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Old 06-17-2012, 09:07 AM   #16
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Adding an outlet


That makes sense! I know the tab is out on the one I have pulled, but I didn't check the rest.

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Old 06-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Not to dwell on the switched receptacle part, but... They may have never worked as intended if just one of the tabs on a receptacle was never broken out... it happens, especially if someone replaced a receptacle and didn't know the tab had to be removed.
Good point.

Get a meter and check that red wire at the receptacle location with the "mystery" switch in both positions
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:12 AM   #18
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Funny story, i was working at a house and was replacing a floor receptacle and it was half switched, I noticed the floor lamps were not using the half switched part, and the woman mentioned half the receptacle wasn't working...

so I asked her where that one mystery switch was in her house that she didn't know what it did... to her surprise the lamp turned on, she must have lived in that house for 15 years... The best part was her husband argued me that the receptacle wasn't half switched and was so inclined to give me 20 dollars if I proved otherwise.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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Need to address the box fill. You have 2 existing 3 wire cables and are planning on adding an additional 2 wire cable. Can't tell if you have 14 or 12 gauge wire. You box conductor count is 6 for the 2 3 wire cables + 2 for the added 2 wire cable + 1 for the grounds + 2 for the device (receptacle). 6+2+1+2 = 11. For #14 wire you need a 22 cubic inch box, for #12 you need a 24.75 Cu In box. Most single gang boxes are in the range of 16 to 22 cu in capacity.

If you are overfilled you need to replace the box with a larger one or switch to a 2 gang box.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
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The existing is 14 gauge, my new line is 12 (because thats what I bought thinking the rest was 12). Otherwise four is right. The box is grey, and looks a bit larger than the regular blue boxes I have seen in the past. I will try to figure out what size box it is.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tbbuhner View Post
The existing is 14 gauge, my new line is 12 (because thats what I bought thinking the rest was 12). Otherwise four is right. The box is grey, and looks a bit larger than the regular blue boxes I have seen in the past. I will try to figure out what size box it is.
If you use #12 for the addition, you need a 24.75 cu in box because the wire fill calculation is based on the largest conductor size in the box. Since the existing wiring is #14 (and I assume on a 15 amp breaker), I would use #14 for the extension and you only need a 22 cu in box. 22 cu in boxes are common, I have never seen a 24.75 cu in single gang.

I am assuming there are no internal clamps in the box.
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Last edited by rjniles; 06-17-2012 at 10:19 AM. Reason: added clamp info
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:53 AM   #22
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Correct, no internal clamps. Maybe I will replace the new stuff with 14 gauge then. And yes, it is a 15 amp breaker. I was figuring bigger was better, but I suppose for this application that's not necessarily true.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:26 PM   #23
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Looking at the picture of the receptacle you posted, the little jumper between the brass screws has been cut out. This is indicative of a split receptacle where one half is switched and the other is constant hot. The fact that you have a "mystery" switch points to the electrician who originally wired the house forget to remove one or all of the remaining jumpers. This means that the remaining jumper(s) are back feedi ng the switched part of the circuit leaving you with a mystery switch. At this point you will have to remove and check all the receptacles in the room and verify that the jumper(s) are removed. Then your switch will work and you will be able to feed out from the receptacle by connecting to the black & white (as long as the black is the constant hot) to your new device. Just pay attention to box fill, terminations and such as mentioned previouslly. Good luck!!

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