Receptacle Wiring


Old 11-30-20, 07:13 PM
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Receptacle Wiring

Hey guys, how are y'all doing? I want to say thanks in advanced to any tips and advice. So I'm replacing old receptacles in my home (15 amp duplexes). I started out by replacing bad receptacles in 2 rooms. Both rooms were 15 amp circuits with 12 ga wire. The old receptacles were "self-contained" meaning no junction boxes or work boxes. And in my opinion they were just junk. I was able to wire them up with no problems. I had to use a few pigtails here and there to avoid placing two wires under one screw. I have plenty of spare 14 ga wire.. and since it's a 15 amp circuit 14 ga pigtails from 12 ga shouldn't be a problem correct? I've been told that it will work just fine with no hazard. Now to my last question, I'm changing receptacleson a 20 amp circuit. 12 ga wire of course. I was able to connect all hot/neutral to the receptacles without an issue and without pigtails. But I'm trying to avoid placing the two separate ends of the ground under the screw. So my last question is, will it be fine to run a 14 ga ground pigtail from the 12 ga ground without a major hazard? I appreciate any advice. Im just a young man on a limited budget and without much advice. I know the reasonable answer would be to just go buy some 12 ga pigtails or a roll of 12 ga wire.. but I'm a poor man. I'd have to wait until my next pay period (2 wks) to afford it, plus Christmas is coming up. I just need to know if 14 ga ground pigtail from 12 ga ground will hold up without hazard for a few weeks, at least until after holidays. Thanks
Old 11-30-20, 10:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The old receptacles were "self-contained" meaning no junction boxes or work boxes.
That sounds pretty scary and completely unsafe. Can you explain better ?

All electrical devices must be installed in an approved box.
Every receptacle has four screws. Two for hot and two for neutral.
You can put one wire under each screw.

15A circuit using #12.
What's to keep someone from converting that "15A" circuit to 20A.
After all.... It is using #12 wiring. Now you'll have #14 tails in a 20A circuit.

On a 20A circuit..... you need to use #12 for the ground..... even the tail.

Old 12-01-20, 10:48 AM
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UL approved self contained devices exist, I think they are used mainly in mobile homes, not sure.
CasualJoe voted this post useful.
Old 12-01-20, 10:57 AM
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Maybe OP is referring to surface mount receptacles, the type that have knockouts and you use a KO connector and all the exposed wiring is inside the receptacle enclosure?
Old 12-01-20, 01:40 PM
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Old 12-01-20, 04:13 PM
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Yes Cwbuff. Self-contained, similar to the ones you posted. And as for the 12ga on 15 amp.. the whole entire home (built in 2004) was ran with 12 ga. Now, with every receptacle I've changed with "preferred" 15amp deluxe, I've installed junction boxes and wired them correctly. My issue lies with the 20 amp circuit, I need to run a pigtail from the ground to connect to the receptacles because it is unsafe to place two wires under one screw. But I only have 14ga wire available right now. I don't have to pigtail from hot or neutral. Those are tied into the receptacles as needed. I just need to know if a 14ga pigtail from 12 ga ground would be ok for a couple weeks. And I've spoken to a journeyman electrician (I don't know him personally or I would be in contact with him )about my 14ga pigtails from 12 ga on a 15 amp circuit and he assured me that it's fine. Stating that 12ga is acceptable on 15amp or 20amp, and since my 14ga pigtails are ran on a 15amp circuit, there was no hazard. But I just need to know about a ground pigtail on my 20 amp circuit. Y'alls help is much appreciated!
Old 12-01-20, 06:48 PM
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It will be safe until you can replace it with #12.
Old 12-02-20, 10:51 AM
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But I just need to know about a ground pigtail on my 20 amp circuit.
It's technically not code-compliant, but it certainly won't be a problem. Older NM-B used 16ga wire for the grounds and there's still a lot of that in houses today.

Home Depot (and likely your local hardware store) sells wire by the foot, so you could probably get a few feet of 12ga wire or cable for a dollar or two and not break the bank.

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