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Rav 08-29-2013 01:52 PM

Question re wiring middle-of-run receptacle
Electrical newbie here, just trying to educate myself. Referring to the following video describing two alternative wiring methods for a middle-of-run receptacle:

Method one describes connecting the incoming hot to one brass screw, and the outgoing hot (to the next receptacle) to the other brass screw. Likewise, the incoming and outgoing neutrals connect to the two silver screws. (Of course, the tabs must be present.). This method is simple; it doesn't require any pigtails or wire nuts.

Method two uses just one each of the brass and silver screws, but uses pigtails and wire nuts. It seems more complex to me and would take (me) more time.

Other than perhaps local code requirements, why would one ever choose method two over method one? Thanks.

CitadelBlue 08-29-2013 02:02 PM

Can't think of one other than having one hot incoming and two or more outgoing to two or more different outlets and there just isn't enough room to make the three or more wire connection on the outlet...

RocketGal 08-29-2013 02:04 PM

I'll take a stab at it.... No pun intended ... if the pigtailed outlet fails for some reason, the outlets downstream will still work because the electricity has a path to follow (due to the pigtail wiring. I'm guessing that the outlets wired with pigtails are connected in parallel while the other method is in series.

Kyle_in_rure 08-29-2013 02:26 PM

The first two posters are correct. The idea is that If one receptacle fails the others down the line will still work. Also. If you're dealing with more than two cables in a box, it may be easier to pigtail everything together.

It is a matter of preference as far as I know.

Oso954 08-29-2013 03:28 PM

You can make your pigtails up and side wire the receptacle standing up, before bending over or getting down on your knees.

Rav 08-29-2013 06:16 PM

Thanks to everyone for your responses. That's what I love about these forums -- it's great to learn the reasons behind these things from people who are more experienced with them than I am.

romex1220 08-29-2013 06:52 PM

Also if you have a whole string of outlets wired like this, you will have some voltage drop due to resistance in outlets.

rjniles 08-29-2013 07:45 PM


Originally Posted by romex1220 (Post 1235902)
Also if you have a whole string of outlets wired like this, you will have some voltage drop due to resistance in outlets.

NOT! Any VD in this case is insignificant.

joed 08-30-2013 08:15 AM

Pig tails just add more unnecessary expense(wire nuts, pigtail).
In Canada wire nuts add to box fill as well, so better make sure your boxes are large enough.
I use the screws always when there are enough of them.

jbfan 08-30-2013 08:49 AM

Pigtails are only required on the neutrals of a MWBC.
Any other time, the screws are good enough.

It comes down to how you were taught to wire receptacles.
The people that taught me always pigtailed,so I have been doing that for 30 years.

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