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Old 09-02-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Tapping off of an existing duplex outlet


Hello:

I live in a 35-year-old house and I am continually maintain and upgrading it. The current project involves renovating a large side entrance. Apart from the construction I have decided to add a duplex power outlet. The most convenient power source is an existing duplex outlet on the other side of the wall in different room from where I intend to install the new outlet. The existing power source/outlet does not see much use except for servicing a lamp.

Before starting I tested the outlet with a Leviton circuit tester. Both receptacles indicated correct wiring (2 green lights side by side). When I removed the cover plate and moved the outlet out of position I noticed that there are two separate 2-conductor wires (each having black and white) with one pair connected to the top receptacle and one pair to the bottom receptacle.

As the metal tab between the top and bottom receptacles is still in place I thought that I could remove one pair of wires and use them to power the new duplex receptacle. When I disconnected the bottom pair I lost power to the receptacle and all manner of connections that I have tried indicate incorrect wiring codes on the circuit tester.

My questions are as follows:
1. Why is the existing outlet powered this way?
2. If the existing feed arrangement must remain unchanged can I run power to the new duplex by connecting the existing duplex to the existing 4 feed wires utilizing the push-in connectors located on the back of the duplex and then tap off for the new receptacle using the screw connectors located on the side of the duplex?
3. Do I need to run 4 wires (2 pair) to the new receptacle as is the case on the existing receptacle or will 2 wires (1 pair) suffice?

Thank you for your assistance.

Duncan in Stoney Creek

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Tapping off of an existing duplex outlet


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Originally Posted by OntarioDYI View Post
Hello:

I live in a 35-year-old house and I am continually maintain and upgrading it. The current project involves renovating a large side entrance. Apart from the construction I have decided to add a duplex power outlet. The most convenient power source is an existing duplex outlet on the other side of the wall in different room from where I intend to install the new outlet. The existing power source/outlet does not see much use except for servicing a lamp.

Before starting I tested the outlet with a Leviton circuit tester. Both receptacles indicated correct wiring (2 green lights side by side). When I removed the cover plate and moved the outlet out of position I noticed that there are two separate 2-conductor wires (each having black and white) with one pair connected to the top receptacle and one pair to the bottom receptacle.

As the metal tab between the top and bottom receptacles is still in place I thought that I could remove one pair of wires and use them to power the new duplex receptacle. When I disconnected the bottom pair I lost power to the receptacle and all manner of connections that I have tried indicate incorrect wiring codes on the circuit tester.

My questions are as follows:
1. Why is the existing outlet powered this way?
2. If the existing feed arrangement must remain unchanged can I run power to the new duplex by connecting the existing duplex to the existing 4 feed wires utilizing the push-in connectors located on the back of the duplex and then tap off for the new receptacle using the screw connectors located on the side of the duplex?
3. Do I need to run 4 wires (2 pair) to the new receptacle as is the case on the existing receptacle or will 2 wires (1 pair) suffice?

Thank you for your assistance.

Duncan in Stoney Creek
What is the "top or "bottom" of the recep? Are the whites connected to the same terminal and the blacks connected together to the other terminal? Is there a grounding wire present? You cannot extend a 2 wire circuit and be code compliant.


Last edited by brric; 09-02-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Tapping off of an existing duplex outlet


The receptacle was set up with power in and power out.
The best way to do this is add another cable, connect all the whites along with a short piece of wire to a wire nut.
Connect the short wire to the existing receptacle.
Do the same thing for the other colors.
At the new receptacle you will have one wire of each color, connect it black to brass, white to silver, and green to ground.

Check your current box for wire fill limitations also.
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