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Old 12-13-2011, 10:52 AM   #1
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


I'm seeking an instruction/schematic/how-to/etc showing how to add an electrical outlet from an existing outlet that has 2 black/hot, 2 white/neutral wires attached on each side, and 2 green/ground wires nutted together and screwed to the existing outlet's ground via a third short green wire.

I found the following (see link below, WFS) and know I can execute it, but would like to know how the procedure changes when the wiring is as described above (I also attached pictures to be clear)

http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...t/Step-By-Step

Perhaps more relevant is what this configuration accomplishes in the first place...

If this is covered ground in this forum a link to that thread would be great and I apologize.

I appreciate all insights and tips from everyone's experience. I'll do my best to clarify and give any addition info that's relevant to this project.

Also any experience, tips, things to know and look out for, methods, etc are welcomed. My experience is in residential remodeling and carpentry, limited in steel stud work and electrical.

FYI:
2010 condo construction in Brooklyn NY, 2" steel studs against the exterior block wall, fiberglass insulation, and 5/8" sheetrock.

I'm adding the outlet within the same stud bay up the wall so that it will be directly above a TV wall mount I'm installing so that instead of running an in-wall conduit for the TV's to go thru and back out to the existing outlet the TV will plug in right by it's wall mount, thus essentially hiding the cords altogether.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Do the same thing they did with the green wire.
Connect your new black wire to both black wires, with a small pigtail to attach to the receptacle.
Do the same thing for the white wires.
You can also get a clock receptacle, so the plug will be recessed.

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Old 12-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


I just want to make sure I'm getting this right...

When I'm done the existing outlet should still have 2 blacks and 2 whites attached to each side? Nothing should change as far as that connection configuration?

Then I'll have the 2 black wired split/nutted (pigtailed? Is that like making 1-into-2 at a nut connection?) and have THOSE 2 black wires connected to the ONE black wire that goes to the new outlet?

The same goes for the neutrals? What about the ground, does the newgreen need to go into that original 2-into-1 nut so that it's then 3-into-1?

What should I be looking out for on connecting the new outlet?

Why are there 4 points for connection?

If I add another outlet to the added so that 4 plugs can be connected at the new location do I wire that the simple way in that original link with wire nuts?

I saw those setback recepticals and like the idea, but I don't thing I have the depth in the wall. In any case the mount keeps the TV a minimum of 4.5" off the wall so it should work out.

I apologize for my wordiness and obvious lack of correct electrical terminology.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


When you are done, you will have one black wire and one white wire on the receptacle.
All other wires will be under a wire nut, just like they did with the green wire.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan
When you are done, you will have one black wire and one white wire on the receptacle.
All other wires will be under a wire nut, just like they did with the green wire.
Ok, so the existing outlet will go from having 2 black and 2 whites on each side to just one of each on each side?

The new outlet I assume will have just the one black and one white on each side.

I understand the configuration of combining wires under a nut with a short wire connecting that point to the outlet itself.

What's the significance of the "2 on each side" configuration that's on the existing outlet?
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


The reason why the previous electrician wired both to the outlet is simply to avoid having to use pigtails, that is all. The outlet is simply interrupting the romex in the wall, so wire nutting the conductors together (all blacks in one wirenut, all whites in one, etc) is simply allowing the power to bypass the outlet, then the pigtail supplies the power to the outlet.

Take note how the loop is wrapped around the screw, so that the loop will tighten up as you screw the screw down and not loosen the loop. This will ensure that the connections stay tight.

Clear as mud? Hope this helps.



This logic would change if the outlet was a half hot/half switched then you would have to have wires on all the outlet screw lugs. How you can tell if you have an outlet with this, is that the tab in between the outlet screw lugs would be broken. But this instance is not the case with what you have as the tab is not broken.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((><
The reason why the previous electrician wired both to the outlet is simply to avoid having to use pigtails, that is all. The outlet is simply interrupting the romex in the wall, so wire nutting the conductors together (all blacks in one wirenut, all whites in one, etc) is simply allowing the power to bypass the outlet, then the pigtail supplies the power to the outlet.

Take note how the loop is wrapped around the screw, so that the loop will tighten up as you screw the screw down and not loosen the loop. This will ensure that the connections stay tight.

Clear as mud? Hope this helps.

This logic would change if the outlet was a half hot/half switched then you would have to have wires on all the outlet screw lugs. How you can tell if you have an outlet with this, is that the tab in between the outlet screw lugs would be broken. But this instance is not the case with what you have as the tab is not broken.
OK, that makes sense to me, especially since what I've found on how to do this shows the existing outlet with a pigtail already in the box.

What's existing is a simple outlet, I read something along the lines of what you're describing as the exception in this configuration, but didn't exactly grasp it.

To take that one step further, I could use the 2 extra connections on the newly added outlet to add yet another outlet, this time without pigtailing, correct?

Thanks
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


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Originally Posted by danebhut View Post
OK, that makes sense to me, especially since what I've found on how to do this shows the existing outlet with a pigtail already in the box.

What's existing is a simple outlet, I read something along the lines of what you're describing as the exception in this configuration, but didn't exactly grasp it.

To take that one step further, I could use the 2 extra connections on the newly added outlet to add yet another outlet, this time without pigtailing, correct?

Thanks
Yes the other screws could be used in the future to supply power to another outlet, however, you would then run into box fill problems most likely. By code you are only allowed a certain number of conductors (based on gauge size of wire) for the size of the box.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Thanks for all the help!

Just a few tip-ins...

What Romex should I be using? 12/2? 14/2? (what do these mean by the way?)

Should I try to fish the new Romex behind the fiberglass insulation for any reason?

Any advise or things to look out for on the box I choose for the new outlet? I heard a "remodeling" version that face mounts to the sheetrock instead of a stud is convenient, but advisable?

Any method to navigate the 2 existing Romex feeds coming thru the top punch outs of the existing box? It looks like I have to have the new Romex enter thru a bottom punchout, can I do that without having to remove that box and risking havin to repair the drywall there? Or do I need a new box for the existing outlet to accommodate the new Romex in? (there are 4 punchouts, 2 used)
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((><

Yes the other screws could be used in the future to supply power to another outlet, however, you would then run into box fill problems most likely. By code you are only allowed a certain number of conductors (based on gauge size of wire) for the size of the box.
I actually meant adding a 2nd new outlet of the 1st newly added one without pigtailing. I see what you mean though.

Thanks for the tip on conductors per box, should I think about replacing the existing box for the first outlet addition? My first post included pictures in case that helps.

Is there a tried-and-true method to making connections and wiring go back into a box? Some kind of order of operations I wouldn't know about an unpracticed electrician?
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #11
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Looking at your picture again, there is one concern I have for you that you should look into. You need to make sure that your metal box is grounded, this is either done with a self grounding outlet (I don't know if the outlet you have is one) or with a pigtail attached to the back of the box, via a green grounding screw, that connects with your grounds.

This will protect you if a hot conductor contacts the metal box, it will trip the breaker due the conductor grounding out. Otherwise you would have an energized metal box that is a electrocution hazard.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((><
Looking at your picture again, there is one concern I have for you that you should look into. You need to make sure that your metal box is grounded, this is either done with a self grounding outlet (I don't know if the outlet you have is one) or with a pigtail attached to the back of the box, via a green grounding screw, that connects with your grounds.

This will protect you if a hot conductor contacts the metal box, it will trip the breaker due the conductor grounding out. Otherwise you would have an energized metal box that is a electrocution hazard.
I believe it's a self-grounded outlet, there is a green screw on the bottom of the actual outlet, which those pigtailed green ground wires are connected to. Am I on the right track?

As I understand it, if I keep that method consistent with the outlet that's adde I should be in good shape, right?

Thanks for looking out, all input and experience is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:00 PM   #13
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


See below

Quote:
Originally Posted by danebhut View Post
Thanks for all the help!

Just a few tip-ins...

What Romex should I be using? 12/2? 14/2? (what do these mean by the way?)

What amperage is the breaker of the circuit, 15a or 20a? If 15a then use 14/2, if 20a then 12/2.

The first number (14 & 12) refers to the gauge (size) of the conductors, the smaller the number the larger the conductor. The second number refers to the number of conductors (wires) not including the ground.


Should I try to fish the new Romex behind the fiberglass insulation for any reason?

Any advise or things to look out for on the box I choose for the new outlet? I heard a "remodeling" version that face mounts to the sheetrock instead of a stud is convenient, but advisable?

If you are not opening up the walls and securing the wiring to the studs then you will need to use a remodel box as its punchouts on the back are made to secure wires being chased in unopened walls.

Any method to navigate the 2 existing Romex feeds coming thru the top punch outs of the existing box? It looks like I have to have the new Romex enter thru a bottom punchout, can I do that without having to remove that box and risking havin to repair the drywall there? Or do I need a new box for the existing outlet to accommodate the new Romex in? (there are 4 punchouts, 2 used)

If the box is a standard metal box with round knockouts then you can remove it with flat screwdriver and pliers, and use a plastic knockout connector to run the romex through, this protects the romex from the sharp edges and secures it to the box. (these are black plastic that fit the size of the knockout and snap into place.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #14
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by danebhut View Post
I believe it's a self-grounded outlet, there is a green screw on the bottom of the actual outlet, which those pigtailed green ground wires are connected to. Am I on the right track?

As I understand it, if I keep that method consistent with the outlet that's adde I should be in good shape, right?

Thanks for looking out, all input and experience is greatly appreciated.
Self grounding outlets will have some spring steel (the brass you see on the bottom screw of the outlet) that contacts the screw which passes the grounding to the box.

Self-Grounding Outlet
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:17 PM   #15
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Adding an Electrical Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by <*(((><

Self grounding outlets will have some spring steel (the brass you see on the bottom screw of the outlet) that contacts the screw which passes the grounding to the box.
Just like in the attached picture, yea?

Is there a danger or disadvantage to using 12/2 "just to be safe"? Or would that actually be unsafe for some reason?

Is there a way to know or determine 15 or 20 amps other than (I'm guessing) connection some kind of meter/gauge to the outlet I'm starting from? The outlet is just a standard one in the living room, if that helps.
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