One receptical with two sources of current

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  #1  
Old 02-27-07, 01:59 PM
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One receptical with two sources of current

Hi All

I am installing a new receptical over my built-in bookcase. I want one outlet to be connected my Audiovisual 12-2 line and the other connected to a switch which use to control a light on a fan, but the light has been removed. I want to put a light up on the bookcase and the switch works perfect because it is next to the bookcase. The other source is dedicated 12-2 wire connected to a 20 amp breaker for my audiovisual equipment. I eventually plan to put a projector on the bookcase for movies.

My question is when I connect the wires to the receptical, should I twist both source returns (white wires) together or end them at the screws on the receptical? I haven't seen an example of what to do with two different sources in one receptical.

Thanks ahead for your help.

Beary
 
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  #2  
Old 02-27-07, 02:16 PM
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If you are writing that you have two separate circuits in the box from two separate breakers then you would break the tab on both sides of the outlet and attach one circuit to each half of thereceptacle. Only the grounds from both circuits would be tied together.

However if there is no other receptacle on either of the circuits and the one with a single receptacle is a twenty amp circuit then code may require you use a 20 amp receptacle. Might be easier to just use a duplex box and two duplex outlets. Then the usual 15 amp outlets would be ok.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 02:24 PM
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That is what I needed, thanks.

My whole house is wired 12-2 20 amp breakers, so that makes it easier.

I'm new at this and would like to understand better why the returns should not be wired together then pigtaled to the receptical. My thinking is it all returns to the panel, where am I going wrong?

Beary
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-07, 02:36 PM
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The breaker only directly protects the hot wire. Suppose you were to wire the returns for two circuits together. Now suppose one of those two return wires becomes disconnected somethere, anywhere in the circuit. At this point, everything still works fine because the remaining wire provides for the return for both circuits. But, now suppose that in a period of high demand, both circuits are drawing 20 amps. No breaker trips. But that one return wire, designed to carry a maximum of 20 amps, is now carrying 40. That's a fire waiting to happen.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
The breaker only directly protects the hot wire. Suppose you were to wire the returns for two circuits together. Now suppose one of those two return wires becomes disconnected somethere, anywhere in the circuit. At this point, everything still works fine because the remaining wire provides for the return for both circuits. But, now suppose that in a period of high demand, both circuits are drawing 20 amps. No breaker trips. But that one return wire, designed to carry a maximum of 20 amps, is now carrying 40. That's a fire waiting to happen.
Ah yes, makes a lot of sense, thank you for your time.

Beary
 
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