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Old 03-21-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


I am sure this has been asked many times before so forgive me if this seems redundant.

Is there a proper way to wire receptacles in a daisy chain - is it better to pigtail the wires in the box and connect using only 2 screws or is it better to use all 4 screws and no pigtailing to accomplish this?

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Old 03-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


I think either way is allowed, but wait for an answer from someone who knows what their talking about

I have a question related to pigtails, for the pigtail part can u use stranded wire instead of solid wire? seems it'd be a little easier to work with in tight boxes? but I'm not sure if nec allows mixing stranded and solid wires in a wirenut


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Old 03-21-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


To the first poster, it is a matter of preference.
Pigtailing is only required on the neutral wire of a mwbc.

To the moonshine guy, no restrictions on using stranded and solid under the same wire nut.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:34 PM   #4
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


Using either the screw terminals, backstabs, back wires or pigtailing is acceptacle. The only exception to the code is that the neutrals of multi-wire branch circuits must be pigtailed.

Many feel the pigtailing is a better method, but it is personal choice.

Yes, stranded and solid can be mixed under wire nuts.
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Using either the screw terminals, backstabs, back wires or pigtailing is acceptacle. The only exception to the code is that the neutrals of multi-wire branch circuits must be pigtailed.

Many feel the pigtailing is a better method, but it is personal choice.

Yes, stranded and solid can be mixed under wire nuts.

So really no need to pigtail existing daisy chains. But I can pigtail the new work being done...
Is it bad to mix and match on the same circuit - pigtailing and not?
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #6
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


You can pigtail if you like. It will not matter if some are and some aren't.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


I Canada wire nuts count towards box fill. No need to pigtail and possibly need a bigger box when there are screw terminals on the device made just for this.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


The main reason for pigtailing that has been explained to me is that it serves to remove the device from the circuit so that it cannot be a point of failure. In a daisy chain situation, if the device were to critically fail (hot or neutral contact/terminal component breaks or burns up) there would be a break in the circuit. When pigtailing, if the device critically fails the circuit is still completed. Think series and parallel.

The only time I've seen a device "critically fail" in this manner is when a janitor plugged a floor buffer into the same receptacle every weeknight for five years. When he was done in that area he would whip the 80' extension cord and jerk the living shi** out of the receptacle every time. After five years one finally broke. That's when they found out he'd been cutting the ground pins off of EVERY plug end he used because that ONE receptacle he always plugged into had a ground pin broken off in it - most likely from when he FIRST plugged into it five years before it failed.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


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Originally Posted by brich View Post
The main reason for pigtailing that has been explained to me is that it serves to remove the device from the circuit so that it cannot be a point of failure. In a daisy chain situation, if the device were to critically fail (hot or neutral contact/terminal component breaks or burns up) there would be a break in the circuit. When pigtailing, if the device critically fails the circuit is still completed. Think series and parallel.

Good theory except that wire nuts just introduce another point of failure. Nuts are more prone to failure than screw terminals in my opinion.
They also add an addition expense to the job. I count 10 receptacles just in this room I am in now. That would be an unnecessary 20 wire nuts used.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:43 PM   #10
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To pigtail or not to pigtail


I've replaced non-pigtailed receptacles which required a "reconditioning" of the conductors. Result was shorter length of conductors to work with. My thoughts are always, "sure would be nice if a tail was used." Prevents shortened wires. Especially true with NM cable which is not as easily replaced as conduit conductors. Very especially true if the original installer left short wires to begin with.

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