DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Electrical (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/)
-   -   Receptacle Question (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/receptacle-question-150296/)

Pete77 07-14-2012 11:39 PM

Receptacle Question
 
I am new home owner (less than 2 months now), and I am gradually replacing receptacles as the need arises mostly to replace older outlets that have been painted over or things like that. Today I went to replace a receptacle and found that there are 4 sets of 14/2 wire coming into the box. It is a single gang outlet, and all 4 white and all 4 black were connected to the receptacle with backstab connections.

#1, is this dangerous for any reason? I have traced what's on the circuit, and it is a total of 1300 Watts on a 15A circuit, so I think the circuit is safe from overload at least. The question is about if this is unsafe in and of itself.
#2, why would this ever be needed?
#3, can I just splice all 4 white wires together with a pigtail and run it to the new receptacle, and then do the same with the black wires?
#4, did a crazy person wire my house and I need to call in a professional right away?

A couple notes - about 4 feet away is a 2 gang box with 2 light switches that seem to be on the same run (this is at the front door - one switch is for the light outside, the other for the light inside the door). About 8 feet the other way is another receptacle that is at the end of a run on the same circuit, but it is in the middle of the wall. About 8 feet past that on the same wall is another receptacle (haven't inspected this one).

Thanks!
Pete

joecaption 07-14-2012 11:49 PM

When you say 4 sets, you do mean 2, black and 2, whites right?
If there's two whites on one side of the outlet and two blacks on the other that the way it's suppost to be wires if there more then one outlet on a circut.
You did not think there was going to be a sepperat wire all the way from the breaker box to each outlet did you?

Also get rid of those back stabs, the wire can be cut off and stripped so it can be wrapped around the screws instead.

andrew79 07-14-2012 11:54 PM

it may have been ok to do back when it was wired. you need to pigtail the neutrals, not sure about the hots but i would do them too. You may actually be over box fill but i wouldn't worry too much about that at this point, it's not going to be something that gets inspected and should be fine as long as you don't have to use a hammer to get the receptacle on. I recommend using plugs that have the screw compression instead of the backstabs if your replacing though. better connection and less troublesome. Your absolutely fine at 1300w

Pete77 07-15-2012 12:16 AM

Thanks for the quick replies, both of you.

Joecaption, I do not mean 2 sets of each with 4 wires total. There are 4 sets of wires, 4 blacks and 4 whites coming into the box. I'm just not sure where everything goes, and I couldn't find reference anywhere online to a receptacle ever being wired like this, so it made me nervous. My best guess is that there was originally 3 sets of wires for some reason, and a previous owner at some point decided they wanted that additional receptacle in the middle of the wall (the one that is at the end of a run) and added another set of wires to get that receptacle wired, making for 4 sets of wires in the box. Yes, they are crammed in there, but I can still get the receptacle back on without using a hammer :yes:

I definitely plan to not use backstabs going forward.

k_buz 07-15-2012 01:44 AM

There are no requirements (NEC) to pigtail anything but the neutrals of a multiwire branch circuit. However, I pigtail EVERYTHING.

In your specific case, I would highly suggest pigtailing both the hots and the neutrals. One loose connection would mean loosing power to something else. I would also remove ANY backstabs you find as you go. They have a high rate of failure, and finding the loose connection can be a royal PITA.

hammerlane 07-15-2012 07:17 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Wow 8 wires backstabbed into one receptacle. Is this a new Octopus receptacle.

Below is how a "push in back wire" functions. See the next post for how a "screw and clamp back wire" functions

hammerlane 07-15-2012 07:20 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Screw & Clamp backwire:

brric 07-15-2012 07:25 AM

Older receps had more than one pair of backstab holes available for both hot and neutral connections. As the others have said, pigtail the conductors and use the screw terminals.

Speedy Petey 07-15-2012 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brric (Post 966039)
Older receps had more than one pair of backstab holes available for both hot and neutral connections. As the others have said, pigtail the conductors and use the screw terminals.

Just the other day I had to replace a failed backstab receptacle. House was from the 50's.

EVERY receptacle in the house was backstabbed, and the receptacles all had four holes on each side and NO screws 'cept for the ground screw.

jbfan 07-15-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 966063)
Just the other day I had to replace a failed backstab receptacle. House was from the 50's.

EVERY receptacle in the house was backstabbed, and the receptacles all had four holes on each side and NO screws 'cept for the ground screw.

I have run into a few of those myself.

Pete77 07-15-2012 12:22 PM

Thanks everyone. Pigtails for everything and removing every backstab I find.

mpoulton 07-15-2012 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pete77 (Post 966254)
Thanks everyone. Pigtails for everything and removing every backstab I find.

I'd offer a different suggestion: Replace the receptacle with a back WIRED one, rather than back STABBED. The kind with rear-entry screw-clamped terminals. They can accept all eight wires and are much more secure. Pigtailing that many wires in a normal box will be pretty difficult and in my opinion it doesn't add any more reliability over using a backwire receptacle.

andrew79 07-15-2012 02:37 PM

Well according to code the neutrals have to be pigtailed.

Techy 07-15-2012 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrew79 (Post 966330)
Well according to code the neutrals have to be pigtailed.

Only in the case of a MWBC.

Code05 07-15-2012 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Techy (Post 966338)
Only in the case of a MWBC.

Yep, although I would pig tail all sets of wires here and then go to receptacle.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:19 AM.


Copyright 2003-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved