Electrical receptical wiring

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mrpark
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Electrical receptical wiring

Post by mrpark » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:59 pm

Hello:

I watched most of your electrical videos online, and your recommended I come here if I have any questions. I saw the on video where you were wiring a kitchen, using 12-2 wires and outlets, you used a pigtail method and that looked like a good idea. You explained about how this was for safety, and if an outlet went, then it would not be a problem. That being said, I saw another video of yours, where you were doing new wiring 14-2 and did not use a pigtail method, but just used all 4 screws on the outlets wiring them in series. Can you explain when you would use pigtail vs. the standard method? Is the pigtail method just for 12-2 or can it be used everywhere. Also, in the video I did not see you using 6" of slack in the boxes, I assume its different code in Canada than in the US. I am enjoying the videos, please keep up the good work!

Thanks!

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Shannon
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by Shannon » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:06 pm

Ya codes are slightly different and even from city to city they can be enforced differently, so it can get a little confusing . Also codes are changing affair bit the last couple of years.
Some areas watch for and prefer pig tailing and others do not. The benefit is that if you are pigtailed and a receptical goes bad others on that circuit should still work because the power can by pass it. 6" of wire in the box is pretty standard but I may have been off?
Sorry for the confusion.
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mrpark
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by mrpark » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:31 pm

OK, I think it all makes sense to me now. Thanks for the reply. I agree the pigtail seems to be a safe way to go.

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Aaron
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by Aaron » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:51 pm

I will only pigtail when I use traditional builder-grade duplex receptacles. It's arguably safer, because then you know the current flows through the whole circuit on a 14 or 12 gauge conductor. I don't really trust that little break-off jumper tab that connects the two terminal screws on the receptacle to carry the load of the circuit downstream from that particular receptacle.

Premium heavy-duty commercial-grade receptacles that cost more (like $2.00 instead of $0.50) and most GFCI receptacles now have screw clamps. You simply poke the conductor through a hole on the back and screw down a plate that clamps the wire in place. Each screw has two holes, so two wires in each hole lands on both sides of the screw post. Electrically, this is exactly the same as a pigtail splice because that plate has a large surface conducting area, and both conductors are well secured.

The worst, of course, are the back-stabbing 14 gauge holes on the back of builder-grade receptacles. It's a poor connection. Every outlet I've ever replaced that has had arcs come out of it (evidenced by melted or burned plastic) has been connected with the back-stab method. It's dangerous and I'm very surprised receptacles are still being made with those holes.

mrpark
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by mrpark » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:33 am

I was thinking about using these http://m.lowes.com/pd/Cooper-Wiring-Dev ... et/1094559 I know not to use the backstab, but one of the reviewers said to use the side screw I guess called side clamps. I don't need GFCI for most of my applications. How to tell the difference between a backstab and the other holes that are OK to use? Hope you don't mind all the questions..

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Aaron
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by Aaron » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Yes, that product does have the clamp-style terminals. In this case, you would not need pigtails, because the outlet itself does a very good job of both splicing and tapping into the circuit. In fact it's better not to use a wired pigtail because it increases wire fill in the box. But it's wire fill well spent if you didn't have that good clamp-style receptacle. To tell the difference between clamp and backstab holes: the loose plate that you clamps down with the terminal screw sort of jiggles a bit, and the hole is bigger to allow 12 gauge conductor. It's really obvious when you compare them side-by-side.

However, if this is an inspected addition to your home, you will actually need the receptacles to be tamper-resistant (TR), as per NEC Article 406.12 in the United States and CSA Rule 26-712 in Canada. These are a recent requirement of residential electrical construction. These receptacles have plastic shutters in them that block objects from being inserted into just one of the holes. It's a safety feature for infants that makes those "caps" that you plug in obsolete.

But if you're replacing an existing receptacle that's not tamper-resistant, you're just fine using whatever receptacle you want.

mrpark
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by mrpark » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:16 pm

Ok, so what your saying is putting the wire straight on the side screw is OK? The problem I have is with 12-2 putting the loops on because it's too right. I am just learning about electrical, but I try to learn all I can. Seems like a lot to learn so I will study up on youtube. My panel is full of 20 amp breakers, I really just need to find the time to rewire everything. Right now I am fixing my attic floor and need to drywall. My whole house needs to be redone....I like to try to so things myself so I can learn the right and wrong ways. Again thanks for all the help.

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Shannon
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by Shannon » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:47 pm

12/2 should fit fine, not sure why it would seem so tight?
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Aaron
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Re: Electrical receptical wiring

Post by Aaron » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:36 pm

12 gauge wire is indeed much more stiff than 14 gauge. You need needle-nose pliers to make the hook on the end of the stripped wire so it can wrap clockwise around the terminal screw. This is on regular builder-grade (cheap) receptacles.

But if you're using the fancier receptacles with the side clamps, you just stick the straight wire into the hole and tighten the screw down.

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