Three lines attached to single electrical receptacle??

Hello.
Last night I was creplacing some older receptacles in my home with newer ones, and came across something that I'm not sure about how to handle.
The receptacle box in question has three separate electrical lines (not individual wires, actual lines with three wires each - hot, neutral, and ground) entering it.
Each side of the receptacle has three wires attached to it. For instance, all three of the black hot wires are attached to the right side of the receptacle (two are attached at the screw points, and the third is installed in the 'push in' hole on the back of the receptacle.
I've never seen this before, and everything I've seen/read has indicated a maximum of two wires can be connected to either side.
Can someone tell me if this is correct/safe, and if not how I'd go about wiring the new receptacle correctly?
Thanks, Corey
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You have 1 feeder cable. The other 2 go to other circuits. In general, the "push-in" terminal should be avoided, but as long as the connections are tight and you have enough room in the box for 3 cables, you should be ok
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cdale snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

From what you describe it sounds like the installer of that receptical decided to use it a junction point for a single incoming powered line and two outgoing lines delivering power to other devices.
That's if the "straps" (jumpers) on the sides of that receptical are still in place. If they have been removed then it could be there are two powered lines coming into the box, from separate breakers, each one servicing one of the two receptical sockets, and one outgoing line taking power elsewhere. A test lamp or voltmeter should be used to make sure of just what's going on there.
I'm not a code mavin, but I've got a feeling that setup may not be up to code in some areas.
I'd be leary of it either way and rewire it using proper size wirenuts to make the joins with pigtail leads from those going to the receptical.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Someone was lazy.
I have seen 4 sets on an outlet.
General pratice for me and people who work around me 2 sets of wires on a device ok, 3 or more and we start pigtailing all of the like conductors out as one wire. I believe pigtailing is a better situation cause your not dependant on the outlet to be part of the circuit. If something happens to the outlet then there would be several places that would be out of electricity.
If the device is UL listed for 3 wires then it is ok. Me thinks it is probably listed for 2.
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Bingo, we have a winner. The U/L white book says the receptacles with push in connectors are not evaluated with wires in both the screw terminal and push in hole so it violates the listing.
As mentioned the ones with 2 back wire holes and clamp will take 2 in and 2 out per pole.
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| > Hello. | > | > Last night I was creplacing some older receptacles in my home with | > newer ones, and came across something that I'm not sure about how to | > handle. | > | > The receptacle box in question has three separate electrical lines (not | > individual wires, actual lines with three wires each - hot, neutral, | > and ground) entering it. | > | > Each side of the receptacle has three wires attached to it. For | > instance, all three of the black hot wires are attached to the right | > side of the receptacle (two are attached at the screw points, and the | > third is installed in the 'push in' hole on the back of the receptacle. | > | > I've never seen this before, and everything I've seen/read has | > indicated a maximum of two wires can be connected to either side. | > | > Can someone tell me if this is correct/safe, and if not how I'd go | > about wiring the new receptacle correctly? | > | > Thanks, | > Corey | | Someone was lazy. | | I have seen 4 sets on an outlet. | | General pratice for me and people who work around me 2 sets of wires on a | device ok, 3 or more and we start pigtailing all of the like conductors out | as one wire. | I believe pigtailing is a better situation cause your not dependant on the | outlet to be part of the circuit. If something happens to the outlet then | there would be several places that would be out of electricity. | | If the device is UL listed for 3 wires then it is ok. Me thinks it is | probably listed for 2. | |
Seems like lazy is right.
Also seems that the 3 lines should be joined via MARS connectors and a 4th line should go from the junction to the terminals of the receptacle.
Better yet, if the OP can determine where the lines come from and where they go, separate junction box/fuses/breakers.
--
PDQ

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cdale snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

As mentioned, running the 3 wires into a wire nut with a 4th wire to go the receptacle would be a good way to handle this.
There are also receptacles with holes similar to the push-in that use a screw clamp to hold the wire instead of a spring. They're typically called "commercial grade" and all the ones I've seen can take 4 wires under those clamps. Consensus seems to be that using the screw clamp push-ins is better than using the spring clamp push-in but not quite as good as wrapping around the screw terminals.
Doug
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Thanks to everyone that replied! All the response helped. I think I'll go the easy route and use a pigtail to connect the three to the receptacle.
Cheers!
Corey
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