the current probably goes through the switch and out the other wire.

Like Ed Beal discusses, backstabs aren't very good. It may be better to go to a more traditional splicing technique, like a pigtail and wire nut. That will also make the wiring appear more logical.