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Old 07-22-2008, 06:51 PM   #1
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pigtails in Canada


lots of threads on various pigtail issues here and elsewhere but I'm still not 100% clear

I'm in Canada (Ontario) - reading Knight's book which seems to suggest that pigtails are used everywhere for the bond (anywhere that the circuit feeds downstream, pigtails are needed to allow the receptacle to be removed without disconnecting ground). Also hints at pigtails being required on any 3-wire cable.


where I have 14/2 in / out of the box, can I wire the 14/2 conductors on to either side of a plug, to continue the run downstream (no pigtails)?

where I have 3 14/2 cables (6 conductors) and using a back-screwed plug, can I wire all 6 conductors to the plug terminals (both sides + back - again no pigtails)?

where I have a 14/3 cable in a box, do I need a pigtail regardless, and if so is it only the shared neutral that requires the pigtail, or should I use one on the hot conductor(s) as well?

Thanks
-Randy

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Last edited by rtoni; 07-22-2008 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:14 PM   #2
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I am a handyman, not a licensed electrician and can't speak for Canada but in my home and wherever I help out I like to use pigtails when I do my residential wiring. To me it is a better idea to have all my connections together and have my receptacle tapped off the connection rather than part of it. I would rather fold 3 wires into the box (blk, wht, grd) than 5 with 2 blk, 2 wht. I also don't like the idea that any downstream receptacle may be dependent upon the one before it with movement and possible loosening of a wire. I would guess many electricians will probably think otherwise as wirenuts cost money and they have to take extra steps & wire to pigtail rather than wire the receps directly.

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Old 07-22-2008, 07:38 PM   #3
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The only requirement AFAIK for a pigtail is when you have a multiwire branch circuit with shared neutral. In this case only the neutral needs to be pigtailed. This is to prevent the neutral from being opened if you remove the receptacle or device. Opening the neutral (not ground) will place the multiwire in series with everything plugged in to that branch circuit and essentially turns the circuit into a 240 volt branch circuit. Not good for your 120 volt stuff.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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Personally I hate it when I see an outlet wired as the junction for 2 sets of wire (in and out) especially if its back-wired. I will usually take the time to convert it over to wire nuts and pigtails so the the remaining outlets down the line don't have to rely on the previous outlets integrity. Even though the outlet should be able to handle the load just fine, I just will not wire a circuit through an outlet like that. To me it seems like someone was just plain lazy when I see that.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by theatretch85 View Post
Personally I hate it when I see an outlet wired as the junction for 2 sets of wire (in and out) especially if its back-wired. I will usually take the time to convert it over to wire nuts and pigtails so the the remaining outlets down the line don't have to rely on the previous outlets integrity. Even though the outlet should be able to handle the load just fine, I just will not wire a circuit through an outlet like that. To me it seems like someone was just plain lazy when I see that.
Well put, I agree.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #6
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I get the feeling that most prefer to wire with pigtails - just wondering if I run into a situation where the wire nuts (which count as box fill here) put me over the top, do I tear out the box and replace with larger, or avoid the use of the wirenuts by not using any pigtails. One example is a 12.5 cu in box with 3 cables x 14/2 - I think that with the 6 conductors + ground and 3 pigtails + caps, I'm over the fill limit, whereas with no pigtails (and therefore no wirenuts) I'm OK size-wise anyway.

One thing I have read repeatedly is to avoid using back-stab connectors, which I plan to do for sure.

Thanks all for the advice and feedback

Randy
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtoni View Post
I
One thing I have read repeatedly is to avoid using back-stab connectors, which I plan to do for sure.
Randy
I don't use back stab but I do like back wire- where the screw is tightened to complete the connection.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #8
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Are you sure pigtails and caps count? ......thats a strange way to do box fill IMO.


In the USA under your screnario you would be over box fill before you did a count on pigtails and caps.

6 14 awg conductors = 12
1 ground = 2
yoke on the device = 4

So not considering anything else you are over box fill at 18 cu.in.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:31 PM   #9
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to the best of my knowledge (a licensed electrician who knows CEC would have to verify this here) the pigtails do not count and neither does the ground wire. but the wire nuts and the conductors do. Each #14 conductor = 1.5 cu in. and device (receptacle) is equivalent to 2 conductors (in this case, with #14, it would be 3 cu in). I guess in this area the NEC and the CEC are pretty different...?

sorry my last post mentioned pigtails + caps, only because one goes with the other, but I confused the point (caps count, pigtails don't, like I said that's only as far as I know...)
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:20 PM   #10
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excuse me, but what are pigtails ?
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:14 PM   #11
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That interesting how we do things so different but looks like in the end it comes out close to the same.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
excuse me, but what are pigtails ?
Pigtails are used to connect 3 or more wires together to connect to a single spot.
In this case twisting the wires together to connect to one screw on the outlet.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:12 AM   #13
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The pigtails are located next to the Canadian Bacon in my butcher shop.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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The pigtails are located next to the Canadian Bacon in my butcher shop.
and across the street in the bakery are the Beaver Tails...

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