Random electrical wiring questions

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ShockHazard, May 27, 2013.

  1. ShockHazard

    ShockHazard New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    North East Pennsylvania
    1. Is it okay to have one half of an outlet it's own circuit, such as for an air conditioner? (yes, I broke off the tabs)
    2. Can I have multiple wires in a strain relief?
    3. How about a staple?
    4. Should junction boxes be grounded?
    5. Is there any disadvantage to using breakers that are two in one?
    6. Why didn't I learn this before doing so much work?
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Is it April Fools ?


    Be Careful when Playing with electricity.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    1. You probably wouldn't want 240 and 120vac in the same box, but the plugs are different. Assuming you are using a duplex receptacle, it is entirely fine to wire each with its own power feed as long as you break the tab(s). A common way to supply this is with 12/3 on a duplex CB, which then shares the neutral (so you wouldn't break that side). That kind of circuit will not work if you want to use a GFCI, as the current being shared would drive the thing crazy. 4. If it is a metal box. 5. if one side goes bad, you have to replace the whole thing.
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    What Jad said, to add that you must use cable staples or supports which are listed and labeled for multiple cables if that is how you will be using them.
  5. ShockHazard

    ShockHazard New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    North East Pennsylvania
    It's a 110, in a bedroom where one person may be using the air conditioner while another is using an electric blanket.
    Yeah, I know.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    Basically, yes, you can wire the feed to each separately, either in a shared neutral situation or with entirely separate feeds. In either case, you always tie the grounds together, and if it is a metal box, bond them to the box as well as the receptacle's terminal. If you're using a 20-A circuit, and a 20-A receptacle, both must be 20A feeds regardless of what you plug into them.
  7. Bobelectric

    Bobelectric Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Eighty Four,Pa. 15330
    1. Yes if box has adequite cubic inches.
    2. No unless you mean romex connector.
    3. If listed for more than 1 cable.
    4. Always.
    5. They are approved.
    6. You did't ask.
  8. HarleyDog

    HarleyDog New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    If you have two circuits connected to one yoke then both circuit breakers must have handle ties (or a double-pole breaker) in order to turn off both circuits. This is code, and it's to make sure that if somebody is trying to fix the receptacle, for whatever reason, they don't just turn off one-half without realizing the other half is still energized. Also, if you wire it with a shared neutral (12/3 with ground) you have to use a two-pole breaker. If you share a neutral, and the two circuits originate from the same "leg" you have a really good chance of over-heating the neutral and burning the house down. By using a two-pole breaker the neutral wire only carries the unbalanced portion of the load.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Both answers are correct and good answers
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    questions

    1. Yes, assuming each "hot" wire is on a different leg of the 240 circuit, otherwise the neutral will be overloaded, and it does not have a circuit breaker to prevent it.
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