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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

This is probably a "whatever you want to do" question but for me it's still worth asking. I am replacing old BX cabling with new NM (upgrading 14# to 12#). I have several receptacle outlets to replace and I am torn as to how to wire them. I was originally thinking just bounce from box to box (1 in 1 out) until I went to take out the BX and found that in most cases there was one wire cable from each outlet to a nearby junction box. Of course that got me thinking about whether I wanted to just do it the same way.

AFAIK both methods are acceptable from a code perspective. Can anyone offer any pros and cons for doing it one way or the other? BTW these are all first floor outlets with connections in the basement, so nothing is getting enclosed.

Thx!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Makes sense, and that's probably why it's the go-to method. Wonder if in the days of metallic cable it was cheaper or less work to do it with junctions. Then again I found an older loose six-fuse box that I imagine belonged to the house once. I can see from what's left of the old wiring that each circuit was loaded up, no pun intended.

Aside from less nutted connections, is there ANY advantage to the j-box method? Flexibility to expand perhaps?
 

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The star method only makes one cable in each box so they are less crowded and trimout is quicker.
 
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Hey All,

This is probably a "whatever you want to do" question but for me it's still worth asking. I am replacing old BX cabling with new NM (upgrading 14# to 12#). I have several receptacle outlets to replace and I am torn as to how to wire them. I was originally thinking just bounce from box to box (1 in 1 out) until I went to take out the BX and found that in most cases there was one wire cable from each outlet to a nearby junction box. Of course that got me thinking about whether I wanted to just do it the same way.

AFAIK both methods are acceptable from a code perspective. Can anyone offer any pros and cons for doing it one way or the other? BTW these are all first floor outlets with connections in the basement, so nothing is getting enclosed.

Thx!
Are you replacing the old outlet boxes with new ones? Your existing are most likely not big enough by today's code requirements, to accommodate #12 conductors. That may have been the reason why your outlets were wired from a junction box. The original installer did not want to deal with shoving wires into a small box. You need 3.5" deep outlet boxes for the new wiring to go from outlet to outlet. For one 12/2 cable you can get by with a 2 3/4" gem box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you replacing the old outlet boxes with new ones? Your existing are most likely not big enough by today's code requirements, to accommodate #12 conductors. That may have been the reason why your outlets were wired from a junction box. The original installer did not want to deal with shoving wires into a small box. You need 3.5" deep outlet boxes for the new wiring to go from outlet to outlet. For one 12/2 cable you can get by with a 2 3/4" gem box.
Yes in fact they are changing from old school metal boxes to low profile plastic boxes (the ones w/ the little door to provide space on the sides. That said, #12 wire is the start (to me at least) of pain-in-the-a$$dom as far as getting stuff to play nicely. Maybe +1 vote for the j-box after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why are you changing out to #12? If the breaker is not changing there is no reason to use #12.
The breaker is actually NOT changing. They just won't be on it when it is all said and done. I am converting this room into a home office so am creating a dedicated 20a circuit for the receptacles in the room (two circuits in fact)
 

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What is the cubic inch capacity of the boxes?. You may only have space for one cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They are 18 ci boxes. If I am calculating right, 12/2 x 2 = 6 conductors (not entirely sure if you should count ground or not but I did) + 2 for the recaptacle = 8 x 2.25 = 18, so hopefully I am ok either way.
 

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What is the difference in access to run the wires? Are the walls open? Where are the existing junction boxes and how are they accessed? I don't have the experience that the others have but I like less wires in the receptacle box; I'd do the junction box route.

One other suggestion I'd make is not to use single-gang boxes at all. For a study/office you can easily run out of outlets with computers, chargers, printers, shredders, etc. Go with dual-gang outlets and more than you think you need. I added outlets above desk-height, too, because it's just too darn hard to bend down under the desk every time something needs plugged or unplugged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah the walls are totally open and this is a 1st floor room with wiring running right into the basement. The original j-boxes are still there. I can even re-use the holes. At this point I'm kinda leaning toward the j-box route too to be honest.

Thanks too and noted on the outlets. These particular outlets are set on a cinder block wall and is in the process of being insulated with rigid foam, hence my need to stay small. That being said, these are pretty much just ancillary plugs for code. I have roughed in new doubles with a dedicated circuit for the equipment. On the other hand I hadn't thought of a desk height outlet and will see if I can fit some in. Thanks for the idea!
 
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