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Old 08-07-2011, 08:59 PM   #1
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


I have an outlet that has three black and three white attached to it and three ground wires pigtailed together. I need to move this outlet three feet up. I was going to pigtail all the back and white together along with the new wire that is running to the new outlet location. So the pigtail in the old box will have 4 wires. The original box will be empty and the outlet put in the new box. Can / should I do this?

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Old 08-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


As long as the junction box remains accessible there isn't a problem. Four wires in one wire nut is OK but be sure it is tight.

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Old 08-07-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


Yes you can do this. The old box must remain accessible with a cover. You can't bury it under drywall or paneling.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


If the old box is completely empty (you've moved all the conductors to the new box completely), then the old box can be removed and the hole patched. Otherwise, it has to remain accessible.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:47 AM   #5
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


Nitpicking. The pigtail is the short length of wire to get from the bunch of other wires joined together over to the terminal on the receptacle unit. Pigtails are used when two or more wires want to go under the same screw.

The piece used to hold the bunch of wires together (tape and twisting only are not good enough for ground wires either) is the wire nut (in Europe, marrette).

With the four cables coming into the box with no receptacle, connect the wire ends to each other directly; don't re-use any short lengths that used to go to the receptacle.

(For more complex junctions namely with six or more wires wanting to go into one wire nut, split them into groups, for example two groups of three black wires with separate wire nuts and a pigtail between the two, two groups of white wires etc.)
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Last edited by AllanJ; 08-08-2011 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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Move and outlet with 3 black wires


Splitting into two groups and pigtailing together is something I'd recommend for 5+ wires. It's just not worth fighting to get them all into the nut, to effectively twist and be held by the nut when you move it.

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