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Thread: running new cables

  1. #1

    Default running new cables

    Hi all

    I am running new electricity wires in my house and would like some advice. DO I need to run a cable from my outlet box to another? OR can I have a cable run out of all my outlet boxes into the basement ceiling to a large box (splice them) and have that run into my service panel?

    I am asking this because it would make my life easier, instead of having a cable run from one outlet box into the basement and back up to another outlet box and keep doing this till i reach the service panel would seem more tedious. It would seem more easier if I can run all my cables down to a large junction box and from that one box run a 12/2 cable to my service panel.


  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    New Hampshire


    You may run a cable from each outlet box to a central box and splice them, with a single cable run from there to the main panel.

    All of the cables must be 12/2 with ground if the circuit is protected by a 20 Amp breaker.

    The junction box in the basement must be accessible after the finish materials are installed. It may be concealed above a suspended ceiling but it can't be behind drywall or paneling.

    Volume requirements are based on 2.25 cubic inches for each 12/2 circuit conductor. Therefore, for each 12/2 cable coming into the box there must be 4.5 cubic inches of volume, plus 2.25 cubic inches for all of the ground wires which count as one. Therefore, for 6 cables you will need a box with 29.25 cubic inches.

    The standard boxes that will accommodate that are 4" square x 2 1/8 with 30.3 cubic inches; 4 11/16 x 1.5 with 29.5 cubic inches, and 4 11/16 x 2 1/8 with 42 cubic inches. Many of the boxes have the volume marked inside the box.

    Short "pigtail" wires that originate and end without leaving the box don't count.

    If there are cable clamps where the clamping mechanism is inside the box you must add 2.25 cubic inches more, where all of the clamps together are equivalent to one wire. No allowance is required for clamps that clamp outside the box.

  3. #3


    Thanks A lot

    That really helps

  4. #4


    Keep in mind that if you have more than 4 wires, the connections will be more difficult. DON'T try to jam 8 wires under a Blue Wirenut.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    Several companies now make push-in connectors that look convenient and take up less room than wirenuts. I've got a couple of cards of them, but haven't tried them yet. These things smell like backstabbing to me, so I'm wary. They also look like there's no easy way to remove them, so they're one-way deals. They're also kind of pricey; an 8-holer from GB sells for a couple of bucks:

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    Last edited by Mikey; 12-29-2007 at 05:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Maybe the layout of your basement is prompting the question. But another common way of wiring is that the feed from the main comes to the closest receptacle location, then a cable runs from there to the next closest, etc until the last one is reached. That way, you only have a max of 2 black, 2 white, 2 grounds to deal with inside any box.


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