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Old 06-24-2014, 03:13 PM   #1
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


Hey there.

So, I'm helping someone add an outlet so that they can wall mount a flatscreen TV. The outlet we're going to tap off of is a little bit of a mess.

There are 3 sets of 14-2 coming into the box and they're all wired into the outlet using one set of side screws and both sets of the push in terminals on the back of the outlet.

Here's where I need the reassurance:

Remove all of the wires from the old outlet, add a 4th set of 14-2 (for the new outlet), cap all of the hots, neutrals, and grounds, and give the old outlet pigtails. I figured this might be a better idea than just adding a 4th set of wires to the outlet.

Does that sound OK?

Thanks so much for the help!

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Old 06-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


That current box is most likely not big enough for the extra run of Romex. Now of course as for how the outlet is wired. Those romex that are backstabbed, need to be cut off, and Pigtails need to be used.

How are your Drywall patching skills? Can you get to the Romex run from underneath and maybe put in a junction box there, so you can pull a run of 14/2 up to the outlet behind the tv?

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Old 06-24-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


At first it might seem like the right thing to do, but you've probably already noticed the box is kinda tight. The pig-tailing is a good idea. Is there another location you could remove some of those wires to, so as to relieve some of the over crowding? Or change the existing box to a 2 gang box and add another outlet? (I'd go with option 2). When you bring your new wires into the 2 gang box make them about 12" long or more (out of the box). About six inches out, use your strippers to strip the wires about 3/4" (you're basically going to be pushing the insulation along the wire). Wrap that around the screw terminals. About 4" from that, strip the wires again and then wire nut it to the rest of the conductors. If you're going to make it a 2 gang, repeat the step before wire-nutting. If they have grounds you'll have to use a green wire nut (the one with the hole in the middle), to connect your grounds.
gregzoll beat me to it while I was writing and editing this. He already addressed some of the things in my post...
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


So, really the main concern is having enough space (and being up to code) for all of the wires that are going to be in the gang box? The wiring itself, as long as it is done correctly obviously, is the smaller concern.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:38 AM   #5
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


There is a lot going on there---have you checked the outlet side tab?
Make sure that is not a half switched outlet---
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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Adding an outlet to a bit of a mess...


I ended up pulling out the old box and replacing it with a 2-gang box. I pigtailed all of the groupings of wires together with the large blue wire caps (per the recommendation of an electrician I was talking to in the aisle at HD). Added the new 14-2 line and outlet. Everything works beautifully. Thanks for all of the advice, folks!

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