Need neutral for ge smartswitch dimmer but neutrals all bunched up

Unfortunately, I went to install a ge smartswitch dimmer to replace a dimmer and found that 6 neutral wires are bound with a plastic sleeve cap and crimped closed. I am at a bit of a loss as to whether I should give up or force the neutral cap off and somehow tie into one or some of the neutrals not knowing to which light or plug it leads. The other boxes in my home had the neutrals capped and not in use but this receptacle in my kitchen is the largest by far. It only has two light switched in it but I am thinking that they are for the other outlets/ switches in the room - I have verified the line, load, and neutral with a voltage detector. The current dimmer works fine, but want to get it on smartthings with the new dimmer. Ideas or validations of what I have found? One idea from a big box store was to remove the cap and tie into it with my new ge dimmer and then heat shrink a cover over the connection - a little worried that the bending of the heat shrinked connection may not hold when I force all the wires back into place the switches but the line is not live. Any comments / thoughts appreciated. Thanks ahead

neutrals are the upper left

Yipes, lots going on in there. I would tie the neutrals together and to the switch using push in wire connectors if enough room exists in the box. Check out the link.


Thanks bleader - so no need to worry about connecting the neutral to a specific wire that leads to the lamp? Not too clear on neutrals so if they are all ?daisy-chained with a connector like you suggested, in theory the unknown line out of the bunch would be connected to the dimmer - or perhaps it does not matter and just needs any neutral. Tx!

As long as they are on the same circuit your good. Is the fat GE switch going to fit in there?

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That looks like a serious fire hazard - omg.
I would be surprised if you could fit the GE switch in there since it is so much thicker.

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I had a similar situation with 3 switches in a box. The neutrals were crimped so I had to cut it off, started with the neutrals outside cover then once inside, I was able to cut the wires right at the crimp. I then split the neutrals into 2 bundles, added a new neutral pig tail from one bundle to the other, then a pig tail out of the second bundle that would go to the GE switch. Not pretty but it worked.

Looks like it’s going to be very tight but it should fit

As for being a fire hazard, if it’s all tied up neatly, nothing hanging out of the wire ties… it shouldn’t be an issue.


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Agree - that box is probably already over the fill allowances.

Every box has max fill allowances, wires, wire nuts, all add up.

Proper way is to open up the neutral bundle and add a pigtail with a connector or wire nut.

HOWEVER - since you seemingly have no idea what you are doing, based on your terminology and questions - get an electrician, the box needs replaced with a deeper one, the existing wire nuts look oversized and you will never properly fit any smart switch in there safely.

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@Paul_Haskins, I enjoy learning something new and stand corrected, thanks for the correction :slight_smile:


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The neutrals were all tied together to make one group so it doesnt matter which one makes it to the switch. I agree with some of the other comments that you’ve got a very busy switch box. Might be money well spent to have a bigger box put in.

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Thanks - calling my local electrician this week :slight_smile:

Neutrals, like grounds, can all get tied together, but it is best if they are all part of the same circuit (I.e. If your turn off the circuit breaker there is nothing powered in that box). Wire nuts have a rating for how many wires you can safely tie together. It looks like you would need to get a special wire nut or break the existing bundle into 2 with a pigtail connecting the 2 and an additional pigtail for the smart dimmer.

As others pointed out, this box was likely over capacity, so it would be best to replace it with a deeper box, or a box with space for an additional switch.

There’s a lot With electrical that a home owner can do if they take the time to learn the fundamentals of working with electrical wiring, but it is always safest to contact a licensed professional when you’re unsure/uncomfortable doing something.

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I had/have several boxes like this in my house and I have replace all of my dumb switches with GE Smart Switches. (I did replace a couple with bigger boxes but also added switches) However, right side doesn’t have any wires so just need to even out the box.

I would just cut only one of the neutrals (Longest One), strip the two ends and the add another neutral to it (Red Wire Nut). Not the neutral that comes in the box but go to your local hard ware store and get a foot of 12 gauge flex wire (White Stranded).

Then stuff the neutral bundle back in to the box and do the same with the ground wires. Key is to get the wires stuffed tight back into the box so only thing that you are working with is the Line, Load, Neutral and Ground.

The GE switch should fit fine. Will be tight but the screws will help snug it all up.

Just make sure you tighten the screws good on the GE switches as the wires may come loose if you don’t then…ZAP!!!

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Jumping into an old thread. Smart home newbie here.

Have replaced plenty of old switches and outlets, haven’t had to connect a neutral before. I think I’m getting close. I am thinking I need to pigtail the neutral bundle, and should also extend the grounds to the switches. Confused what is the traveler… Trying to install the inovelli switches for my first smart connection.