Adding an outlet to an existing circuit

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  #1  
Old 03-09-11, 01:47 PM
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Adding an outlet to an existing circuit

Greetings all, I have a newbie question about "splicing" into an existing residential electric circuit:

I want to add a GFCI outlet to an existing circuit in my house. The circuit starts at the panel outside on a 20 amp breaker and comes in on NM-14/2 and goes about 80 feet around the perimeter of the house. The circuit includes a pull string CFL light bulb, outlet (unused), outlet (unused), outlet (unused), outlet (unused), outlet (alarm clock, cell phone), and a switched exterior CFL bulb (switch is on the inside). I want to "splice" in a new outlet by connecting some NM-14/2 to the existing pigtails belonging to the pull string light bulb. This fixture is at the beginning of the circuit and is 2-3 feet from the panel. (This is "branched" off from the existing "chain" rather than adding this outlet to the existing "chain")

I will be running some computing equipment off of the outlet and the load is about 7-8 amps for that equipment. I am willing to not use most of those outlets to keep the load down.

Is this an acceptable way to add this new outlet? Are there gotchas here that I am not seeing?
 
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Old 03-09-11, 01:58 PM
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circuit breaker is too big for the cable being used

First gotcha I see is the breaker should be 15 amps instead of 20 for that circuit.
 
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Old 03-09-11, 02:04 PM
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First is that breaker needs to be changed to 15A for #14 wire.

Second, you cannot extend the existing circuit if any of those receptacles serve the kitchen, bathroom or laundry area. Otherwise you could extend it to your new receptacle, but I see little reason to do so given that you are 2-3' from the panel. Run the new circuit using 12-2 cable to a 20A breaker in the panel.
 
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Old 03-13-11, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys, I had completely over looked a 20 AMP breaker on 14/2 cabling. That calls in to question the rest of this home's wiring - just bought this house (*gulp*). I guess it's time to map out all circuits in the house and review the breaker sizes.

ibpooks, I think you are correct and at this point a new circuit is in order. I was trying to avoid opening the service panel since 240v lives in there and I am not a guru. A single outlet on a single circuit shouldn't be a big deal code-wise assuming the panel isn't at full load already. I had bought the new edition of the Black and Decker wiring book, the only thing it does not contain is "splicing" into another circuit and whether that was the correct was to do so.
 
  #5  
Old 03-13-11, 04:56 PM
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Depending on what room the receptacle is in, an afci may be req'd.
Thanks for the replies guys, I had completely over looked a 20 AMP breaker on 14/2 cabling. That calls in to question the rest of this home's wiring - just bought this house (*gulp*). I guess it's time to map out all circuits in the house and review the breaker sizes.
Watch out for 14awg switchloops, and 14awg between lights fed by 12awg on 20A, because that lurked in my house.
 
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