Lazy Wiring Vs. Safe Wiring...

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by AJH, Jan 21, 2018.

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  1. Jan 21, 2018 #1

    AJH

    AJH

    AJH

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    Hey boys and girls - I've posted in the ceilings and walls section of the forum but never wiring. I'm slowly trying to update my garage and use it as a learning experience so that I can then come into the house and apply better practices throughout. The misses will be happy if I screw up outside first...

    Anyway, I recently went to replace the loose outlets and I came across something that seems wrong to me: I have a single 20 amp breaker in the basement for my garage outlets, there are 4 dual gang boxes, and literally every outlet on the line is "daisy chained" for lack of a better term in plastic boxes. It looks like the attached image with the 15 amp outlets below.

    This seems to be the way that most YouTubers recommend they get installed, but I came across this video: https://youtu.be/nFLLuq6mfEc

    Joe here says that is not safe. It also looks like his method would make it easier to add and remove or replace devices.

    I also noticed that I have 12-2 wire connecting all of my outlets, and the outlets are 15 amp standards. I'm thinking now I need to upgrade to 20 amp outlets and wire these in a different way - I'm also adding metal boxes because I just want these to be rock solid. Does the attached image with the 20 amp outlets make sense - or is this all overkill?

    I'd also like to know this because the exact same 20 amp breaker, 12-2 with to 15 amp outlets is run throughout the rest of my entire house... if I prevent the house from burning down I'm pretty sure I can get the green light on a new bass boat - just saying...

    :)

    Thoughts?
    Thanks!

    Current-Wiring-Setup.png

    New-Wiring-Setup.png
     
  2. Jan 21, 2018 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    Pig-tailing is the preferred method of wiring and using metal boxes is a preference, slightly more involved.

    There are also commercial grade 20A recep. who's appearance is the same as your present 15A.
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2018 #3

    AJH

    AJH

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    Thanks man - is the other method dangerous?

    Is there anything wrong with the fact that I have a 20 amp breaker feeding 15 amp outlets through 12-2 Romex?

    Much appreciated!
     
  4. Jan 21, 2018 #4

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    Not necessarily. The downside to "daisy-chaining", is that if one fails, everything downstream is affected, which is overcome with pig-tailing.

    If you have equipment or appliances who's current draw or stated power requirement exceed 15A, then it's well advised to use a 20A recep. because of the potential for overheating during prolonged periods of use.

    Generally, not as long as they are side wired.

    Recep. used to accept "plug-n-play", or "backstab" wiring which has since been corrected, In that the "backstab" holes in the modern 15A recep. will not accept 12ga. solid conductor, used for 20A breakers.
     
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  5. Jan 21, 2018 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    The only thing I would add is you “may” want your first outlet / receptacle to be a GFCI. If wired correctly it will protect all the down stream devices. In that case it would not be installed with pigtails like the rest you want your power to come in on the two spots marked line and go out on the points marked load. The load line can then be pigtailed to the second one in that box and so forth down the line.

    Both methods are ok but I like the pigtails also.

    Now you need to select the right size wire nuts and perfect your skills at twisting and getting the nuts on properly.
     
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  6. Jan 21, 2018 #6

    AJH

    AJH

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    Nice! Thank you guys - bud16415 that is a great idea, I might use that thank you. I finished up 1 box, I think all went well but I had a hell of a time twisting my four 12-gauge ground wires together before I added the wire nut on there. Here are a few pics.

    It seems like twisting the wires before adding a wire nut is a good idea but is 12 too heavy for that? I know some guys just lay the wires parallel to each other and let the nut make the connection without any twisting.

    Thanks!

    pigtail-method-1.jpg

    pigtail-method-2.jpg

    pigtail-method-3.jpg
     
  7. Jan 21, 2018 #7

    AJH

    AJH

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    Also, I didn't make any loops on my hot and neutral connections to the outlets - I used the little compression plates on the side under the screws. I feel better about that than those old "backstab" deals.
     
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  8. Jan 21, 2018 #8

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

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    The pig-tail connecting to the recep should be 6" free of the box so that there is ample conductor length to allow them to be pulled free, yet remain connected.

    You can use two pliers, 1 to hold the grnd's bunched and prevent them from winding beyond that plier, while you are twisting with the other.

    A good pair of lineman's pliers, are handy.

    I do the grnd's first and tuck them into the bottom of the box, then the neutral and the hat last.
     
  9. Jan 21, 2018 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Looks good. Some people twist some don’t. The modern nuts have a cone spring like thing inside that will bind down good on straight wires and if you get the right wire count in there and twist them down good and hard. And then do a tug test on the wires one by one they will be fine.

    In my mind I feel the proper twist gives the wires so much more contact and when I twist one I feel like the connection was made without the nut and then the nut just adds to that. Old school thinking maybe and I’m not in the trade so it doesn’t matter to me if I make a connection in one minute or five.

    As I’m getting older and maybe smarter I hope, I know I’m getting weaker in my hand strength.

    Here is what I do right or wrong now. I strip all my wires back about an inch or more. I take all my wires to twist and align them and grab them by the insulation with my duckbill pliers in my left hand I take a pair of vice grips or my lineman’s pliers and go straight on about an 1/8 inch on the wire tips. I then twist them as a unit without opening the jaws. This type of twist doesn’t allow any one wire to stay in the center and the others getting wrapped around. When I twist them it looks like a candy cane and I wind them down till they are a smooth uniform bunch. I then take my side cutters and trim off the end leaving just the right amount for the nut. The duckbills still holding I them screw on the nut.

    If you want to try this method take some wire scraps and do a few first.

    They sell Greenie wire nuts for the bare ground wires and they have a hole thru the end. You can let one wire stick out and that becomes your hook for connection to the metal box.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-G...ctors-92-Green-100-per-Pack-30-192P/202894282
     
  10. Jan 21, 2018 #10

    Gary

    Gary

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    My Son did 99% of the wiring in our house. That's the same method he was taught in trade school. Makes a solid connection.
     
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  11. Jan 22, 2018 #11

    JoeD

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    Pig tailing is an option. I do not believe it is any better than using the screws.
     

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