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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there. I'm a DIY'er with minimal electrical experience. I'm renovating my basement and needed to move a plug, which already had one line out to a powered smoke detector and I'd like to add another line out to a new plug I added farther down the wall. So, one "main" wire in to the box and two out; one to the additional plug and one to the smoke detector (not in series - two separate runs). All wires are 14-2 romex and the box is 15 cu in (3x2x3).

How would I wire this? Use pigtails to the first outlet and Marrette the four black, white and ground wires together i.e. 3 Marrettes total, and run the other two wires to their individual devices? Tried this but breaker keeps tripping.

Any assistance provided would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Remove the cover plate, remove the outlet mounting screws, pull the outlet out of the box straightening and separating the wires so we can trace them.



Post a photo.



You can make your wiring connections using Marrettes as you have described with a pigtail to the outlet. Or you can replace the outlet with a new outlet (shown below)that has the wiring lugs. Normally you can only have one conductor under one screw.


Notice the wiring lugs under each screw. That allows you to connect two conductors to the outlet at each screw and to connect them to the outlet without Marrettes or pig tails.


Take note of the plate (lug) under the screw. That plate allows you to put two wires under the screw. That would allow you to connect all three conductors together and to the outlet with out pigtails or Marrette.
 

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Your box may be too small under the CEC. It is under the NEC
 

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3x2x3 box is good for 10 #14 wires.
You have
2 for receptacle
6 for wires
1 for wire nuts

You are within code.

Not sure why the breaker is tripping. Perhaps you have a short on the new line. I have seen where the box clamp was tightened so much it shorted the cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
3x2x3 box is good for 10 #14 wires.
You have
2 for receptacle
6 for wires
1 for wire nuts

You are within code.

Not sure why the breaker is tripping. Perhaps you have a short on the new line. I have seen where the box clamp was tightened so much it shorted the cables.
Me either. Going to rewire and double check everything, especially the box clamps as I did tighten those pretty snug. I originally only had a 3x2x2.5 box and did the same calculation you mention above and determined I needed the 3x2x3 as minimum instead.

Thanks for the confirmation and tips.

p.s. love your profile pic... RCAF guy here :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Remove the cover plate, remove the outlet mounting screws, pull the outlet out of the box straightening and separating the wires so we can trace them.



Post a photo.



You can make your wiring connections using Marrettes as you have described with a pigtail to the outlet. Or you can replace the outlet with a new outlet (shown below)that has the wiring lugs. Normally you can only have one conductor under one screw.


Notice the wiring lugs under each screw. That allows you to connect two conductors to the outlet at each screw and to connect them to the outlet without Marrettes or pig tails.


Take note of the plate (lug) under the screw. That plate allows you to put two wires under the screw. That would allow you to connect all three conductors together and to the outlet with out pigtails or Marrette.
Thanks Harold. I've never seen that kind of an outlet before but agree it would simplify things for sure and decrease the clutter in the box. Will have to see if I can find it locally. The only downside is that if a problem develops with the outlet itself, then all downrange outlets are also affected, whereas they would not be if using pigtails... pros and cons like everything else I guess :)

Appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

Paul
 

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Quite common at all the big box stores. Just cost a few cents more but a lot faster and easier.


If you were using a metal box one of the screws was probably touching the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, so went back over everything this morning with a "fresh" set of eyes. Took me 5 minutes to figure out my mistake (a rookie one for sure - too embarrassed to elaborate :sad:). All working now. Kept my pigtail method but will definitely be looking to get me a few of the back-wire pressure plate type devices for future... a little less clutter in the box.

Thank you to everyone who helped.

I'm sure I'll be back as I've only just started my reno :smile:.

Cheers,
Paul
 

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Don't be embarrassed. The only person that doesn't make an error is the person that doesn't do anything.
 
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