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Old 06-01-2012, 01:46 PM   #1
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Outlet help


I know that all Home Outlets will be wired to the next one till the end of the line.

But I get a little mixed up with one thing.

If you look at a Light Switch the white wires go to a Whight Nut then to the Light.

But when I look at any Graphic about Outlet wiring they show the white wires going right to the next Outlet.

So am I right that when you just wire Outlets the white wires can go right to the next Outlet and they do not need a White Nut?

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by biferi View Post
I know that (most) (receptacles) will be wired to the next one till the end of the line.

But when I look at any Graphic about Outlet wiring they show the white wires going right to the next Outlet... If you look at a Light Switch the white wires go to a White Nut then to the Light.
In most instances... the light switch is a "switch leg". This means that how the wire is used is completely different from how it's used with receptacles. As regards the wirenutted white wire in some switch boxes... only the black wire is being switched.

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So am I right that when you wire Outlets the white wires can go right to the next Outlet and they do not need a White Nut?
Correct... as far as you have taken it.
This sort of "daisy chaining" is very common and works well enough.

Sometimes though... the white wires WILL be wirenutted together with a "pigtail" to the device and the same will be done with the black and ground wires.

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Last edited by TarheelTerp; 06-01-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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Outlet help


Like Tarheel said,

A light needs a hot (black) and a return (white). The switch only interrupts the hot feed to the light so the white basically just passes through the box. There should be a pigtail, two grounds with a third piece of copper wire nutted together, for the grounds. The third piece is to make it easier to ground the switch.

Receptacles can have one set of wires (black and white) going to the top screws (gold and silver) and the wires going to the next receptacle coming off the bottom screws. Like tarheel said, you'd have a pigtail again for the grounds with a piece coming out of the wire nut to go to the receptacle ground screw.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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Outlet help


Quote:
Originally Posted by biferi View Post

But when I look at any Graphic about Outlet wiring they show the white wires going right to the next Outlet.
You have to be careful with online graphics and line drawings.
There is NO one way to wire things in an electrical circuit, so any graphics or diagrams you see are one that someone simply drew or wrote. MANY of them are ambiguous and can leave out detail that to most of us are assumed, but to a DIYer or beginner can be dangerous omissions.


The way to learn about home wiring is not to simply look at drawings. You'll leave yourself missing a ton of important info.
It's good that you are here questioning this.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Outlet help


When you are terminating outlets in a wall you should add a pigtail to go to the outlet for both the hot and the neutral. There are several reasons for this:
  1. The outlet will not be used as a feed through for downstream loads
  2. When you remove an outlet, you won't kill the power downstream
  3. If an outlet fails (as in burns up) you won't lose power downstream
  4. Wires are designed for carrying current up to their designed ampacity, receptacles are not.
BTW, when terminating the receptacles and switches, NEVER USE THE BACKSTABS! You will one day regret it.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
When you are terminating outlets in a wall you should add a pigtail to go to the outlet for both the hot and the neutral. There are several reasons for this:
  1. The outlet will not be used as a feed through for downstream loads
  2. When you remove an outlet, you won't kill the power downstream
  3. If an outlet fails (as in burns up) you won't lose power downstream
  4. Wires are designed for carrying current up to their designed ampacity, receptacles are not.
BTW, when terminating the receptacles and switches, NEVER USE THE BACKSTABS! You will one day regret it.
About your list...
#1, Nothing wrong with using a receptacle for downstream loads
#2, You should never be working on an energized circuit
#3, I think I would want to know a problem exist as soon as possible.
#4, Receptacles ARE rated for feed through usage.

Nothing wrong with back stabbing receptacles, not going to have a peeing contest over this, but its an acceptable method.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
About your list...
#1, Nothing wrong with using a receptacle for downstream loads
#2, You should never be working on an energized circuit
#3, I think I would want to know a problem exist as soon as possible.
#4, Receptacles ARE rated for feed through usage.

Nothing wrong with back stabbing receptacles, not going to have a peeing contest over this, but its an acceptable method.
Maybe you haven't seen what I have. And the thought of telling anyone installing a receptacle as a feed through has its advantages when you can actually see which receptacle is melted makes my skin crawl. The reason the receptacle melted is because it was feeding the loads downstream. And the reason backstabs shouldn't be used is because that tiny spring pressing against the wire is a very poor connection.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
Maybe you haven't seen what I have. And the thought of telling anyone installing a receptacle as a feed through has its advantages when you can actually see which receptacle is melted makes my skin crawl. The reason the receptacle melted is because it was feeding the loads downstream. And the reason backstabs shouldn't be used is because that tiny spring pressing against the wire is a very poor connection.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Sorry, but the reason a receptacle melted is because of poor workmanship, nothing more.

My point being, who cares if you pigtailed all the splices, yet didn't tighten the screw on a receptacle, and a heavy load was plugged into that same receptacle... the same event takes place.

This is what happens when you don't make secure connections, regardless if pigtailed or not....




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Last edited by stickboy1375; 06-02-2012 at 10:20 AM.
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