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Thread: Adding new receptacle and switch

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Default Adding new receptacle and switch

    Hello, I would appreciate any pro electricians to check my proposed wiring.

    I need to add a new receptacle and switch to my AV closet by tapping into an existing circuit.

    The receptacle will be to power the AV gear, and the switch will turn on/off a cooling fan.

    Assuming that there are no wiring errors in the attached drawing, then:

    Question - Where should I wire the switch to for power? Box1, Box2, or directly to the receptacle in Box3?

    *NOTE: This is a Home Automation switch, so it has Black, White, Red, and Green wires
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  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    The answer is None of the Above. I would splice pigtails from receptacle and switch to incoming 14/2 cable in Box 3.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    At box three, join the whites from your fan and the supply together with a pigtail. Run the pigtail into the outlet. Take the supply to the receptacle and two pigtails and join them, run one to the receptacle and the other to one terminal of the switch. Tie all of the grounds together from the fan, receptacle and add as many pigtails as needed to connect to the receptacle and the switch (if it has one).

    basically, the switch has only two terminals that get connected when closed. You run the hot line to one, and the other side goes to the load you're trying to control. You might be able to get by without pigtails, depending on how many screw connections there are on the receptacle.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Now I'm more confused. I thought that a drawing would help visualize my setup. Here is another drawing.

    Notes:
    * Existing Romex is approximately 2' from Box 3, and once cut there will not be enough slack to do anything but box each end.
    * This is NOT a regular switch. It has 4 permanent wires coming out BWRG, there are NO terminals.
    http://www.smarthome.com/2476S/Switc...g-White/p.aspx

    Let me re-ask the question:
    1) Is the shown new config2 correct.
    2) If there is another way, what is it, and why is it better or more correct.
    3) Goal = New leg works, and my house won't burn down.

    I'm not an electrician, so please keep answers at novice level using colors and/or drawings if possible.

    Many Thanks
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    Last edited by 8888; 02-05-2012 at 01:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    If I understand box 1 and two are being installed to insert the splice in the existing cable with box 3 being the new receptacle and switch.

    Everything looks good

    Black to black
    White to white
    Ground to ground
    And the switch as drawn

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    If I understand box 1 and two are being installed to insert the splice in the existing cable with box 3 being the new receptacle and switch.

    Everything looks good

    Black to black
    White to white
    Ground to ground
    And the switch as drawn
    Yes, that is correct. There is NOT enough slack to re-join the original Romex in only one box, so having 2 boxes seemed to be the only way. It doesn't need to look pretty, since the whole config is in the attic.

    The other LEG coming out of BOX1 is all the new wiring servicing the outlet, switch, and fan.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Is there a code that states '1 wire on 1 screw only'? If so I could:
    - make the ground entering Box3 x-long, and wrap it around the screw, then continue on.
    or
    - Pigtail all the grounds together at the ground nut [as shown]

    Any thoughts?

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    A long ground wrapped around the screw IS one wire, one screw.

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    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    Did you not read? PIGTAIL. do what you want if you want a hack job...
    Some of us come to sites like this to gain knowledge that is BACKED UP WITH EXPLANATIONS and REAL EXPERIENCE, not "do it this way or your a hack". I have owned several homes and have seen many different wiring configurations all legal, all passed inspection. So I don't believe for a minute that there is only one way. Members like myself want to hear pros and cons. Your posts are not helpful and frankly rude. Congratulations you know more than everyone!

    All the previous posts came across as 'welcome, how can we help'. You, on the other hand come off as a real AHOLE who enjoys pissing on new members who come here to learn, what's worse you are a senior member. What exactly are your credentials? JWELECTRIC is an electrical contractor/instructor and his post said everything looked fine.

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You can use the screws on the receptacle as a junction instead of a wire nut and pigtail(s), but the better way to do that is to use pigtails for both the switch and the receptacle. What you CANNOT do, is install two wires underneath ONE screw. Some receptacles allow back fed connections, and if those are engaged via a screw (and not a spring clamp), then I'd consider using those, too, if needed. But, still, a pigtail is easier since if you ever need to replace things, you'd have fewer connections to remake, and, a wirenut is likely a more secure connection. There is some science to making a screw terminal connection - high current can heat and then cool a connection. A threaded connection that is not torqued properly can come loose, giving you potentially intermittent operations. Not as likely to happen if you use a wirenut and pigtails, as then, only the thing that came loose would be affected, making it easier to isolate.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Name:  RecepSwitch3.jpg
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    - My reasons for drawing 2 over 3 has EVERYTHING to do with the number of wire nuts. If you have never installed a Home Automation switch or receptacle there are things to be aware of:

    1) They are bigger [deep]. They limit the amount of space to tuck your wiring. I have installed many into existing boxes that are already full of wiring and you must cram it in hard just to mount them. Pushing so hard can/will loosen the existing nuts, usually the large bundle of neutrals. I have solved that problem by using Idealģ Push-In connectors. They form a permanent connection, and take up little space. I use them almost exclusively to make connections in overcrowded boxes.

    2) They have wire leads not terminals, so you will always have a minimum of 4 connections. If this were a standard switch, your tails would go directly to the screws, eliminating the need for the nuts, but that is not the case here. So it seems that tailing [drawing 3] would add a problem, not solve a problem.

  12. #12
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If you are adding conductors to an existing box, you need to do box fill calculations to ensure you are not causing an unsafe condition, not to mention a code violation.

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    DIY Junior Member 8888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    frankly, if you have to ask how to do it, you shouldn't be doing it.
    Based on that statement this website should be shut down. I was under the impression this was THE place to "ask questions," so we can do it right.

    You have never validated your statements as to why one way is 'more correct' than another, or added an illustration to make your point more clear. With you its I"M RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG...PERIOD. You were the little boy who took his ball and went home when he didn't get his way.

    Chad, you bring NOTHING of value to this post. You are an angry little man who enjoys pissing contests. Go away and harass another members post.

  14. #14
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    Did you not read? PIGTAIL. do what you want if you want a hack job...
    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    well, guess you know it all. you figured out your own issue. go with it then. I have an extensive electronics background. I don't need to 'ask' how to connect a wire under a screw, and frankly, if you have to ask how to do it, you shouldn't be doing it. I read and learn what I do not know, I ask questions and follow advice, not make up my own garbage on why what they say will not work.
    Your background in electronics leaves a lack of knowledge of the electrical code if you think that wrapping a long equipment ground around a screw is hack work.
    Take a little time and read the codes before calling someone a hack that would make such an installation. I have been a student of the NEC for over 40 years and have in many cases installed a multi-gain box using a long equipment grounding conductor to land on each device in the box.
    For someone that is bidding work against many others saving the cost of wire nuts in such installations where the job might have several hundred such devices installed like in an apartment complex could mean the difference in getting the bid or losing the job.

    There are many out there that have the mindset that if someone is not making installation just like me then they are doing hack work. This is far from the truth. Just like everything else there are many different ways to do things and all of them are just as good as any other method.

    Now letís all try to refrain from such verbiage when discussing matters on this site. It is good to have opposing opinions but it is not good to just say that there is only one way to ride a horse.

  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    IF i respond, JW, you would just edit and/or delete my post. Why bother?
    The only way that I would edit of delete any post is if the language got vulgar, so as long as it is civil don’t hesitate.

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