Wire outlets in series or parallel?

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  #1  
Old 11-15-08, 09:51 AM
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Question Wire outlets in series or parallel?

Hi, I needed to replace an outlet, and found wiring issues. I took a look around and found more issues, so I started my rewiring project earlier than expected.

I have access to all the outlets I need from the basement. I also have access to a few more I want to add on.

I had just planned on wiring them in series since no overhead lights, hairdryers, vacuums or big drawing items would be on the circuit.

Then I made the mistake of checking around online and have now gotten confused since half the articles state to run all outlets in series, and the other articles suggest to run in parallel.

Can anyone set me straight?


Thanks
 
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Old 11-15-08, 10:10 AM
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Electrical outlets are always run in parallel. They would not work if you didn't. Run your cable from box to box. Splice color for color with a 6" pigtail to connect your outlet. Last box will just have 3 wires so just connect them to the outlet.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 10:15 AM
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Majorty of the time the connection will run in parallel format the only time you will see in series connection is used for switch loop.

as Tolyn describing just get black to black , white to white and bare to bare or green/ bare is fine that is legit.

And make sure if you are on 20 amp circuit you will need #12 AWG romex or conductor size.

{ If you are in Canada the 20 amp circuit the number of receptale is limited to 12 Per CEC code }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-15-08, 10:46 AM
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The problem is that not everybody uses the terms "parallel" and "series" in the same way.

Electrically, almost everything is wired in parallel.

However, cable routing is usually done in series. To avoid confusion, we often use the term daisy chained instead of series. The opposite of a daisy chain is sometimes called octopus wiring or a star configuration.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 12:03 PM
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OK thanks I am glad that I posted this.

I understood the term "series" to refer to directly connecting to each outlet and leaving each outlet , only pigtailing the ground. Thus using all 5 terminal screws.

"Parallel" I understood to mean pigtailing all wires and connecting only to one set of the outlet terminal screws.(ignoring the grounds for the moment)

Is this correct or just bad terminology by me

Also would the way I described as "parallel" be the star configuration?

And thanks, this in Canada, but just a 15 amp run ( only going to have 8 outlets, no switches or lights).

Thanks
 

Last edited by flyerfan; 11-15-08 at 12:05 PM. Reason: I still cannot spell
  #6  
Old 11-15-08, 12:44 PM
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In the following diagram, it shows 2 lights connected in parallel, then 2 lights connected in series.

Outlets and lights should be wired in parallel.

I suggest you get a book on electrical wiring and read it cover to cover before doing any wiring. Then you will know how things are done. You can get these books at home improvement stores.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c3...UFF/lights.jpg
 
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Old 11-15-08, 02:38 PM
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I would avoid using all the terminal screws on the device and pigtail. If you just use the screws on the sides you rely on the device for your connections.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 04:59 PM
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flyerfan, you found yet-another way to use the terms "series" and "parallel". I'm pretty sure you just made those up since I've never heard anybody else use the terms that way.

Both methods you describe are parallel.
 
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Old 11-20-08, 01:09 AM
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Exclamation Series is never used in house wiring

Series should never be used in house wiring or a sentence concerning house wiring. Paralell is proper to use in house wiring. In my example below each light get 120 volts small voltage drop ignored. If 2 lights were wired in series each would be 1/2 brightness. the voltage would be split between the 2 lights resulting in 60 volts per light if both lights were on 60 volts would be dropped accross the first leaving 60 volts for the last. If the first bulb burned out the whole shooting match would go out. There is a formula used in electronics which is the inverse of (the inverse of each resistance summed). That does not apply to home AC wiring. A star scheme would use a lot more wire and require a huge junction box. Daisy chained is the typical wiring method in house wiring. A star network is typically used in Cable TV this way each node gets the same amount of signal. In AC house wiring there will be voltage drop regardless of wiring scheme used but the VD is negligable for "most" stuff that is plugged into oulets. No comments from the motor heads lol. Bottom line 99% of the time it is easier to daisy chain. I disagree with pigtails and wirenuts if only 2 sets of wires are used in an outlet box. The wires terminated by screws can be easily inspected. pigtails and wirenuts add an additional connection so three wires per wire nut if one wire is not twisted in with the other two properly this could be easily overlooked. I try to only run 2 sets of wires into each box if this can not be avoided then I have no other choice but to pigtail. One interesting varaition from USA and Canada code is the grounding scheme in canada the ground wire is not broken when grounding a metal box. In USA the ground is broken i.e. pigtailed in a mini-star arrangement inside the box. When I wired a service panel I ran my ground wire from the panel through the ground rod clamp and terminated it on the water bond un-cut. Sorry this is a code violation in the US I had to run two wires from the panel 1 for the ground rod and 1 for water bond. If I'm not mistaken in Canada my unbroken ground wire is the way it must be done?
 
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