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Old 12-31-2008, 02:33 AM   #1
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


If I have a supply wire running to a receptacle and then plan to continue the circuit to 2 separate directions from that receptacle can I tie the neutrals and hots together like with the grounds, or do I need to tie them together with wire nuts? If not, then I will end up using a separate j-box to make the connections and run from there. I am using 12ga wire and I have a difficult enough time stuffing the wires back into the box once they are tied together that I don't want to risk any damage to the wires or impact on my splices once I have to fit a receptacle in the j-box as well.

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Old 12-31-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


It depends on if the box is sized for the number of wires you plan. From your "stuffing" comment, I am guessing it is not. Replace the box with a 3x2, or add a j-box. They also make a box with a side wing on it for shallow walls.

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Old 12-31-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by joey b View Post
can I tie the neutrals and hots together like with the grounds, or do I need to tie them together with wire nuts?
Seriously? You absolutely have to use wire nuts, stab-type products like Wago wall-nuts, or insulated splice caps (which require a special tool and take as much space as a wire nut).

Not making a proper connection is basically guaranteeing an arcing situation and subsequent fire down the road.

Furthermore, simply twisting the grounds together is not an acceptable wiring method. A mechanical connection must be used, including wire nuts, wal-nuts, or Buchanan crimps. A lot of electricians use the Buchanans on their grounds, securely twisting the wires first, then installing a crimp sleeve over the twisted wires. For a DIYer, properly sized wire nuts or wal-nuts are the best option.

If room in the box is an issue, you're doing something wrong. Box fill requirements are in effect for very good reason. A secondary box or larger box may be in order. If you're installing a receptacle in the box, it is a device box being used as a junction box...Maybe it shouldn't be pulling double duty.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


It really shouldnt be a problem having 3 sets of wires in a standard blue box...

Generally what I do in a situation like that is have my incoming power going to the recep, then the 2 outbound sets pigtailed to the other screws on the recep.only 2 wire nuts, below box fill, and all good.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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It really shouldnt be a problem having 3 sets of wires in a standard blue box...

Generally what I do in a situation like that is have my incoming power going to the recep, then the 2 outbound sets pigtailed to the other screws on the recep.only 2 wire nuts, below box fill, and all good.
You can't fit three 12-2s in standard 18 cubic inch box with a device. You would need at least 20.25 cu. in. I like the 22 cu. in. myself.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:18 AM   #6
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


1) Run all cables into the top of the box

2) Cut all wires the same length, long enough so they will fold back one time and tuck tightly to the back of the box.

3) Make your connections tight. Pre twist if necessary.

4) Push your spliced connections way back in the box leaving the ground/neutrals on the right and the hot on the left. Plan ahead.

If you know how to do it, you can fill a box over it's listed capacity with no issues. If you don't know how to do it, you can overfill a box by staying within itt's listed capacity.




The biggest problems homeowners have is cutting wires the wrong length and not tightening wirenuts.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


Is it acceptable to use the back wire connections of an outlet to tie the hot and neutral wires together and then wire nut the grounds with a pigtail to the outlet? This is an 18 cu in box with 3 14-2's.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:03 PM   #8
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


Yes. That's why they are designed that way.

Most people will tell you to use the side screw terminals though.

And...........I assumed you meant tie the hots together and tie the neutrals together, not tie the hots and neutrals together.

Crap...I didn't read three cables. I don't believe there is a code isse with using both the terminals and the screws but most people would just pigtail the tree wires to one.

Last edited by 220/221; 12-31-2008 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:13 PM   #9
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


Push in back stab connections that do not use the screw to hold the wire are very common source of loose connections. I would not use them. The connections that use the screw to clamp a flat metal plate over the wires are fine. I would use them.

Last edited by joed; 12-31-2008 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:22 PM   #10
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These are the clamp type back connections. Thanks to both of you for the replies.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:08 PM   #11
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You can't fit three 12-2s in standard 18 cubic inch box with a device. You would need at least 20.25 cu. in. I like the 22 cu. in. myself.
I thought the 22 cu boxes were the standard... its what I always buy. I guess next time I shouldnt assume!
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:47 PM   #12
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1) Run all cables into the top of the box

2) Cut all wires the same length, long enough so they will fold back one time and tuck tightly to the back of the box.
Failure to adhere to #2 is obviously the problem. Thank you. BTW, code only allows for routing of 1 romex cable through a knockout, right? I'm using a 4X3X2 box with a fill capacity of 20.3 ci.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:39 PM   #13
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splitting circuit at receptacle box


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Failure to adhere to #2 is obviously the problem. Thank you. BTW, code only allows for routing of 1 romex cable through a knockout, right? I'm using a 4X3X2 box with a fill capacity of 20.3 ci.

It depending on which type of KO you are using on that box if you used plastic box as 220/221's photo that set up is legit

However with metal box you will need proper romex clamp to hold the cable in correct way { some will listed for one and some will list for two so please double check the manufacter for listing It will be on the box or package }

Merci,Marc

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