looking to add a couple of outlets for convenience (not
planning on significantly upping the loading on the circuit)
at the end of a run.
the way everything is structured it would be much easier to
just Tee the two off of the last outlet rather than run them
no other issues.
does this violate NEC? (can't imagine why it would but it
doesn't hurt to ask.)
thanks in advance
Don't know what you mean by"serially" , however yes you can add outlets to a
general lighting circuit for the purpose you describe. In a residence you
need so many circuits per square foot, but the number of outlets you install
beyond those required by various sections of the code, is your business.
not adding outlets to a lighting circuit as these are 20A
outlets and all my lighting is on 15A.
By strictly serially I mean that any one outlet in the
circuit feeds one and only one outlet, except for the last
What I want to do is have the outlet that is currently the
end of the run feed 2 more outlets, each of which would then
become an end of the run.
There should be no problem with code providing the box is big enough for the
number of wires you are stuffing into it. There are limits to the number of
wires you can use. Boxes come in different Cu In sizes and there are
calculation tables for the number and size wires allowed.
I would not feed from the outlet, you should pigtail off of the branch
circuit itself. If you feed from the outlet and the outlet fails so does
everything else down the line.
The only potential code problem is the number of wires in the box. Each box
is rated for a certain number of wires. Most outlets use a 14 cubic inch
box that is rated for 6 #12 or 7 #14 wires. This is from an older book and I
don't have a box handy to check. I usually rely on the info printed on the
boxes. The cubic inches and wire capacity is printed on most plastic and
If your box is an 18 cubic inch box and your circuit is 15 amp 14 gauge wire
you would be 100% legal with your 9 wires in the box.
All of that said, if it is a 15 amp circuit using #14 wire most likely you
will be fine with 9 wires in a box rated for 7. I have seen many more wires
than that on some older installations.
You will need to join all the wires inside the box and provide pigtails to
feed the existing outlet because putting 2 wires under one screw is a big no
no. The pigtails don't count as wires. Also makes it easier to change the
device in the future.
The only issue with this I know of that you might run into and is
addressed by the NEC is box fill. That is, trying to jam too many wires
into a box. I saw in your other post that this a 20a circuit so you'll
need at least #12 wires. If you have a single 12/2 in, 2 12/2s out and a
device you'll need a box for (3 cables * 2 current carrying conductors
each) + 1 for grounds + 2 for the receptacle = 9 * 2.25 cu in/conductor 20.25 cu in. If you happen to have a 4x4 box then you might be in good
shape or there are some extra deep single gang plastic boxes that big.
It's still going to be tight in any single gang box.
If you have some place to which you can pull the original feed back you
might consider putting a junction box there then branching off to your 3
locations from it.
Actually all outlets are wired parallel, i.e.
across the hot wire and the ground. The outlets
in any house I have been in are wired in a
continuous fashion by room or use, i.e., the wire
to the first outlet in a room goes to the first
outlet and then the wire continues on to the next
outlet, etc. Thus, each box (except for the last)
has an incoming romex and an outgoing romex.
Normally there is a different feed from the
breaker box to each room or specific function.
The idea is to keep the total wire length for a
single feed to the minimum, but you also keep the
number of wires to a minimum.
Leaving aside the question of the number of wires in a box; there was no
difficulty understanding that term 'serially'.
Serial etc. means "One after another".
And that's exactly what the OP asked; could he run 'both' of the two new
extra outlets from the 'last outlet' of the existing run; or, did he have to
wire them 'one after another' (Or; to paraphrase, 'one from the other
................). Thought the use of the word serially was quite apt, in
OP was not suggesting to wire the outlets themselves 'in series' instead of
Good replies; thank you.
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