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General observations from "outlet newbie" and a couple questions

General observations from "outlet newbie" and a couple questions

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Old 01-16-17, 01:32 PM
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General observations from "outlet newbie" and a couple questions

Hi.

Well my new project as of late is to replace all the old 1971 receptacles and switches. I've also been trying to figure out all the circuits and where they start and end in the house. So far I've only found 2 Kaiser Aluminum cables that are mostly in the open. One goes "home run" from the washer to the panel and the other one goes from the basement renovated room up to a bedroom outlet and terminates there as far as I can tell.

Anyways, as I try to figure out the circuits I'm noticing a few things. There is an outlet in the bedroom that is controlled by a switch and is "half-hot".

In this outlet I noticed there are 3 cables coming in and I'm assuming it's 14/2. Yes they're all copper, save for the one outlet in the room with the aluminum cable mentioned above! I took all the wingnuts off and have confirmed.

So, I realize that one of the cables goes up to the SWITCH and I looked in the switch and there's only 1 cable coming in.

I'm assuming that ONE cable into the outlet comes in as POWER IN and I would assume that ONE goes somewhere else (most likely the bathroom next to me since the breaker kills that also and it's closest) to continue the circuit.

So my general observations are: Please let me know if they're "generally" correct lol:

1. An outlet with one cable must obviously be the terminus of a circuit.

2. A switched outlet (half hot) with 3 cables coming in. One goes to switch, one is POWER IN and one continues the circuit elsewhere.?

3. 2 cable coming into receptacle. One is POWER in and one continues the circuit elsewhere. Pigtail usually to outlet.

So, hopefully I'm getting all this! Remember I've never done ANY of this stuff before.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-16-17, 01:42 PM
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1. An outlet with one cable must obviously be the terminus of a circuit.
Yes.
2. A switched outlet (half hot) with 3 cables coming in. One goes to switch, one is POWER IN and one continues the circuit elsewhere.?
Yes if the white of one cable is connected to the black of another cable.
3. 2 cable coming into receptacle. One is POWER in and one continues the circuit elsewhere.
Yes.
Pigtail usually to outlet.
Not sure what you are asking.
 
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Old 01-16-17, 02:08 PM
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Thanks ray2047!

Can you help me figure these things out?

1. Let's start with a very simple 2 cable receptacle. So POWER comes in to switch and then out the other cable somewhere else. My question is about how everything's connected.

A. I assume that the black and white coming in would go to the top screws on the outlet, of course black to brass, etc.

B. Then the black and white going out connect to the bottom screw of the outlet?

C. The two grounds are connected with a pigtailed ground to the outlet.

OR would you connect the POWER in cable to the POWER out cable and then pigtail to the outlet?

Are both configs legal?
 
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Old 01-16-17, 02:13 PM
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Also, from what I can see inside my outlet receptacles, they're all tan plastic boxes and the cables are not secured to the boxes. I'm ASSUMING that they are stapled within "8 inches of the receptacle" to be legal per 314.17?

Is this ok?
 
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Old 01-16-17, 02:36 PM
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Brian, I strongly recommend that you buy a copy of Wiring Simplified and read it cover to cover. Wiring Simplified is the "bible" for DIY electrical work. It has been in continuous print for more than fifty years, updated every three years to coincide with the updating of the National Electrical Code. The cost is about ten dollars from on-line book sellers and maybe a bit less in local stores. At the big box mega-mart homecenters it is found in the electrical aisles and NOT in the books and magazines section.

Wiring Simplified will have most of the answers to the questions that you have asked here and a whole of answers to questions that you have yet to ask. For the layman it is far easier to read than the actual National Electrical Code and it not only tells you HOW things are done but WHY they are done in a particular manner. Knowing the why makes it much easier to understand the how.
 
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Old 01-16-17, 08:09 PM
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The screws can be used or a pigtail can be used to connect to the devices. It does not matter top or bottom.
 
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