using 14/3 wire for 2 separate duplexes

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  #1  
Old 11-21-05, 09:47 PM
the_fiddler
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using 14/3 wire for 2 separate duplexes

Hello, this is my first post on this forum. Thanks in advance for any help offered. I have been reading through some of the posts and there is lots of interesting stuff here.

My question is about installing 2 duplex outlets in a double gang box fed by 14/3 wire.

Currently the wire runs from my breaker panel to the basement and ends in a junction box. Neither end is connected to anything. It is an extra circuit that I guess was put in for adding another dryer outlet or some other 220v circuit.

I would like to install 2 new 120v/15A breakers in my panel (I have the space) and using this spare wire hook up the black to one breaker, the red to the other, and use the white as a common neutral at the other end where 2 separate duplexes will be connected, one to the black wire, and the other to the red wire all properly terminated in a double gang box.

The point is to have two separate circuits available at this box.

My worry is that the white/neutral is not meant to be used as a common neutral in this way and if I plug a tool or machine with a large amp draw into each circuit, will I overload the common neutral even though the individual hot legs are able to handle thier respective loads?

Thanks again for any help.

F
 
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Old 11-22-05, 03:55 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
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Actually it is just the opposite of your thinking.
The neutral only carries the imbalance of current between the two circuits.

To do what you want, wire as you detailed, red and black on two breakers, and one wire to a gold screw on each receptacle. The white you should splice two pigtails to and each tail to a silver screw on a receptacle.
Be sure to pigtail the grounds as well and ground the box if metal also.

A main concern is that you MUST put the two hot wires on different legs of the service. The easiest way to achieve this is to put the breakers above/below each other. In fact, for a DIY installation I would use a 2-pole breaker. This guarantees they will be on different legs, and also it guarantees the whole box will be turned off if you need to work in the box.
 
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Old 11-22-05, 05:31 PM
the_fiddler
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SpeedyPetey thanks for the reply. I will use a 2 pole as you suggest. I want to buy a 2 pole 15 A breaker right? This will have two 15A breaker switches joined with a bar or tab.

What do you mean that my 2 hots will be on different legs though? Aren't they still on the same leg of the service? Or do you mean that my 2 hots are each on separate breakers, not connected to the same one?

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Old 11-22-05, 06:46 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
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Separate legs of the service. The service has two hots and a neutral conductor. You need to make sure you keep the hot wires one on each leg. A two pole breaker will assure this.
 
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