new outlet

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Old 03-29-07, 05:38 PM
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Question new outlet

I just had a new device installed in my house. It's part of my alarm system so it goes in the closet. The installer drilled a hole thru the wall and plugged into an outlet in my living room to get some AC power to the device. No big deal.

I did notice that there was a "blank" outlet plate in the closet. You know... no holes for an actual outlet... just a smooth plastic plate. I decided to open it and see what's in there... I mean if I can hook up a new plug in my closet, I can eliminate the large DC converter in the living room...

Well, I have verified that there are wires behind that plate. 3 black (hot I assume) 3 white (neutral) and 3 ground. I verified that there is current in there using a meter.

Problem is... why are the 3 black wires tied together (as well as the 3 white and 3 ground)? Is this outlet box actually being used as some sort of junction box or something? Can I still stick a simple 2 plug outlet on there?
 
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Old 03-29-07, 05:45 PM
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The answer to your question depends on what this circuit serves.

If the wires in the box were not tied together, then two sets of them would have no power when they leave the box.
 
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Old 03-29-07, 05:50 PM
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Yes, it's a junction box.

Drilling a hole through a wall to run a cord through to plug it in on the other side is a flagrant code violation. It's annoying how people in one trade so often ignore the codes of other trades.

As Bob says, figure out what else is on the same circuit as the wires in this junction box. The best way to do that is to turn off breakers until the power in the junction box is gone. Then you can hunt around and find out what else went dead.
 
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Old 03-29-07, 06:37 PM
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Is it a code violation if this power wire only carries 12-24v? This is a transformer wire so reduces the voltage to 12-24v to power the alarm panel.
 
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Old 03-29-07, 06:43 PM
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Oh, sorry, I didn't notice that. Probably not a code violation then. Good catch Mark.
 
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Old 03-29-07, 06:46 PM
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No need to say sorry. I just didn't want the OP to call his alarm installer complaining about it if it's not a code. I didn't know if it was a violation if the wire is only carrying 12-24v. I guess that would be considered "low voltage"?
 
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Old 04-21-07, 12:35 PM
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found circuit

Hello,

Took me a while to get around to tracking this down. First off, yes the whole alarm system is low voltage as a previous poster pointed out. Hence, I doubt this is a code violation... but it would still be nice to get the big honking DC converter out of sight...

The 15 amp circuit appears to be hooked up to just 2 outlets in the living room (on which only 1 lamp is plugged in)... and a single 90 watt overhead flood light on the basement stairs. Seems like I should be able to add another outlet. What do you think?

If I can... what next?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 04-21-07, 01:30 PM
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Get yourself three pieces of wire six inches long. One black, one white and one bare or green. Turn off power at breaker to this circuit. Add wires to the matching colours already in the box. Connect the end of the black one to the gold screw. Connect the white one to the silver screw. Connect the green/bare one to the green screw. Install receptacle and put cover plate on. Turn power back on.

The wire needs to be the proper gauge. If the circuit is 15 amp then #14, if 20 amp then #12. If you only have #12 it can be used on 15 amp circuit but not #14 on 20 amp.
 

Last edited by joed; 04-21-07 at 01:32 PM. Reason: to add wire gauge.
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