Forum Thread

Outlet Wiring Question

LiquidRetro 12,661 4,824 January 28, 2016 at 07:24 AM
Long story short I need to add an outlet in my unfinished basement for a new whole house humidifier. Installer recommended I daisy chain a new outlet off a nearby existing one. Easy enough. I bought everything and ran the cable last night. My question is making the connections at the existing outlet.

The existing outlet is not the last one on the chain, so It has a inbound and outbound wire already. Would it be safe to do the following. Use the screw terminals for existing inbound and outbound. Then for the new wire, use the push down terminals to hook in. Essentially using the outlet as a 3 way? Looking at pictures of how these outlets are built it seems fine but I thought I would get everyone's opinions too.

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#2
You can do that. The backstabs are typically for homeowners and electricians do not use them. If it was me, I would take all the backstabs off and use the side screw terminals and wire-nuts in the box. Remember, no hidden junction boxes!
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#3
Quote from dealgate View Post :
You can do that. The backstabs are typically for homeowners and electricians do not use them. If it was me, I would take all the backstabs off and use the side screw terminals and wire-nuts in the box. Remember, no hidden junction boxes!
The electricians that wired my home did use the backstabs in most places. I have replaced about 2/3 of the switches and outlets as I paint rooms and noticed some were cracked with age. Everything I have replaced I use the screws. I just feel it's a better connection.

So if it was you, you would take all the common conductors so 3 and then wire nut in a nump to go to the one outlet. The box would be for the outlet and then the junction for all 3 to join? Seems like there might be a space issue.
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#4
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The electricians that wired my home did use the backstabs in most places. I have replaced about 2/3 of the switches and outlets as I paint rooms and noticed some were cracked with age. Everything I have replaced I use the screws. I just feel it's a better connection.

So if it was you, you would take all the common conductors so 3 and then wire nut in a nump to go to the one outlet. The box would be for the outlet and then the junction for all 3 to join? Seems like there might be a space issue.
The big issue would be space yes. It would be a lot easier to just connect your feeder line to the side screw terminals now that I think about it! Make sure you screw all the screws in all the way and wrap the screws (around the entire outlet) in electrical tape.

You could also come off the last outlet in the line and backtrack to where you need it. Since it is unfinished should be easy to do.
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#5
Quote from dealgate View Post :
The big issue would be space yes. It would be a lot easier to just connect your feeder line to the side screw terminals now that I think about it! Make sure you screw all the screws in all the way and wrap the screws (around the entire outlet) in electrical tape.

You could also come off the last outlet in the line and backtrack to where you need it. Since it is unfinished should be easy to do.
I think ill stick with the first. The last outlet is actually in a finished bathroom right next to the unfinished space so doing that would be alot harder. I will do the wrap on the wires even though in my area that's only code for commercial, it's a good idea anyways. .
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#6
I don't use any backstabs or outlet terminals on an outlet to run additional
backstabs are weak and I've had many come loose. I wire nut all and have pigtails for the outlets.
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#7
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The existing outlet is not the last one on the chain, so It has a inbound and outbound wire already. Would it be safe to do the following. Use the screw terminals for existing inbound and outbound. Then for the new wire, use the push down terminals to hook in.
If you add a wire to the existing box you may exceed the box fill requirements, but you're probably ok. http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/box...lculations
Check the size of the existing box and the wire gauge. It's OK to do this assuming 14ga wire (you don't see 12ga. backstabs anymore), but I would probably just use wire nuts. To make it easier, you may want to install a larger box.

4 wires in a wire nut can get a little messy, I'd probably just put 2 wires and a pigtail for the outlet in the wire nut and connect the humidifier wire the other half of the outlet. All the grounds have to be connected together. The crimp on connectors for ground wires can be helpful as they take up less space and you can keep the incoming wire long pass it through the crimp and connect it to the outlet eliminating the need for a ground pigtail.
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#8
Quote from dealgate View Post :
The big issue would be space yes. It would be a lot easier to just connect your feeder line to the side screw terminals now that I think about it! Make sure you screw all the screws in all the way and wrap the screws (around the entire outlet) in electrical tape.

You could also come off the last outlet in the line and backtrack to where you need it. Since it is unfinished should be easy to do.
Quote from stufine View Post :
I don't use any backstabs or outlet terminals on an outlet to run additional
backstabs are weak and I've had many come loose. I wire nut all and have pigtails for the outlets.
Quote from jkee View Post :
If you add a wire to the existing box you may exceed the box fill requirements, but you're probably ok. http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/box...lculations
Check the size of the existing box and the wire gauge. It's OK to do this assuming 14ga wire (you don't see 12ga. backstabs anymore), but I would probably just use wire nuts. To make it easier, you may want to install a larger box.

4 wires in a wire nut can get a little messy, I'd probably just put 2 wires and a pigtail for the outlet in the wire nut and connect the humidifier wire the other half of the outlet. All the grounds have to be connected together. The crimp on connectors for ground wires can be helpful as they take up less space and you can keep the incoming wire long pass it through the crimp and connect it to the outlet eliminating the need for a ground pigtail.
To update everyone. I finished running my wires yesterday and wired everything up. It ended up the box in question already had wire nuts and pigtales to the outlet. So by the light of a flashlight I just added the additional wires to the wire nuts and the job was done. Easy as it could be.
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