"Hub" run outlets??

Old 01-22-04, 07:58 PM
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"Hub" run outlets??

I have a friend who just bought a house that was previously re-wired. I'm finding that the method of wiring the outlets on each circuit is not what I'm familiar with. Instead of going from the circuit breaker to the first outlet, then the next, then the next and so on, this house is wired where the line goes from the circuit breaker to the first box (a 4x4) and then the lines branch out to each outlet like a spider web. Connecting all the lines is a giant blue wire nut. This is similar on all the circuits I've looked at.

Is this legal? Desirable? It seems to me this is causing unnecessary wirenut connections in the 4x4 boxes.

I bring this up from a different topic I started a few weeks ago where a wirenut was melted at one of these connections.
Old 01-22-04, 08:12 PM
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Your description of it as a spider web is apt. It is often also called octopus wiring when the head is in the ceiling. This method of wiring was popular 50 or 60 years ago, but is rare today. I don't think anybody would wire a new house this way, but it makes a lot of sense in a rewire where you have access to drop lines down from an attic or up from a crawl space or basement. It does not require tearing up the walls, and does not require going down (or up) to every box and coming back again. It also has the potential advantage of shorter runs, meaning less voltage drop (although I don't think anybody would do it for this reason).

Yes it's legal, and safe too if properly done (which does not seem to apply to you). You do of course need to make sure the box fill guidelines are followed, and that wire nuts only hold as many wires as they are rated for.

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