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Thread: receptacle piggy backing

  1. #1
    Plumber Esquire's Avatar
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    Default receptacle piggy backing

    I have a receptacle in my house and I've noticed that it has been piggy backed off of twice. It is pb'ed off the load (screws) and line (terminals) on the back. Is this permitted? Thanks in advance for anyone that responds. I changed all the ones in my basement to the fancy new square ones and this ones the only one that has it done? I just really wanna find out if it's a hazard more so than a code-breaker. Thanks again

  2. #2
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    A receptacle can feed other outlets, lights switches...etc
    As long as box fill is not exceeded & its legal per code
    IE a bathroom circuit that feeds multiple bathroom outlets can't have the bathroom lights on it

    Sounds like this is a GFCI ?
    Where is it located ?
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  3. #3
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    It should only have one wire under each terminal screw though.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    A receptacle can feed other outlets, lights switches...etc. Correct
    As long as box fill is not exceeded & its legal per code.Correct
    IE a bathroom circuit that feeds multiple bathroom outlets can't have the bathroom lights on it. Incorrect, see below.

    Sounds like this is a GFCI ?
    Where is it located ?
    A bathroom circuit that feeds multiple bathroom outlets can have the bathroom lights on it. The required 20A circuit for the bathroom RECEPTACLES can only feed the receptacles in multiple bathrooms if nothing else is fed by the circuit. Otherwise the required 20A circuit for the GFCI receptacle in a single bathroom can also feed lighting and other outlets.

    The key is the definition of the word "outlet". An outlet can be a receptacle or a light or even a smoke detector, not that you would put a sd in a bathroom.
    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

  5. #5

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    To the OP, what brand GFCI receptacle.
    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

  6. #6
    Plumber Esquire's Avatar
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    the recetacle has a feed line coming into it from under the floor. it connects to the bottom hot and common screw. the top hot and common screw are connected to wires going to another receptacle 4 feet away on the same wall. The terminals on the back of the receptacle has a hot and common wire coming out of it and goes straight up to feed a GFI directy above the countertop. (seems the bar was a later addition and I guess this was the simplest way to install a countertop outlet.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    what ever is PB off the load side will not have GFCI protection...what ever is PB off the line side will have GFCI protection...does this help

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    Plumber Esquire's Avatar
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    Sorry I don't know electrical at all. I read something on a GFI saying line and load (I understand it now) but previously I was under the belief that the load were any screw connections and line were the terminals on the rear. I was understanding this a global knowledge for all receptacles. But thank you for clearifying this for me with regard to GFI's.
    So to the original question, can there be a power feed and two outlets on one regular receptacle?

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Not knowing the brand of GFCI I would suggest you go buy a new one and follow the directions that will come with it...if the one you have now is old...the $12.00 or so spent on a new one and the directions that will come with it will be a great teacher...you can also get ones that will light up if the power goes out making resetting it in the dark easier...

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esquire View Post
    the recetacle has a feed line coming into it from under the floor. it connects to the bottom hot and common screw.

    The only common screw I know of in premises wiring is found on a three way switch. Is the word “common” found on this receptacle?

  11. #11
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Are you allowed to attach wires to both the screws and the punch in holes at the back of the receptacle?

    It sounds that that is what the OP is seeing?

  12. #12
    Plumber Esquire's Avatar
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    yeah that's what I was looking for, thanks for making it simple.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't like those rear, push-in connections at all. You are relying on a spring and a sharp pin to make the connection. Over time, heating and cooling will cause the spring to get weaker and they are the source of lots of intermittent power problems. You are much better off connecting all of the leads together, then using a pigtail to connect to the outlet rather than relying on it as the junction box itself. Using just the screws is pretty reliable, but I'd avoid the push-in connections for anything. There is a brand that lets you push the leads in from the back, but there is a screw that actually anchors it - the screw compresses it between two plates. Much better. It doesn't matter which connection gets the power since they are all connected together, so don't count on one being the line or load...it just doesn't matter. Actually, there is no distinction between line and load except on a GFCI.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14
    DIY Member jetlag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Are you allowed to attach wires to both the screws and the punch in holes at the back of the receptacle?

    It sounds that that is what the OP is seeing?
    On a regular recep you can use the side screws and the back push in holes . but the side screws on a gfci rec are not for wires, they pull down the clamps on the back wire slots

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default terminals

    They can be for wires, or clamping. The strip gauge on the back says it is only for the wires which are back wired, therefore, not for wires connected to the screw terminals.

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