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-   -   How to chain 20A receptacles? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/how-chain-20a-receptacles-83772/)

deko 10-12-2010 10:05 PM

How to chain 20A receptacles?
 
I'm adding a 20A breaker to my service panel and and wiring up a chain of outlets in my garage. I understand all receptacles need to be TR and the first receptacle in the chain needs to be GFCI.

As for wiring, my understanding is that it's INCORRECT to connect the chain through the receptacle. Instead, conductors coming into each box need to be pig tailed so the pig tails connect to each receptacle. This means I would have 3 wire nuts, each connecting 3 conductors, in each box in the chain (except the last). Is this correct?

Also, is there any code stipulating how long the pig tails should be? I know the conductors inside the box need to be a minimum of 6". Does it matter how long the pig tails are?

Chevyman30571 10-12-2010 10:21 PM

Well on your first recep you need to go in and out of the gfi to feed all the other receps. Remember that you feed line and feed all other receps on the load side. Pigtailing is the best way on the other receps. 6 inches out of the box and the pigtails should not be to long, remember you need to get all the wire and wire nuts back into the box. Also on the grounds you need to use either a green grounding wirenut or a copper crimp sleeve. I like to use the greenies.

deko 10-12-2010 10:32 PM

Understood on the GFCI recep.

As for the pig tails, I didn't know I needed copper crimp/green wire nuts! That's the first time I've heard that. I assume standard, uninsulated 12 gauge copper will work for the ground pig tail? no need for green insulated conductor I hope...

I'm thinking 4" should be about right on the pig tails.

Chevyman30571 10-12-2010 10:36 PM

http://www.idealindustries.com/produ...ut_greenie.jsp

These are for the grounding.

deko 10-12-2010 10:56 PM

Is the copper crimp/green wire nut required on all new recep installs? I have a couple other receps (also chained) where I just used a standard yellow wire nut on the grounds. Is this something an inspector would care about?

joed 10-12-2010 11:01 PM

Pigtailing is not required. It is a personal choice. I do NOT pigtail if only two cables. I use the screws.

deko 10-12-2010 11:10 PM

So pig tailing is optional. Fair enough. But what about the copper crimps/green wire nuts? Are those also optional (when pig tailing)?

I've never used copper crimps/green wire nuts--but will get some it that's what my inspector is going to be looking for.

secutanudu 10-12-2010 11:21 PM

You need to use some approved means to connect the ground wires together. You can't just twist them together. This can be a crimp connector, green wirenut, standard wirenut, or a push connector like this: http://www.idealindustries.com/prodD...v=0&l1=push-in

If the box is metal, it also needs to be connected to the rest of the ground wires with a short length of bare wire and a ground screw.

I am not an electrician, but FWIW I do not pigtail receptacles either if it's just 2 cables (one in, one out).

deko 10-12-2010 11:40 PM

Of course, some kind of connector is necessary. I've heard the copper crimps are better because they are smaller and take up less room in the box. Let's face it, the ground wire is never going to see any current anyway.

Chevyman30571 10-13-2010 12:13 AM

The reason why you should pigtail especially for the neutrals is for one simple reason. This was the way i was taught and have been doing it for years like this. Lets say you have a multiwire branch circuit and you don't pigtail the neutral and now you remove a receptacle without killing the breaker. What you just did was remove the neutral and now 120 becomes 240. By pigtailing you can remove the recep without taking the neutral out of the circuit. This is why i do this. You can do it whatever way you want to. And the ground will see voltage of there is ever a fault somewhere in the wiring. Also if you don't know how to crimp them correctly you will break them and they will be useless.

deko 10-13-2010 01:19 AM

I tried using those copper crimps. They're junk. I'll get some Greenies.

The only question left is To Twist Or Not To Twist. With 2 conductors, the wire nut seems to do a pretty decent job. But with 3 12ga conductors, twisting makes sense because... "the wire nut doesn't make the connection, it only holds the connection."

Speedy Petey 10-13-2010 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chevyman30571 (Post 516006)
Lets say you have a multiwire branch circuit and you don't pigtail the neutral and now you remove a receptacle without killing the breaker. What you just did was remove the neutral and now 120 becomes 240. By pigtailing you can remove the recep without taking the neutral out of the circuit. This is why i do this.

Yes, for a multi-wire circuit you are correct, IF the two circuits are terminated on the same device. This is code required, but it has been established that this is not a MWBC.
Also, WHY are you removing devices without shutting off the power??? This is not a good example for a DIY board.






Quote:

Originally Posted by Chevyman30571 (Post 516006)
And the ground will see voltage of there is ever a fault somewhere in the wiring.

Uh, yeah. That's the point. I'm not sure what your point is here.

Speedy Petey 10-13-2010 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deko (Post 516010)
I tried using those copper crimps. They're junk. I'll get some Greenies.

I use crimps. Have been forever. You use whatever works for you. Crimping/greenies are NOT required. A regular wire nut is FINE.



Quote:

Originally Posted by deko (Post 516010)
The only question left is To Twist Or Not To Twist. With 2 conductors, the wire nut seems to do a pretty decent job. But with 3 12ga conductors, twisting makes sense because... "the wire nut doesn't make the connection, it only holds the connection."

The wire nut CAN "make" the connection. It also then holds it after.
If a wire nut is used properly the conductors will look like they have been pre-twisted. If you cannot get that same look with just a wire nut then you should pre-twist. The conductors should NOT still be even close to straight after the nut is installed.
Anything more than 2-3 #14's I pre-twist.

AllanJ 10-13-2010 07:10 AM

Pigtailing is recommended to get into the habit of doing just in case you run into a multiwire branch circuit (e.g. 120/240 volt 3 wire cable).

Also pigtailing lets you do up the hot wires, push the wire nut into the box, then do up the neutral wires, push the wire nut into the box and just have to work two wires (and ground) to get the receptacle into the box. Compared with working five wires to get the receptacle into the box if you did not use pigtails.

Wire nuts with a hole in the small end (Greenies) let you leave one of the ground wires extra long instead of having that many itsy bitsy pieces of wire (pigtails) that may be awkward to hold while you twist the wire nut on. If you had a metal box and forgot to leave one of the ground wires long, you could cut one 12 inch pigtail and line up its middle with the other ground wire ends and use a Greenie and have two ends for the receptacle green screw and the box itself respectively.

Do not put two wires through the small end of a Greenie, the wires will be scratched and scored and weakened as you screw the Greenie nut on. If a pigtail terminates at the wire nut, it is much easier to bundle it with the other wires going in the large end as opposed to using the hole in the small end.

Off topic below.

In the case of the MWBC, if one of the incoming hot wires, say, the red wire, is wire nutted directly to the continuing (or daisy chaining) hot wire because it is not being used in this outlet box, the incoming neutral must also be wire nutted directly rather than relying on two receptacle screws. Hence the requirement of pigtailing as it applies to MWBC's.

Note that if you have a MWBC coming into a box and feeding a GFCI receptacle there, the daisy chaining wire from the load side (for additional receptacles protected by the same GFCI) and the daisy chaining wire from the other (red?) side of the MWBC must have separate neutrals; beyond that point it is no longer a MWBC.

Alternatively connect nothing to the load side of the GFCI and daisy chain all three conductors of the MWBC into another 3 wire cable.

joed 10-13-2010 09:32 AM

I Canada wire nuts count for box fill so using less nuts is good.


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