I am wiring a 20amp circuit. The #12 seems pretty hard to
deal inside the electral box for the with the receptacle.
I notice all the books demonstrates that incoming wires
and outgoing ones connect to the seperate screws on the
receptacle. Is there any reason not to use a pigtail
and connect to the receptacle first, then connect it
together in/out wires with a wire nut, just like what
is done to a ground wires? That would be much easier
than to bend those short and hard #12 wires and try to
screw on those 4 hot/neutral wires?
I am talking about the middle of the run, non-split
It is OK to use 14ga at the end of 20A run, like in this example.
Also, using separate posts on a strap to create a circuit passthrough is
prohibited in most codes. The "pigtail" as described by the original
poster is the correct method.
You would need to show me the pertinent code in order to convince me of
this, and still it would be unlikely I would do it myself anyways.
Fairly recent, but at least in our area, outlets must be of the heavy duty
( 20amp ) if a 20 A breaker is used to feed the line--the more common
outlets are only rated for 15 amps--and they no longer even accept #12 wire
into the pushlock terminals.
It is NOT OK to use down-sized conductors ANYWHERE in a residential branch
circuit without a overcurrent device suitable to protect the smaller wire.
It IS OK to use a strap on the receptacle, PROVIDED that device has the same
rating or higher than the overcurrent device.
I think, from memory (so don't ding me if it isn't exact) the relevant NEC
articles are 210-21 (Outlet Devices) and 210-19 (Branch Circuit Conductors).
Having said those two things, here's what I recommend:
If you want to use pigtails, that's OK so long as you've got permissible
room in the box and you use the same size wire. I would buy the commercial
grade 20 amp recepts. and use the screw-down clamps that a previous poster
In commercial buildings, and retrofits it is common to use pigtails so that
we can replace outlets hot without disrupting the neutral, and to sometimes
meet NEC requirements for conductor lengths inside the box... but these
systems have conduit and stranded wire instead of the stuff you're working
What you are proposing is the preferred way of wiring an
I do hope you have the deep rough-in boxes to allow more room for
wire, wire nuts, pigtails.
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
As I understand, as long as I have space to put those two extra pigtails
and wire two wire nuts in, I am OK with the box. The pigtails and wire
nuts don't reduce the number of allowable wires printed on the box,
>What you are proposing is the preferred way of wiring an
>I do hope you have the deep rough-in boxes to allow more room for
>wire, wire nuts, pigtails.
>Keep the whole world singing. . . .
>> I am wiring a 20amp circuit. The #12 seems pretty hard to
>> deal inside the electral box for the with the receptacle.
>> I notice all the books demonstrates that incoming wires
>> and outgoing ones connect to the seperate screws on the
>> receptacle. Is there any reason not to use a pigtail
>> and connect to the receptacle first, then connect it
>> together in/out wires with a wire nut, just like what
>> is done to a ground wires? That would be much easier
>> than to bend those short and hard #12 wires and try to
>> screw on those 4 hot/neutral wires?
>> I am talking about the middle of the run, non-split
Yes you can do that, although the box gets kind of crowded with the
pigtails if the box is only marginally big enough to start with. You
*could* even use stranded wire for the pigtails if the outlets will take
stranded wires or if you crimp terminals on the ends.
You also might look for heavy-duty back-wired outlets. I'm not talking
about the cheap ones that have a stab-lok connector for a #14 wire, but
commercial-grade outlets with wire clamps in the back that will take #12
(or even #10) wires. They're not that expensive -- maybe $1 more than
the cheap ones -- and they are easy to wire. Just strip the wires, put
them in the holes, and tighten the screws on the sides.
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