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Old 02-04-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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Adding new receptacle and switch


Hello, I would appreciate any pro electricians to check my proposed wiring.

I need to add a new receptacle and switch to my AV closet by tapping into an existing circuit.

The receptacle will be to power the AV gear, and the switch will turn on/off a cooling fan.

Assuming that there are no wiring errors in the attached drawing, then:

Question - Where should I wire the switch to for power? Box1, Box2, or directly to the receptacle in Box3?

*NOTE: This is a Home Automation switch, so it has Black, White, Red, and Green wires
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Adding new receptacle and switch


Here is another drawing as my brain sees it.

Notes:
* Existing Romex is approximately 2' from Box 3, and once cut there will not be enough slack to do anything but box each end.
* This is NOT a regular switch. It has 4 permanent wires coming out BWRG, there are NO terminals.
http://www.smarthome.com/2476S/Switc...g-White/p.aspx

Let me re-ask the question:
1) Is the shown new config2 correct.
2) If there is another way, what is it, and why is it better or more correct.
3) Goal = New leg works, and my house won't burn down.

I'm not an electrician, so please keep answers at novice level using colors and/or drawings if possible

Many Thanks
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Adding new receptacle and switch


Your 2nd picture looks doable,but again id tail the wires before 1st plug instead of using it as a connection point
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Adding new receptacle and switch


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Your 2nd picture looks doable,but again id tail the wires before 1st plug instead of using it as a connection point
Sorry, I don't understand, any chance you could draw your reply?
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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Adding new receptacle and switch


I have a tough enough time typing,let alone drawing pictures!
Wire nut the wires together before the plug
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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Adding new receptacle and switch


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Wire nut the wires together before the plug
Is this what you mean?
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
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Adding new receptacle and switch


Pigtailing or wire nutting is a personal choice. It is not required and in Canada wire nuts count towards box fill so it is better to use less of them.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Adding new receptacle and switch


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Is this what you mean?
Yes thats the way I was thinking
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #9
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Adding new receptacle and switch


I'm also a fan of less wire nuts when possible. However, one problem with your drawing number 2, which you fixed in drawing 3, was having 2 wires connected to the outlet's ground screw. You can only have 1 wire per screw, so you need to wire nut in this case.

One question, is this AV fan 120V or lower?
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:13 PM   #10
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Thanks to all that replied to this post.

- My reasons for drawing 2 over 3 has EVERYTHING to do with the number of wire nuts. If you have never installed a Home Automation switch or receptacle there are things to be aware of:

1) They are bigger [deep]. They limit the amount of space to tuck your wiring. I have installed many into existing boxes that are already full of wiring and you must cram it in hard just to mount them. Pushing so hard can/will loosen the existing nuts, usually the large bundle of neutrals. I have solved that problem by using Ideal® Push-In connectors. They form a permanent connection, and take up little space. I use them almost exclusively to make connections.

2) They have wire leads not terminals, so you will always have a minimum of 4 connections. I never got an answer as to why pigtailing is better, more professional, code requirement, easier...? If this were a standard switch, your tails would go directly to the screws, eliminating the need for the nuts, but that is not the case here. So it seems that tailing [drawing 3] would add a problem, not solve a problem.

@ a_lost_shadow
Not if the ground is long and wraps around the screw, then continues. I guess I could also tail all the grounds together. ±? Not sure if that benefits me?

@ a_lost_shadow
The fan is a bath type exhaust fan 120v, 20w, .19a. Why do you ask?

So, based on the Q&A, I'm I safe to go with either version of #2? [long ground or tail'd grounds]
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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Adding new receptacle and switch


8888,
True, I'd forgotten about wrapping the ground around the screw. The previous owner of my house did that, but without providing enough additional wire to properly pull the outlet out. Thus I wrongly lumped it in the bad idea box.

I asked about the voltage of the fan since some of the home automation stuff I've looked at drops to lower voltages. Then you get into a different set of restrictions for class1, class 2, & class 3 circuits.

As for the tails vs. screws, the only reason I've heard to go with tails is its easier to leave a slightly loose screw connection. Then your outlet will heat up whenever any outlets farther down the line pull a load.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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Adding new receptacle and switch


I am getting hammered on other forums for not using pigtails. It's pigtails, or you are a hack!

Can any pros out there explain all the pros and cons. Is it easier, faster, cheaper, or is it truly the only way to wire without causing electrical problems, fires?

I don't care which way, its the same amount of work for me. ALL I care about is that it is done safely.

I have added another drawing of what I understand a pigtail config would look like. My novice logic is to daisy chain, IN >> to the top screws, OUT >> from the bottom screws to the next device.

HELP!
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #13
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Adding new receptacle and switch


I prefer tailing the wires out before plugs,that way youre not using the plug as a junction point.
Ive had to repair/replace enough back fed plugs and swithes over the years that people installed that got hot and burned up internally killing everything past that point
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:02 PM   #14
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Adding new receptacle and switch


Some people are just set in there ways. If they like pigtails then you won't convince them screw terminals are just as good.
Back stabs are a bad idea. Screw connections are just as good as pigtails.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Some people are just set in there ways. If they like pigtails then you won't convince them screw terminals are just as good.
Back stabs are a bad idea. Screw connections are just as good as pigtails.
City of Omaha has required plugs to be tailed out for atleast the last 20 years,no using plugs to daisy chain outlets
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