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Thread: Daisy chaining outlets

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Daisy chaining outlets

    What is the proper way to daisy chain duplex outlets?

    Based on what I have read here, I am under the impression it is not allowed by code to connect the incoming wires from the previous outlet (or panel) to one screw terminal, and then connect the outgoing wire to the other screw terminal. I have been led to believe that the wires must be wire-nutted to a third pigtail wire which is connected to the one of the screw terminals.

    I ask because the electrician doing the wiring for my basement remodeling did the latter. Is this a code violation? Is this unsafe in any manner?
    EE Bob

  2. #2
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    Receptacle outlets should be wired in a manner that if one is removed from service, the rest down line will not go dead. By using the two terminals on the receptacle for connection, this cannot be accomplished. It is always best to make wiring connections independent of devices and equipment. The splicing and pig-tailing is the better way. The same holds for looping switch supplies.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  3. #3
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    While what bp said is good practice, it is not a code requirement. The only code requirement to pigtail is for the grounded conductor of a multiwire branch circuit. See 300.13(B).
    Don
    Don, Illinois
    "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." B Franklin

  4. #4
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    Oklahoma City, OK
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    I agree that pig-tailing is the better method, but as far as this installation being a code violation, it depends.
    300.13(B) says that the continuity of the grounded conductor in a multiwire branch circuit shall not depend on device connections where the removal of such devices would interrupt the continuity. If the outlets are not part of a multiwire circuit there is no violation. If it is a MW circuit, you can, in my opinion, "loop" the neutral around the screw without cutting it to meet the requirement of this article.

    It has been my experience that splicing and pigtailing is just as quick as having to strip, bend and tighten four different wires on four different screw terminals.

  5. #5
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    What are there two sets of screws for? Either method is perfectly acceptable.
    There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan

    Open shop since 1988

  6. #6
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    Feb 2003
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    You need the two screws for spilt wiring the receptacle. Two separate circuits or half switched/half hot.
    steve

  7. #7
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    Feb 2003
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    22

    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    It is perfectly acceptable to wire receptactles so that the line is connected to one post and the load to the other. Receptacles are designed and intended to be installed this way.

    The only time it is not acceptable is in the case of a multi-wire branch-circuit.

    300.13(B) states that "In multiwire branch circuits, the continuity of a grounded conductor shall not depend on devide connections.." This means that at the first receptacle (the one at the "homerun") the grounded (neutral) conductors must be pigtailed. Downstream from there, pigtailing is not required.

  8. #8
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    It may be acceptable, but I don't think it is a good practice. When you use the recepatcle as the junction point, the loads downstream will be fed through at the receptacle terminals. Really not a problem considering the receptacles are rated to the OCD of the circuit, but I would rather put my juctions and loads independent of a device. Aticle 110.12 is open to the AHJ and you never know.
    Bryan P. Holland, MCP

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    114

    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    Does it change the picture if the circuit is a 20 amp circuit (20 amp breaker, 12 gauge wire) with 15 amp duplex outlets?

    Suppose that two separate downstream duplex outlets each have loads drawing 8 amps. This means that 16 amps will be drawn through all upstream outlets. I see this as a potential problem, or has the outlet manufacturer taken this possibility into consideration when designing the bridge connection between the screw terminals?
    EE Bob

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
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    Re: Daisy chaining outlets

    Racraft,
    That is an excellent point. I called Levitons Techline to ask this question and ended the conversation more confused that before I called. They told me that the screw terminals on their 15 amp duplex receptacles are capable on handling 20 amps. I asked where that information is listed and he said that it doesn't have to be listed. :confused: "But wait," I said, "it does say that this device is listed and rated for 15 amps (insert dramatic, confused voice here)." He told me that since the code book does not say that the screw terminals have to be rated, there is no listed rating for such and the UL listing only adresses the "face" of the recepacle.

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