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Old 08-13-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
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Outlet Pigtails


Just want to confirm that I'm doing this right. I've already done this to all the outlets in the original part of the house several years ago....but just want to make sure I'm not making some mistake....

This is a typical outlet...one of many on the same branch ckt....I find this a whole lot easier to work with....I shove the main bundle to the back of the box....so if I ever have to pull the outlet out...it's easy....just the 3 wires...instead of 6.


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Old 08-13-2012, 12:18 AM   #2
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That's a good way to do it, looks good to me. Only one critique; you have two much of the cable jacket inside the box. It should only protrude into the box about a quarter-inch.

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Old 08-13-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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Nice job M8

I wouldnt worry about tje cable jacket, however on a personal note, im not a fan of the cheapy outlets.
The ones with a solid metal bar down the back are a bit better IMHO.

you get the same results with pigtails as you would using the terminals. I like it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteve View Post
That's a good way to do it, looks good to me. Only one critique; you have two much of the cable jacket inside the box. It should only protrude into the box about a quarter-inch.
Yea...they are a 'bit' long....but I also had them pulled out as far as they would go while I was wire nutting them....I have a bit of 'wiggle' room when I shove them back in. I hate going into a box and not having enough wire to work with.

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Nice job M8

I wouldnt worry about tje cable jacket, however on a personal note, im not a fan of the cheapy outlets.
The ones with a solid metal bar down the back are a bit better IMHO.

you get the same results with pigtails as you would using the terminals. I like it.
Yea....I would have prefered the 'nicer' ones....but I'm adding about 20 outlets to my addition....the difference in cost was pretty good.....

On a side note....it took me a moment to figure out the "M8".....mate.....a very 'British' term (my wife is English)......"mind the gap".....

And your avatar is from the "Thomas Crown Affair" (new version)
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:51 AM   #5
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Haha, well cheerio to the wife

Yah, i buy outlets in bulk. Im sure theyre about another 2-3 dollars more a piece for you.

Yes, Thomas Crown Affair. Good flick, but i chose it to be silly.
It was a toss up between this one and a "no contact" silouhette.

BTW! im originally from San Jose, Ca. Cheers!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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I always pigtail outlets. It has never happened to me, but if an outlet goes bad, you don't lose power to others in the string.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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Need a Green ground wire nut on the ground, other than that, pretty good.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll
Need a Green ground wire nut on the ground, other than that, pretty good.
I have to ask....... Is that actually in the nec or are you screwing with us non americans.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #9
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This is the significance of green wire nuts with a hole in the small end. If one of the ground wires entering the box is long enough to reach the receptacle then you slide one of those wire nuts about 4 inches down the wire and fasten on the other ground wires.

If none of the ground wires is long enough, it is much easier to add pigtails in the normal fashion, coming out the large end of the wire nut.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Need a Green ground wire nut on the ground, other than that, pretty good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
This is the significance of green wire nuts with a hole in the small end. If one of the ground wires entering the box is long enough to reach the receptacle then you slide one of those wire nuts about 4 inches down the wire and fasten on the other ground wires.

If none of the ground wires is long enough, it is much easier to add pigtails in the normal fashion, coming out the large end of the wire nut.
I have never seen those.....learn something new every day.....

Considering how often DIY'rs ask questions related to this....why don't you guys tell me what to do to make the outlet perfect....I'll take more pics (like of the wire enterning the box) and we can have something to reference for the other guys.

In most cases, when I'm pulling the nm....I have more than enough sticking out that I could leave one of the grounds long enough to use the above mentioned wire nut. Does HD carry those?

So....give me the specs...

How much sheath in the box....

How long the wires should be

How close to the box to staple the nm

Anything else you can think of? (besides no backstabbing)
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #11
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Let's see here..

1/4" or so of sheath inside the box. Just enough to make sure the clamp is holding the cable by the sheath and not the wires.

Wires should extend out of the box about 6"

NM should be stapled to the stud not more than 8" from the box.

Home depot should carry those green wire nuts. I've never used them, but I can see how they could save time, at least on new wiring.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Need a Green ground wire nut on the ground, other than that, pretty good.
Green wire nuts are not required on a ground. Green wire nuts can only be used on a ground.

The amount of free conductor required is at least 6". As shown it looks like you are around 3-4".
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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My dad always said (old 134 electrician)......
The span from your pinkie to you thumb stretched out is the perfect length of wire sticking out of the box.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #14
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I was taught (30 years ago) to pigtail outlets and that the proper length was the amount it takes to bend the wires in an s shape an have the bends touch top and bottom of the box when pushed in.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:15 PM   #15
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Pinkey to thumb is a good quick reference. Anyeay, do enough of em and you wont even think about it.

As for securing cable, its 8" from all non-metallic and 12" from all metal boxes

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