where to get power from

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  #1  
Old 12-16-12, 11:29 AM
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where to get power from

I'm adding two electrical outlets on a wall to an existing circuit that has 6 potlights and a couple of outlets on it. The question is should I fish wire through the wall to hook up the new outlets one of the old ones or can I access power through the potlights in the attic? The potlights seems easier - but not sure if I can do that(?) Or do I just fish the wire from the attic down to one of the existing outlets and run that wire over and down to the new outlet?

Just wondering others' thoughts...

Thanks
 
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Old 12-16-12, 11:51 AM
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If you take power off the lights your receptacle will only work when the lights are on. Your better off taking power of an existing receptacle.

Of course you will want to take in account what you are planning to power with these new receptacles, as you don't want to overload the circuit. Also, you may not tap off the small appliance circuit in the kitchen or bathroom receptacles.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 12:54 PM
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do I just fish the wire from the attic down to one of the existing outlets and run that wire over and down to the new outlet?
That should be the easiest and cleanest way to do it.

Look for the existing receptacle that is at the end of the line - only a single cable coming into the box - and start from there.

Where are the receptacles you want to extend from? What do they serve?
 
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Old 12-16-12, 02:40 PM
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To make fishing easier remove the receptacle box you are taking power from. They are usually nailed to a stud and the nails can be cut with a Sawzall or a hack saw blade with a duct tape handle. After you use the hole for fishing you can pop in an old work box.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 03:53 PM
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Makes sense. Hopefully the closest outlet is the last in line. If it isn't can I still use it or do I have to find the end of the line/circuit? Can you even do three wires in/out of box or I'll have to find end of the line?

BTW - I do have a proper electrician coming in before I turn on any juice. I know I can learn...but don't mess with any power until I have a much more knowledgeable person "OK" it.

Thanks
 
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Old 12-16-12, 04:31 PM
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Yes, you can use one in the middle but you will need to pigtail. I'd suggest a deep old work box in that case so you have plenty of room though a standard depth would work.
 
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Old 12-16-12, 05:39 PM
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Hopefully the closest outlet is the last in line.
You can kill the power and pull the receptacles out to see.

Tech note: An outlet is any box in which power can be accessed. Ceiling boxes are outlets, for example. The device that receives a plug is a receptacle.

If it isn't can I still use it or do I have to find the end of the line/circuit? Can you even do three wires in/out of box or I'll have to find end of the line?
Yes, you can. But I would definitely install the deep old-work box, as Ray suggested, if I had to T-tap the existing cabling in the middle of the run. If this is a 20A circuit with 12AWG wires, a standard depth box just doesn't cut it.
 
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Old 12-17-12, 03:57 PM
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Thanks - that's the kind of thing I wouldn't have thought of until I tried to stuff (er...neatly organized) all those pigtailed wires inside the box/receptacle.

If I take off the outlet, try and do some fishing, and it doesn't go so well and I want to turn the power back on before I'm done, can I just pigtail the wires together to continue the circuit and tuck away or do I need to put the plug back in? Just checking...seems to makes sense...but I couldn't find that out in any of the reading I've done.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-17-12, 04:44 PM
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Yes you can directly connect white to white and black to black with wire nuts. The pigtails are not installed till after the box is installed.
 
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