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post #1 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Multiple Receptacles on 1 circuit

Hey guys, don't know if I am in the right area or not, but I figured I would ask it here.


I am in Canada, and I am looking to run some wiring in my unfinished basement. I want to wire about 3 or 4 receptacles to 1 15 amp circuit. I have run wiring before but only to 1 receptacle. This would be a brand new line. I tried looking up how to wire the receptacles, but different sites talk about doing it in series or parallel, some say not to do series, others say not to do parallel. I just want to do it to code and how the house builder has it done currently in the home.


This wiring won't be used to power anything high powered, it would just be to plug in general stuff.


So how would I go about wiring each receptacle to each other in this situation? Any links or diagrams or info in general would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks
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post #2 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:15 PM
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I don't know if Canadian codes differ, but in the US everything just chains off 1 outlet to the next until you reach the last one.
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post #3 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:20 PM
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multiple receptacles are always in parallel but they can be daisy chained so to the ill-informed they may look like they are in series.

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post #4 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:22 PM
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Not an electrician, but I am a fellow Canadian that has done electrical work in the past.

First, let me give the disclaimer that the majority of municipalities expect you to get permits to do any electrical work, including adding outlets, and then to have everything inspected and improved after the fact. If you don't, and something bursts into flames due to shoddy work, your insurance may not cover you.

Now, in answer to your question, you're going to want to wire them in parallel, and not series. Most of the time, the line is run from the box to the first outlet. That line is then pigtailed (don't use the secondary connections on the outlet itself to continue the line) with the line to the next outlet on the wall. I can't do a diagram for you on here, but basically you'll have the hot wire from the main line, the hot wire to the outlet, and the hot wire for the wire going to the next outlet, all twisted together in an appropriately-sized marr connector. Ditto for the neutral. The grounds can all connect to the back of the box. Repeat for each outlet until the terminal one.

Even better than listening to some random guy on the internet, though, would be to head down to your local library and look at the electrical code as it is adopted in your province (as part of the building code, I believe). They generally have a reference copy you can look at and diagram out.

GL; be careful.


EDIT: And naturally, but the time I've typed all that out, someone just put up a damned picture...lol.
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post #5 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:22 PM
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there is a short cut which is not always acceptable and for some reason they call it series but it is really parallel using the jumpers on the receptacles

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post #6 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
there is a short cut which is not always acceptable and for some reason they call it series but it is really parallel using the jumpers on the receptacles

I believe this is not within code in Canada.
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post #7 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:48 PM
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This is what vulcan500rider and BIG are referring to. The wires of each color are joined together with a wire nut, and a short pigtail then connects to the outlet.



In the picture that is incorrectly labeled "Series" the wires are essentially "jumpered" on the terminals of each outlet, where they feed the next outlet. The outlets are designed for this purpose and it is accepted as safe in many locations.


The reason that some jurisdictions frown on this that if the white return wire becomes disconnected or loose on one of the outlets, the downstream outlets will still be receiving power, but won't have a return path, which is a dangerous condition. The thinking is that the wires are less likely to come loose (or be disconnected by a homeowner doing "repairs", than wires that are connected firmly with a wire nut.
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post #8 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 01:54 PM
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Modern outlets have a hole that the wire can be shoved into and locked into place. Use those rather than the screws.

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post #9 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post
Modern outlets have a hole that the wire can be shoved into and locked into place. Use those rather than the screws.
Absolutely not. those type of connectors are prone to failure and can lead to fires. They are banned in some jurisdictions.
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post #10 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:08 PM
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For clarity, this picture illustrates the difference between actual series and parallel circuits. It shows a battery as the power source. In an actual "series" circuit, the power flows through one load, then the next, then the next, etc. before returning to back to the power source. If any one of the loads is disconnected or burns out, nothing on the circuit will work.


Series connections are almost never used in 120 volt AC applications. Just about the only exception are those Christmas lights, where if one bulb goes out, they all go out.


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post #11 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Absolutely not. those type of connectors are prone to failure and can lead to fires. They are banned in some jurisdictions.
Evidence?
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post #12 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Absolutely not. those type of connectors are prone to failure and can lead to fires. They are banned in some jurisdictions.

Indeed!!!! Those outlets are evil and prone to failure, loose connections, overheating and fire. I refuse to use them under any conditions! They may save a few seconds during installation, but this is NOT a shortcut that anyone should take!


It should be noted that many of the more expensive "heavy duty" outlets allow you to insert a short straight section of bare wire into a hole in the back, where it is CLAMPED DOWN BY THE SCREW on the side, without having to wrap the wire around the screw. Those are OK and work very well. They also save time, but do cost a bit more, but I think they are well worth it. They are usually more durable and also "grab onto" plugs more securely. See photo below.





More on Side Wire vs. Back Wire https://www.handymanhowto.com/electr...sus-back-wire/

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post #13 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post
Evidence?
http://www.fireengineering.com/artic...re-hazard.html
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post #14 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:30 PM
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That article was written in 1995? Interesting that they still manufacture these outlets if they are so dangerous. I don't know what brand you guys use but I've never had one where the wire came out easily, in fact, it's a pain in the ### to get them out!

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post #15 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post
That article was written in 1995? Interesting that they still manufacture these outlets if they are so dangerous. I don't know what brand you guys use but I've never had one where the wire came out easily, in fact, it's a pain in the ### to get them out!
Just because you can't pull out the wires easily does NOT mean that they are making a good electrical connection. Look at the small area for electrical connection in the photo. That is hardly a solid connection. Just because you can purchase them does not mean that they are safe under all circumstances. As noted in the comparison article that I linked to, they are only rated for 14 gauge wire. As noted in the fire article that I linked to, they are banned (for being unsafe) in some jurisdictions, and banned (for being unsafe) in others unless they are the last receptacle in line. In other words, they CANNOT be used for daisy-chaining receptacles, which is what this thread is about.


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post #16 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 03:15 PM
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In my defense I could not read that article without creating an account. I'd be more interested in seeing where the NEC states that back wiring cannot be used.

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post #17 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
there is a short cut which is not always acceptable and for some reason they call it series but it is really parallel using the jumpers on the receptacles

Interesting things about different parts of the country. A lot of remodels in homes I have purchased or work I have seen done are in series like this for multiple outlets.

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post #18 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info guys and recommendations. I will be doing i the same way the first diagram that BIGmouthinDC posted. That seams to make the most sense to me as well.

I will also hopefully get an electrician at some point to look it all over and give the ok on it.

Thanks again guys.
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post #19 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 06:44 PM
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I have a 1995 home where they used back-stab connections. I had one outlet early in a daisy chain that looked like a charcoal briquet when I pulled it out of the wall while I was trying to figure out why one circuit wasn't working. Granted I was pushing that circuit close to the limit with Christmas lights, but still. They also did not use the pigtail approach.
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post #20 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 07:08 PM
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Thats fine Big, if you want to voice your opinion than voice it as an opinion. One burnt outlet and a house fire from 20+ years ago should not be spouted off as fact. If the NEC permits wiring an outlet using the back connects which are still built and sold today then the vast majority of the United States considers this legal and safe. OP can wire however he or she wants at this point but pointing out that somebodies post is invalid based upon your own house wiring is nothing more than an attempt to make yourself look like the smartest guy in the room. A burnt outlet could have been caused my a number of things and if you are an electrician you know that. Show me where the NEC states this type of wiring is invalid and I'll shut up, but I suspect nobody will be able to do that.

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post #21 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 07:09 PM
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Sounds like Clark Griswold.

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post #22 of 86 Unread 03-13-2017, 07:34 PM
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I'm not only stating my opinion but of others in the electrical trades

http://www.electriciantalk.com/f29/b...-38464/index4/

Granted it is a controversial issue and seems to have supporters on both side of the issue.
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post #23 of 86 Unread 03-14-2017, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04rex View Post
Thanks for all the info guys and recommendations. I will be doing i the same way the first diagram that BIGmouthinDC posted. That seams to make the most sense to me as well.

I will also hopefully get an electrician at some point to look it all over and give the ok on it.

Thanks again guys.
Best practise is to wrap your wiring around the terminal screws. You can see the connection plain as day and can actually keep an eye on your connections as you are pushing your plug into your electrical box. The stab in the hole method is for romex jockeys in the residential racket that want to blast in house wiring as quickly as possible and move on to the next survey of houses, thats how they make their money ( quick and dirty) The push in hole tab can actually " nick" or indent the soft copper wire. Not a great method in my eyes. The around the terminal method is a much beefier connection point. My resources? Current ticket holder of 30+ years.
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post #24 of 86 Unread 03-14-2017, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 69glamboy View Post
Best practise is to wrap your wiring around the terminal screws. You can see the connection plain as day and can actually keep an eye on your connections as you are pushing your plug into your electrical box. The stab in the hole method is for romex jockeys in the residential racket that want to blast in house wiring as quickly as possible and move on to the next survey of houses, thats how they make their money ( quick and dirty) The push in hole tab can actually " nick" or indent the soft copper wire. Not a great method in my eyes. The around the terminal method is a much beefier connection point. My resources? Current ticket holder of 30+ years.

Thanks. I will be using the screws. That is what I have always used in the past and I feel more comfortable with it that way.
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post #25 of 86 Unread 03-14-2017, 10:37 AM
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+1 for using the screws. I think both will hold the wire adequately, but the screw connections have more surface area to handle the current and avoid arcing. I prefer connections within the box rather than a pigtail. I've only experienced the pigtail option once. Very cheap and dirty. The electrician (assumed) used pigtails instead of rewiring or replacing the outlets. Some outlets were two-prong, so the safety ground wasn't used. Happy it wasn't my house. I told the owner.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkpenguin View Post
That article was written in 1995? Interesting that they still manufacture these outlets if they are so dangerous. I don't know what brand you guys use but I've never had one where the wire came out easily, in fact, it's a pain in the ### to get them out!
Just "replaced" a GFCI in my daughter's bathroom that was installed with the push in. The hot had come loose and luckily didn't arc to anything. This is a house that was built in 2002, so it lasted fifteen years, but eventually popped out. Installation was by professionals, but even they are under pressure from builders to do it faster and cheaper. Lucky for me it was a good teachable moment for my daughters who now understand a bit more about wiring.

Also, citing code is just citing the minimum standards. Sure you can save a little time using this method, or using a cheaper receptacle, but doing the minimum allowed isn't always the best practice.
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post #27 of 86 Unread 03-15-2017, 09:10 AM
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More info on back wiring for anyone that is interested. Within this article there are links to many more articles. http://inspectapedia.com/electric/El..._Backwired.php
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I am nearly done re doing my basement and Home Theater. I rewired the entire basement and I used the pigtail method and grounded to the receptacle and box. I also wrapped my wire around the nut rather then use the back. This was suggested to me by an electrician and in the Electrical code book I bought at Home Depot. No sense taking any short cut with electrical. When i was demoing the ceiling I pulled a tile down and much to my fright my hand narrowly missed a stuffed junction box with exposed bare wire. The entire basement, which powered my old HT and office was on 1 15 amp circuit. The main panel had 6!!! open spots!!. Scary what wiring is behind the walls of older houses, get an electrician to look at your work when you are done.

Also, hidden junction boxes are a no no (here). They have to be available. I didn't use any and instead used more circuits.

It's always in the last place you look.

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post #29 of 86 Unread 03-16-2017, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, once again, thanks for all the info. I have 1 more question. How many receptacles can you safely or should you safely connect to 1 circuit? As I mentioned before, I wouldn;t be for anything high powered. They would be used for plugging in your phone to charge, or the recliner sofa etc. So no subwoofers or anything crazy like that. If I could, I would like to put maybe 4 or 5 if possible.


Thanks.
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4 or 5 on one circuit is no problem, take a look at the rest of your house. I'm sure somebody around here will argue that however.


See question 2, Q2.
https://www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarc...I~20050223.php

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