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Thread: Advice needed, problem with short wires in box

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed, problem with short wires in box

    In my never ending remodeling projects, I am in the process of adding a couple of recepticles to my existing kitchen circuit. It is a 20A circuit and only has 2 single receptacles on it now and I am changing them to duplexes.

    The problem is that the wires in the boxes were trimmed very short, they extend maybe an inch or so beyond the boxes, don't ask me why, it is just how they are. Can I add a pigtail to these to give myself sufficient working length extending beyond the box or is it necessary to pull new wire to remedy this situation (would be a real pain). I guess my basic question here is "do all wire ends need to extend the minimum distance from the box or just the ones connecting the device at that box"?

    Having recently wired my vacation home in the same county, the inspector pulled a "sample" recepticle to check my work, including the length of the wires, so I imagine he will do the same here.

    Thanks in advance.

    Glen

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    300.14 Length of Free Conductors at Outlets, Junctions, and Switch Points.
    At least 150 mm (6 in.) of free conductor, measured from the point in the box where it emerges from its raceway or cable sheath, shall be left at each outlet, junction, and switch point for splices or the connection of luminaires or devices. Where the opening to an outlet, junction, or switch point is less than 200 mm (8 in.) in any dimension, each conductor shall be long enough to extend at least 75 mm (3 in.) outside the opening.

  3. #3
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apparentgenius View Post
    the wires in the boxes were trimmed very short, they extend maybe an inch or so beyond the boxes
    I'd solder longer wires onto them and use heat-shrink tubing to cover the (hook) splice.
    The copper needs to be lightly sanded first so the oxide is removed.

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    i'd solder longer wires onto them .
    do what did you say???????????

    No! No! No!

    Never solder a conductor never

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    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    do what did you say???????????

    No! No! No!

    Never solder a conductor never
    Crimp a pigtail onto it?
    Bolt a pigtail onto it?

    Mr. O'Marne, are you playing this game?
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=nigysob+berne
    Last edited by Thatguy; 12-22-2008 at 09:41 AM.

  6. #6
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatguy View Post
    Crimp a pigtail onto it?
    Bolt a pigtail onto it?

    Mr. O'Marne, are you playing this game?
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=nigysob+berne
    I think the question is, "what is code compliant as the inspector is going to look at them"

    The only code compliant way is to replace them wouldn't you say?

  7. #7

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    If they are 1" out of the box you have enough (barely) to work with and pigtail them.

    You might try to loosen the box clamps (if any) and see if there is any slack in the wall. You can also (sometimes) relocate the box up or down to get more wire. No inspector is going to turn down a repair like that. New installation and repair generally have different criteria.

  8. #8

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    Contact the electrical inspector and tell him/her what the situation is and ask what is required to pass inspection. That is the safest bet.

    If you were in my jurisdiction I would allow you to pigtail as long as they were all done neatly and in a workman like manner. AHJ call.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member apparentgenius's Avatar
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    Everyone,

    Thanks for the advice and clarity on the code. I'll give the inspector a call and see if he lets me go the pigtail route. Might as well ask before pulling new wire.

    Glen

  10. #10
    In the Trades maintenanceguy's Avatar
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    This is so obvious that I'm sure you've already thought of it but is there enough slack in the wires to pull another couple of inches into the box?

  11. #11
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maintenanceguy View Post
    This is so obvious that I'm sure you've already thought of it but is there enough slack in the wires to pull another couple of inches into the box?
    That has already been suggested.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

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