circuit wiring help needed


Old 12-04-04, 07:57 PM
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Cool circuit wiring help needed

I had my contractor run a wire from the panel to a spot under my deck for future use -it is 14/3 (red, black, white, and ground). I now want to connect this wire to my panel (no breaker installed yet). I want to install 2 or three duplex receptacles for plugging my xmas lights in. I know I will need a GFCI plug in the group. My question is: the person at the building supply store gave me a double 15 breaker - what is the difference between this and a normal 15 amp breaker, and should I use the one they sold me? also will I be able to use this wire to power the receptacles?

appreciate any help with this!

Last edited by Kevin007; 12-04-04 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 12-04-04, 08:40 PM
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I am assuming by a double you mean a two pole breaker. A two pole breaker would only be required if both curcuits are on the same yoke. If you mount a 2 gang box and install 2 gfci receptacles, you could come off the load side of each gfci to add additional receptacles
Old 12-04-04, 09:09 PM
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I'll go ahead and assume by double you mean a twin, where two 1/2" breakers (15amp each but they also sell them 20/15, 20/20) are fused together to fit in a 1" slot. Basically, the reason for doing this is, if you have 30 space and are allowed to hook up 40 circuits on your panel (assuming 30 spaces are full), then you could remove a 15 amp 1", replace it with the twin breaker and feed different circuits (one of the circuits would be the one you unhooked from the 15 amp breaker, the other is the circuit for your Christmas lighting)

As far as 14-3 goes, I think I'd just cap the "red" line and hook it up like a 14-2 line.

Yes, you will be able to use this wire (assuming the 14-3) to become a branch outdoor circuit. I just hope the electrican ran thhnthwn or direct burial cable. If it is NM-B I would ask one of the electrican's on this site what to do.

In fact I'd like to know what to do in this situation. Where an exsisting branch circuit is comprised of NM-B and will be running outside exposed to the elements/damage. What is the solution? It has to be burried or put into conduit correct?

Btw.. only finish off this installation if you are comfortable working in the panel, understand the dangers, and are knowlegeable enough to avoid hazardous activities. You're best bet is to turn off the main breaker if you are learning as you go.. which is not a good way to learn in a life threatening situation.

Have a good day!
Old 12-04-04, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Whether this is a douple pole or tandem breaker take it back to the store and pick up a single pole 15 amp breaker. Cap the red wire at both ends with a wirenut. A three wire cable and double pole breaker in receptacle runs generally means a multiwire circuit. You dont want to do this in your situation. Unless you are familiar with the characteristics of a multiwire circuit you dont want to mess with one. The cable must be direct buried uf-b protected by conduit above ground or individual wires in conduit if outside. At the panel ,be careful here, as the panel main lugs are hot even after you shut off the main breaker. Connect the black wire to the breaker and white wire to the neutral bar in a hole by itself. The bare ground wire can generally be placed in a hole sharing another ground wire but not a neutral. Then at the deck install a gfci in a weatherproof enclosure for one receptacle then wire off the load side of the gfci with 14/2 with ground to your other normal receptacles in weatherproof enclosures. They will be protected by the gfci.
Old 12-05-04, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for your all your advice - I guessed that the double breaker was not the one I needed, but wasn't sure (it's been a few years since my high school electrical courses - about 20 years to be precise). I am quite comfortable with the actual installation procedures, but was uncomfortable with the multi-wire aspect.
Old 12-05-04, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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Kevin, tell us whether you intended to wire a multiwire circuit or not. You can do it either way, but we need to know what you want. Do you need 3600 watts of power, or is 1800 watts enough?
Old 12-05-04, 01:57 PM
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Kevin I may have been a little quick on the trigger. John may very well be right, you may have intended a multiwire. I envisioned just some lights on the house and few yard decorations. If you are really going to be a "Christmas Light" fanatic then you may need the 3600 watts John is concerned about.
Old 12-05-04, 03:45 PM
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Location: welland ontario
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If you have a double pole breaker he gave you the correct one. The wiring you have is designed to be used as 2 circuit multiwire circuit with a shared neutral. You can however just use one circuit if you wish by capping the red wire at both ends.

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