Help adding new multiple electrical outlets

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Old 07-21-08, 05:48 AM
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Help adding new multiple electrical outlets

I found a 3 gang box in a closet in my garage, which had a blanking plate cover on it. Opened it up and found three incoming lines all pigtailed together. So I would like to make use of this box and put in 3 electrical outlets. Through some testing and trial and error, have determined the following:

- One line is "hot", while other two have no power coming from them. So seems the one hot wire was providing power to the other two lines via the pigtail
- One of the non-power lines is connected directly to another outlet in my garage
- The remaining non-hot line is connected to a GFI outlet in my bathroom above my garage (this is then connected to another gfi outlet in the next bathroom)

So what I thought I could do and please correct me if I am way off here is:

- pigtail the 3 black wires (essentially providing the power now to the exisiting two non-hot lines), while adding a 4th black wire to the pigtail to connect directly into the first outlet
- do the same as above for the white neutral lines
- add white/black wires to connect the two other outlets in a line
- for the ground wires, not sure - but one thought was to run the three existing ground wires that are there from the 3 incoming lines directly to each individual new outlet

Will this work and does anyone see any issues with this?

Thank you soooo much!!
 
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Old 07-21-08, 07:05 AM
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The garage needs a GFCI. It also should have a separate 20A circuit. It sounds like you intend to plug a lot of stuff in with 3 outlets!

The circuit you are attempting to tie into may already be overloaded and not code. Each bath should have its own circuit. You may not do it but you could have two people using heavy current draw hairdryers simultaneously.

You did not mention existing wire size or circuit protection on the circuit you found?
 
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Old 07-21-08, 07:13 AM
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That is not the way to deal with the grounds. You should not in anyway interupt the contiuous and permanent connection of all branches to the incoming ground ( bare ) wire.
 
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Old 07-21-08, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
The garage needs a GFCI. It also should have a separate 20A circuit. It sounds like you intend to plug a lot of stuff in with 3 outlets!

The circuit you are attempting to tie into may already be overloaded and not code. Each bath should have its own circuit. You may not do it but you could have two people using heavy current draw hairdryers simultaneously.

You did not mention existing wire size or circuit protection on the circuit you found?
I do not plan on plugging in hardly anything, if anything - just a stereo receiver to listen to while in the garage. The only reason I am putting three outlets there is cause they already cut in a 3 gang box. So I just really need one outlet, but figure would put the three as opposed to replacing the box/drywall repairing, etc. These outlets will not be used for any "garage" work. This outlet is run to a 15amp breaker.

594Tough - how should I connect the ground wires from the 3 lines coming into the box (1 is from the hot line, and the other two are not). Pigtail all the grounds like they were, add an additional ground wire to the pigtail and connect that to the first outlet's ground? What about grounding the other outlets which are getting connected in a chain from the first outlet?
 
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Old 07-21-08, 09:42 AM
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To be in compliance with the National Electrical Code you may not add anything to this circuit. It was in compliance when your home was built but the codes have since changed. It is perfectly acceptable to maintain this circuit as it now exists.

I'll add some general information here; what you choose to do with the info is up to you.

Any 120 volt receptacle in a garage is required to be protected from ground faults. The easiest way to do this is to use GFCI receptacles.

When there are multiple equipment grounding conductors in an enclosure all must be connected together. If the enclosure is metal the enclosure must also be connected to the equipment grounding conductors.

Modifications to existing circuits generally require the entire circuit to be brought to current code requirements.

Current code requires that circuits that supply bathroom receptacles be of 20 ampere capacity. They cannot serve anything other than bathroom receptacles except a circuit that supplies only a single bathroom may also supply lighting and exhaust fans in that bathroom.
 
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Old 07-21-08, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
To be in compliance with the National Electrical Code you may not add anything to this circuit. It was in compliance when your home was built but the codes have since changed. It is perfectly acceptable to maintain this circuit as it now exists.

I'll add some general information here; what you choose to do with the info is up to you.

Any 120 volt receptacle in a garage is required to be protected from ground faults. The easiest way to do this is to use GFCI receptacles.

When there are multiple equipment grounding conductors in an enclosure all must be connected together. If the enclosure is metal the enclosure must also be connected to the equipment grounding conductors.

Modifications to existing circuits generally require the entire circuit to be brought to current code requirements.

Current code requires that circuits that supply bathroom receptacles be of 20 ampere capacity. They cannot serve anything other than bathroom receptacles except a circuit that supplies only a single bathroom may also supply lighting and exhaust fans in that bathroom.

Thanks for the info Furd. Appreciate your input. I now understand new code requires the gfci outlets, along with the seperate circuits for hte bathrooms. For my own knowledge, let's take the bathroom and even the garage out of the equation. As I am curious how one would even handle the ground wires as mentioned before. Would I pigtail all of them together and then connect to the first outlet in the new box?
 
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Old 07-21-08, 10:40 AM
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Would I pigtail all of them {ground} together and then connect to the first outlet in the new box?
Yes. This is true even if they were separate circuits on different breakers. If a metal box they would also be pigtailed to the box.
 
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Old 07-21-08, 11:00 AM
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GFCI circuits for bathroom receptacle have been required for at least two decades. The requirement for bathroom receptacle circuits to serve ONLY bathroom receptacles is at least a decade old.


To answer your question about equipment grounding conductors; yes, you would pigtail all existing grounding wires together AND add however many pigtails are necessary to connect to the equipment grounding screws of ALL devices that you add to the box. If the box is metal you MUST also have a pigtail from the group to the grounding screw of the box.

In your particular example of adding three duplex receptacles you would first add a pigtail to the green grounding screw of each receptacle and then connect these three pigtails to the three bare wires that came from the three cables in the box for a total of six wires all connected together. If the box is metal you would add a seventh wire to the six connected together and fasten the seventh wire under a machine screw to a tapped hole in the metal box.

Green-insulated pigtails for receptacles and boxes are readily available at the mega-store home improvement centers. Some are solid wire and some are stranded wire. Some come with an eyelet terminal and green-colored machine screw on one end with a fork terminal on the other.
 
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