does sheathing have to be inside outlet box?

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Old 08-20-09, 03:22 PM
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does sheathing have to be inside outlet box?

I have a receptacle that has 3 sets of white, black, and ground wires running to/from it. I pigtailed the 3 white together, the 3 black together, and the 3 grounds together and ran a 4th corresponding wire from each set to the silver, brass and green screws.

It was a pretty tight fit getting all that back into the outlet box, and I wasn't able to run the sheathing all the way into the box (see pics). Is this ok? Or should I do it differently?


 
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Old 08-20-09, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by myke232 View Post
Is this ok?
No, the sheathing must be at least 1/4" into the box. If you're having trouble getting everything to fit, then you almost certainly need to get a deeper box. It will also help to buy a backwired (not stabbed!) receptacle capable of clamping up to four wires on each side to eliminate two wirenuts.

It sounds like you have 9 fill units (6x conductors, 1x ground, 2x device) which means a minimum box size of 18.0 cu. in. for #14 wire or 20.25 cu. in. for #12 wire.
 
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Old 08-20-09, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
No, the sheathing must be at least 1/4" into the box. If you're having trouble getting everything to fit, then you almost certainly need to get a deeper box. It will also help to buy a backwired (not stabbed!) receptacle capable of clamping up to four wires on each side to eliminate two wirenuts.

It sounds like you have 9 fill units (6x conductors, 1x ground, 2x device) which means a minimum box size of 18.0 cu. in. for #14 wire or 20.25 cu. in. for #12 wire.
Interesting, thank you. I will definitely fix this then.

I believe that box is 18 cu in. (wire is #14). This backwired receptacle you mention; so there are 4 screws per side?
 
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Old 08-20-09, 05:38 PM
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No...generally there are two screws per side...each screw can backwire two wires.

 
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Old 08-21-09, 06:01 AM
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To clarify, you don't make a shepherd's crook in the wire to attach them to the screws on a back wired device(that is never done). There are the types with two holes in the body and you tighten the screw down on both wires at once, and the type with a capture device directly under the screw that you slip two stripped wires under it without twisting them.
 

Last edited by pcboss; 08-21-09 at 06:23 AM. Reason: clarification on back wired
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Old 08-21-09, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TomZ1 View Post
No...generally there are two screws per side...each screw can backwire two wires.
Originally Posted by chandler View Post
...and the type with a capture device directly under the screw that you slip two stripped wires under it without twisting them.
Thanks guys. Ok, I bought a couple of those. Interestingly though, I am still being told by some that pigtailing and running only one wire to the outlet is the best method to employ; better than slipping two wires under the capture device under the screw... Any opinions on that?

Oh also on a side note, it turns out that box I had was only 14 cu in. So I now got some that are 21 cu in. that attache to a stud. I'm going to move the outlet up an inch or two (to gain more wire), and with the larger box I should be able to fit everything inside easier...
 
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Old 08-21-09, 07:43 AM
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Pigtailing does not rely on the device to make the splice. The device can fail or be removed and the circuit will still continue to operate.

The back wired devices are also a very reliable method of making connections.

I prefer pigtailing when more than 2 wires are involved, especially when changing a device out.
 
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Old 08-21-09, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Pigtailing does not rely on the device to make the splice. The device can fail or be removed and the circuit will still continue to operate.

The back wired devices are also a very reliable method of making connections.

I prefer pigtailing when more than 2 wires are involved, especially when changing a device out.
Thank you for your input!
 
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Old 08-22-09, 04:20 PM
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Ok, I cut bigger holes, installed new outlet boxes, and re-wired everything... pics below...

1st one:

Plenty of sheathing inside box:


Back-wired the whites and blacks, also pigtailed and connected ground wire...


Taped and screwed into box:


2nd one:


Not as much sheathing available; the more I worked with it the more it just flaked away...


3rd one; for this one I kept the original box and ran a ground to the box and the receptacle. Then just one black and one white hooked around the screws...
 
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Old 08-22-09, 04:44 PM
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Glad to see you got it all worked out.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 06:50 PM
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Love those adjustable boxes, especially when the customer hasn't made their mind up whether sheetrock, t&g bead board, or other wall covering. Makes the finish smooth.
 
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Old 08-23-09, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Love those adjustable boxes, especially when the customer hasn't made their mind up whether sheetrock, t&g bead board, or other wall covering. Makes the finish smooth.
Yeah, I agree; they are pretty cool. That adjustment is going to make things so much easier when I repair and prep the wall...
 
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