Plan for Basement Electrical Outlets - Feedback Please

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In wrote:

You friend was lucky. Our house had all (orignall) outlets backstabbed. One in the family room burned up for some unkown reason (short? arc?). Our insurance company not only paid for the repair of the 3' x 3' hole the firefighters had to make in the dry wall to make sure the small insulation fire was out, but they paid to have an electrican replace that outlet AND rewire every other outlet in the house to use the terminal screws.
--
Jim
"Remember, an amateur built the Ark; professionals built the Titanic."
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I concur that you should have more than one receptacle circuit. I would also put the refrigerator on its own circuit. Here in New Jersey it is required to have at least one GFI receptacle in the unfinished space and it is also a requirement to have a three way switch at the top and bottom of the basement stairs for the lights near and over the stairs. We are also required to have a ceiling mounted interconnected smoke detector within three feet of the bottom step of the basement stairs. You should also have a GFI receptacle near the furnace/air conditioning/water heater space for servicing purposes.
You might also want to install cable TV and phone jacks in a few places.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv
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I'd run 12-3 and put every other outlet on a circuit. Two circuits, and you'll never have a problem. Use a 20A double pole breaker. Be sure to pigtail out when you land the outlets.
--
Steve Barker



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What do you mean when you say: "Be sure to pigtail out when you land the outlets." ?
I'm looking at a wiring diagram in my DIY book and I think I see what you're talking about. But, what's the purpose of the pigtails? They don't look like they perform any function..
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the receptacle connectors. Then, connect *that* to the box wiring. This gives you extra pull out room and lets you leave the box wiring mostly alone for swaping the unit out. Probably has some other benefits as well.
You might have to use larger boxes to handle the extra wire.
--
May no harm befall you,
flip
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
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By pigtailing you avoid the chance that a loose connection on any one outlet would affect the downstream outlets. It is especially important when using 12-3 to pigtail the neutrals. This way if you have to replace an outlet, you don't "open" your neutral circuit to the downstream outlets. It's just good practice to never use the outlet as a connection by putting 4 wires on it.
--
Steve Barker


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It's perfectly fine to install four wires on a receptacle, it is however illegal to have a neutral in a three wire Edison circuit dependent upon a device

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Yes, fine. But not recommended.
--
Steve Barker


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If you had to replace an outlet, you'd have the breaker off at the panel, wouldn't you? Why would you care what happened downstream on a dead circuit branch?
I looked in a recent addition of "Wiring Simplified" and they show pigtailing only when the wire feeding the outlet box goes on to another circuit, and not just the string of outlets. They clearly show a string of outlets connected by the two pairs of screws on each side. Their only caveat is that code prohibits more than one wire under a screw terminal. That just means you have no choice but to continue the string of outlets until the end and not wire in any other devices. If they were wrong, I would have hoped someone would have noticed by the 38th edition. :-)
I ask because in the new home construction I've encountered, not only were the outlets chained together, they were backstabbed together. Now that's asking for trouble, but for a different reason. Those connections can vibrate loose and if they're on an outside wall, they can work loose by expansion and contraction.

From what I've seen adding more connections to the outlet box doesn't increase reliability. If you pigtail you've got two extra "three wires to one wire nut" connections for each outlet. I've come across more than one "three wire nut" that's got one wire popped out of it.
It takes strong hands and a good eye to cut, strip and twist three stiff wires into a nut that will survive repacking into the back of the box. It's not a problem for an electrical pro, but for people doing their own electric al work, it seems a lot easier and lot more reliable if they just daisy chain the outlets using the screw terminals.
I'm still not clear on why it would be preferable for even an electrician to make three connections (pigtail) when he could just as easily make only two (pass-thru), especially when we're talking about a string of outlets on a dedicate breaker. What am I missing?
-- Bobby G.
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In my case, i think the problem is that the neutral wire is shared between the two alternating circuits. So if the continuity of the neutral circuit is interrupted because of a bad outlet or something, pigtailing will avoid that problem. Anyway, that's my take. Both my Black & Decker DIY books show pigtailing and thats the recommendation I see in these groups so that's with I'M gonna do. :-)
Kevin
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It's code requirement here for shared neutrals.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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getting the device into or flush with the box. 4 or 5 short stiff 12-gauge wires can be quite uncooperative to fold up and tuck into a small space. And on some lamp bases I recently hung in the basement, the screw tabs for the wires were flimsy enough that they wanted to bend with 4 wires attached. I did the pigtails, folded the feedwires and nuts up tight into the box, and only had to deal with 2 wires when pushing everything up into place. Much easier.
aem sends...
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It's not uncommon to see shared neutral circuits to not be tiebarred together in the panel. Someone naively turning off one breaker, and pulling out the outlet breaking the neutral (he doesn't get zapped unless something is live and pulling power on the other leg) can result in rather nasty things happening. Especially if the first breaker is turned back on. That downstream may not really be dead in a shared neutral.
It happened often enough for our code to require neutral pigtails at least on shared neutral circuits. As yours does.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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In wrote:

Instead of "daisy chaining" the outlet with the supply going to one screw and the downstream loand going to the other, you connect the supply, load, and a small "pigtail" wire together with a wirenut and then wire the pigtail to a screw on the outlet.
This is especially important for the neutral on a 3 wire "Edison" type circuit where you have 2 hots and a netrual e.g., 12-3, in the box. In this case you really have 2 circuits (opposite phases, usually black and red sharing the same white netural wire. The reason this works is because the worst case is one circuit (say, the red wire) is fully loaded and the other one (back wire) is unused. Then you have the same current in the white wire as the red one which is OK. As you begin to add load to the black wire, the opposing phase current in the white wire actually cancels out the other and you have less current in the neutral (white) wire. If both hot wires carried exactly the same load, there would be NO current in the neutral.
If one of the outlets is removed or fails or a connection comes loose, and the neutral is not pigtailed, the downstream outlets will suddenly have 240v across them and be wired in series. Light bulbs turn blue and go pop; other devices fail in more spectacular ways.
Originally, our house not only had several of these circuits with no pigtails, but the neutral wires were backstabbed into the outlets. My skin crawls just thinking about it. It's all been converted now.
--
Jim
"Remember, an amateur built the Ark; professionals built the Titanic."
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Yes...I'll definitely be pigtailing!!
Thanks for the feedback!
Kevin
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Steve Barker LT wrote:

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No more than 10 plug ins on circuit. Plug ins no further than 6 feet apart.
You need more plug ins (180 lineal feet divided by 6' = nominal 30 plug ins.)
--
Jim McLaughlin

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You are misinterpreting two separate rules
"Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote in message

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a 10 receptable per breaker is good common sense rule.
espically if you ever lived in a home like mine where way too many outlets were on the same circuit.
hey turn the fan and blender off so i can turn on the floodlight to put out the garbage:(
I have upgraded endlessely to fix such issues....
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It's not a rule, it's a preference. When I wired houses, I typically installed seven on a 15 amp circuit

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