Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-14-2012, 11:39 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

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

Pete77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 26,357
Rewards Points: 34
Default

Receptacle Question


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.

joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2012, 11:54 PM   #3
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,165
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


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
__________________
Sarcasm is my friend
I'm here to learn too, i do mostly commercial/industrial/new construction and this place is a great way to pick up tips on residential from some good electrical minds. Excuse the spelling, my phone has a mind of it's own.
andrew79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


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

I definitely plan to not use backstabs going forward.
Pete77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
Licensed Electrician
 
k_buz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 4,340
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


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.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ______________
Answers based on the National Electric Code. Always check local amendments.


k_buz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


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
Attached Thumbnails
Receptacle Question-push-.jpg   Receptacle Question-222.jpg   Receptacle Question-333.jpg   Receptacle Question-444.jpg  
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,546
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Screw & Clamp backwire:
Attached Thumbnails
Receptacle Question-222.jpg   Receptacle Question-333.jpg   Receptacle Question-last.jpg   Receptacle Question-111.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 07-15-2012 at 07:23 AM.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 07:25 AM   #8
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,865
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


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.
brric is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to brric For This Useful Post:
Speedy Petey (07-15-2012)
Old 07-15-2012, 08:23 AM   #9
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,826
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
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.
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #10
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,792
Rewards Points: 16
Default

Receptacle Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
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.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Thanks everyone. Pigtails for everything and removing every backstab I find.
Pete77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #12
Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,550
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete77 View Post
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.
mpoulton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
Master Electrician
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,165
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Well according to code the neutrals have to be pigtailed.
__________________
Sarcasm is my friend
I'm here to learn too, i do mostly commercial/industrial/new construction and this place is a great way to pick up tips on residential from some good electrical minds. Excuse the spelling, my phone has a mind of it's own.
andrew79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #14
Sparky
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 701
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew79 View Post
Well according to code the neutrals have to be pigtailed.
Only in the case of a MWBC.
Techy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Techy For This Useful Post:
Code05 (07-15-2012), mpoulton (07-15-2012), stickboy1375 (07-15-2012)
Old 07-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
Member
 
Code05's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Easton MD
Posts: 1,841
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Receptacle Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Techy View Post
Only in the case of a MWBC.
Yep, although I would pig tail all sets of wires here and then go to receptacle.

Code05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding GFCI receptacle outdoors Dale Gribble Electrical 2 03-21-2012 01:18 PM
continuous load anesthes Electrical 50 01-14-2012 12:35 PM
Receptacle Rating question KE2KB Electrical 19 12-20-2008 06:20 PM
Receptacle Rating question KE2KB Electrical 5 12-18-2008 05:36 PM
Basement Renovation Question KUIPORNG Remodeling 234 08-26-2008 08:19 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.