Advice needed, problem with short wires in box

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by apparentgenius, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    In my never ending remodeling projects, I am in the process of adding a couple of recepticles to my existing kitchen circuit. It is a 20A circuit and only has 2 single receptacles on it now and I am changing them to duplexes.

    The problem is that the wires in the boxes were trimmed very short, they extend maybe an inch or so beyond the boxes, don't ask me why, it is just how they are. Can I add a pigtail to these to give myself sufficient working length extending beyond the box or is it necessary to pull new wire to remedy this situation (would be a real pain). I guess my basic question here is "do all wire ends need to extend the minimum distance from the box or just the ones connecting the device at that box"?

    Having recently wired my vacation home in the same county, the inspector pulled a "sample" recepticle to check my work, including the length of the wires, so I imagine he will do the same here.

    Thanks in advance.

    Glen
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    North Carolina
    300.14 Length of Free Conductors at Outlets, Junctions, and Switch Points.
    At least 150 mm (6 in.) of free conductor, measured from the point in the box where it emerges from its raceway or cable sheath, shall be left at each outlet, junction, and switch point for splices or the connection of luminaires or devices. Where the opening to an outlet, junction, or switch point is less than 200 mm (8 in.) in any dimension, each conductor shall be long enough to extend at least 75 mm (3 in.) outside the opening.
  3. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    I'd solder longer wires onto them and use heat-shrink tubing to cover the (hook) splice.
    The copper needs to be lightly sanded first so the oxide is removed.
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    North Carolina
    do what did you say???????????

    No! No! No!

    Never solder a conductor never
  5. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,560
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I think the question is, "what is code compliant as the inspector is going to look at them"

    The only code compliant way is to replace them wouldn't you say?
  7. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    If they are 1" out of the box you have enough (barely) to work with and pigtail them.

    You might try to loosen the box clamps (if any) and see if there is any slack in the wall. You can also (sometimes) relocate the box up or down to get more wire. No inspector is going to turn down a repair like that. New installation and repair generally have different criteria.
  8. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    Contact the electrical inspector and tell him/her what the situation is and ask what is required to pass inspection. That is the safest bet.

    If you were in my jurisdiction I would allow you to pigtail as long as they were all done neatly and in a workman like manner. AHJ call.
  9. apparentgenius

    apparentgenius New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oregon
    Everyone,

    Thanks for the advice and clarity on the code. I'll give the inspector a call and see if he lets me go the pigtail route. Might as well ask before pulling new wire.

    Glen
  10. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This is so obvious that I'm sure you've already thought of it but is there enough slack in the wires to pull another couple of inches into the box?
  11. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Messages:
    294
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    That has already been suggested.
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