When running cable initially, the crew always bends the end of the cable that will be supplying power to the switch box.
As cables are run to the box for the various lighting circuits, the outer jacket of each cable is labeled as to what the cable will control.
This switch box has five cables for two switches. After sorting them out and grouping the cables together, the author uses a finger and thumb to gauge where to slit the outer jacket on the first one.
After stripping a cable, the author saves the jacket label and replaces it on the conductor from that cable.
Cables fed from below the box are treated in the same manner. Here the author gauges where to begin stripping the outer jacket.
The author slits the outer jacket from the lower cable. Notice the progressively longer jacket length on the upper cables that have already been slit. The longer jacket lengths are needed to reach the farthest knockouts on the box.
The author feeds the cables into the switch box, leaving a loop in each one. Again the loop provides extra cable in the event that one of the conductors is damaged during the drywall installation.
As the cables are fed into the box, they may look like an unorganized mass of wire. But with the labels and the wire colors, sorting them out is easy.
After roughly sorting the conductors for each of the switches, the author pushes the grounds for one switch into the back corner to give them plenty of slack for bundling.
With two ground conductors in one hand and three in the other, the author begins to twist them together.
The author makes a half dozen twists by hand, marrying together the ground conductors from all five cables.
As before, pliers finish the twist, tightening the bundle together.
The author cuts all of the ground conductors but two--one for each switch.
The proper size copper sleeve slips over the end of the ground conductor bundle.
A special crimping jaw on the pliers collapses and tightens the sleeve to secure the grounds together.
After all the grounds are joined together, the bundle is pushed against the back of the box.
After taking care of the grounds, the author groups the neutral (white) conductors together for each switch. Each group will be bundled, joined together, and capped.
After cutting the neutrals in each bundle to a length of 6 to 8 inches, about an inch of insulation is stripped from the ends of the conductors.
Pliers twist the bundle of neutrals, joining the bare ends as well as twisting a short length of the insulated sections together.
After twisting the conductors together, snip the end of the bundle, leaving about 1/2 inch of the twisted bare wire.
Twist the appropriate size wire nut onto the bundle, tightening it by hand as much as possible.
Use pliers to make a final twist of the wire nut, but take care not to over-tighten the nut. After attaching the wire nuts, push the neutral bundles into the back of the box.
A pigtail twisted with the supply conductors will feed one of the switches. A short length of black conductor is twisted and wire nutted to the other two.
Stripping back the insulation identifies this conductor as the supply for the crew that will be installing the switches later.
The final step is cutting off excess cable before rolling, folding, and pushing each group of conductors into the box as far as possible.
When the rough-in is finished, all the conductors and bundles are pushed as far into the box as possible. The labels still attached to the conductors will make wiring the switches fast and efficient for whoever comes next.