Electric Outlet Wiring Question

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Old 01-25-09, 10:45 PM
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Electric Outlet Wiring Question

I have 3 outlets. A, B and C. Each are 115V 15A groundable outlets.

They are in series in the circuit. A--> B --> C

My question is that near outlet B, I want to add another outlet. Lets call it outlet D.

Outlet D can only be reached from B. When I wire from B to D, can I:

1. Run a second wiring from the "out" wires of B into D so that B now goes to C and D. This would look like A --> B-->C,D

or

2. Modify the series so that when the "in (live)" wires go into outlet box that holds B, I reroute to D. Then run a second wire back from D --> B and wire that as the "in (live)" to B. This makes the modified series A --> D-->B -->C

I am almost positive that #2 is the correct way to do it and that #1 is not allowed since that would no longer be a series.

Thanks for the help.
Zev.

Bergen County, NJ
 
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Old 01-26-09, 04:16 AM
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Either way would be fine however, with option #1, it sounds like you'd have 3 cables in this box.

Other than box fill possibly being an issue, I would wire nut the whites together and have a pigtail coming off going to the receptacle (same for blacks).

This would eliminate having to use the "back stab" connection.
 
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Old 01-26-09, 06:05 AM
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And I know it is just words, but the receptacles are in "parallel", not "series". And as Wirenut said, just keep the blacks to blacks, whites to whites and grounds to grounds, you will be ok.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 12:41 PM
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Electric Outlet Wiring Question

I opened the box to do option #1. I found that the box is too small to hold many wires (but i might get it to fit) AND that there is no hole to get the wire into the box (metal box).

Normally, you would punch the holes before the box is in the wall however, in this case, i need to punch it out while the box is is already there. I tried to punch it out and the box started to move which is a bad thing so i stopped. Can i just drill a hole through the back of the box? Also, is there a special clamp you are supposed to use to "hold" the ROMEX in place or can i skip this. The real crux of the problem is that this is not a sheetrock wall, it is 1inch reinforced mesh pre-fab concrete. I cannot just break it and easily fix it later.

Do they make an outlet that has 3 brass screws and 3 neutral screws? This way, i can just take the HOT to the first brass and then attach the other two wires to the remaining outlets
I know normally, you only have 2 brass screws.


Suggestions?
Thanks,
Zev.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by zbeck View Post
Normally, you would punch the holes before the box is in the wall however, in this case, i need to punch it out while the box is is already there. I tried to punch it out and the box started to move which is a bad thing so i stopped.
How I used to do it: drill a small hole in the the disc blocking the knockout opening, insert a sheet metal screw in the hole, and use the screw as a "lever" to work the disc back and forth until it breaks off.

When I used to do a lot of such work I kept a bit shrink-wrapped except for the tip handy to prevent damage to existing conductors in the box.

However... you will still need to fish a cable with connector attached to the back or side of the box from the exterior (that is, inside the wall), and of course you will need to observe the box-fill maximums.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 02:37 PM
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If the box has too many wires in it to begin with, adding wires won't solve the problem. Each box has wire fill capability, so you need to tell us how many cables (not wires) come into the box and the measurement of the box (side to side, top to bottom, and front to back)
You may find a receptacle (even lights are "outlets") in the professional lines of Cooper and others that use strict back wiring with the screws securing the back stab, and they will accomodate two wires per screw. It will cost a little more, but worth it compared to the headaches you are going through.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 08:14 PM
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Electric Outlet Wiring Question

It is a small box and I can tell it will not fit another wire. It barely holds the two sets of wire (one in and one out). Additionally, it is impossible to secure the wire (to the box) from the outside since i can barely open the wall. I guess it would be easier just to yank the box, and replace it with a single gang Old Work blue box and just redo it.

What a royal pain. The blue boxes are plastic so I assume i need to install some metal piece onto the plastic since the grounding travels over the armored wire.
Zev.
 
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Old 02-02-09, 08:37 PM
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The plastic boxes cannot be used with metallic wiring methods. You will need to use a deep metal box. You could also install a deep 4" square metal box with a 1/2" plaster ring. You would only need to patch over the ring.

The are also duplex cable connectors available where two cables fit into one knockout.
 
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