receptacle piggy backing

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Esquire, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Esquire

    Esquire Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    I have a receptacle in my house and I've noticed that it has been piggy backed off of twice. It is pb'ed off the load (screws) and line (terminals) on the back. Is this permitted? Thanks in advance for anyone that responds. I changed all the ones in my basement to the fancy new square ones and this ones the only one that has it done? I just really wanna find out if it's a hazard more so than a code-breaker. Thanks again
  2. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    A receptacle can feed other outlets, lights switches...etc
    As long as box fill is not exceeded & its legal per code
    IE a bathroom circuit that feeds multiple bathroom outlets can't have the bathroom lights on it

    Sounds like this is a GFCI ?
    Where is it located ?
  3. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    It should only have one wire under each terminal screw though.
  4. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    A bathroom circuit that feeds multiple bathroom outlets can have the bathroom lights on it. The required 20A circuit for the bathroom RECEPTACLES can only feed the receptacles in multiple bathrooms if nothing else is fed by the circuit. Otherwise the required 20A circuit for the GFCI receptacle in a single bathroom can also feed lighting and other outlets.

    The key is the definition of the word "outlet". An outlet can be a receptacle or a light or even a smoke detector, not that you would put a sd in a bathroom.
  5. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    To the OP, what brand GFCI receptacle.
  6. Esquire

    Esquire Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    the recetacle has a feed line coming into it from under the floor. it connects to the bottom hot and common screw. the top hot and common screw are connected to wires going to another receptacle 4 feet away on the same wall. The terminals on the back of the receptacle has a hot and common wire coming out of it and goes straight up to feed a GFI directy above the countertop. (seems the bar was a later addition and I guess this was the simplest way to install a countertop outlet.
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    what ever is PB off the load side will not have GFCI protection...what ever is PB off the line side will have GFCI protection...does this help
  8. Esquire

    Esquire Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    Sorry I don't know electrical at all. I read something on a GFI saying line and load (I understand it now) but previously I was under the belief that the load were any screw connections and line were the terminals on the rear. I was understanding this a global knowledge for all receptacles. But thank you for clearifying this for me with regard to GFI's.
    So to the original question, can there be a power feed and two outlets on one regular receptacle?
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Not knowing the brand of GFCI I would suggest you go buy a new one and follow the directions that will come with it...if the one you have now is old...the $12.00 or so spent on a new one and the directions that will come with it will be a great teacher...you can also get ones that will light up if the power goes out making resetting it in the dark easier...
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,557
    Location:
    North Carolina

    The only common screw I know of in premises wiring is found on a three way switch. Is the word “common†found on this receptacle?
  11. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    USA
    Are you allowed to attach wires to both the screws and the punch in holes at the back of the receptacle?

    It sounds that that is what the OP is seeing?
  12. Esquire

    Esquire Plumber

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    yeah that's what I was looking for, thanks for making it simple.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Personally, I don't like those rear, push-in connections at all. You are relying on a spring and a sharp pin to make the connection. Over time, heating and cooling will cause the spring to get weaker and they are the source of lots of intermittent power problems. You are much better off connecting all of the leads together, then using a pigtail to connect to the outlet rather than relying on it as the junction box itself. Using just the screws is pretty reliable, but I'd avoid the push-in connections for anything. There is a brand that lets you push the leads in from the back, but there is a screw that actually anchors it - the screw compresses it between two plates. Much better. It doesn't matter which connection gets the power since they are all connected together, so don't count on one being the line or load...it just doesn't matter. Actually, there is no distinction between line and load except on a GFCI.
  14. jetlag

    jetlag New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Ga.
    On a regular recep you can use the side screws and the back push in holes . but the side screws on a gfci rec are not for wires, they pull down the clamps on the back wire slots
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    terminals

    They can be for wires, or clamping. The strip gauge on the back says it is only for the wires which are back wired, therefore, not for wires connected to the screw terminals.
  16. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    How do you hook a gfi to 12 gauge, then?
  17. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Interesting!
    The NEC at article 210.11(C)(3) states-
    Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall have no other outlets.

    Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).


    In article 100 - Definitions
    Receptacle - A receptacle is a contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of an attachment plug. A single receptacle is a single contact device with no other contact device on the same yoke. A multiple receptacle is two or more contact devices on the same yoke.

    Lighting outlet - An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder or luminaire.

    Lighting outlets, other than lamps do not have attachment plugs. So they do not qualify as receptacle outlets.

    Therefore if the circuit leaves the bathroom to go to another bathroom you cannot put the bath lights on the circuit.


    Just to clarifly that to put light outlets on the circuit it cannot leave the single bathroom.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
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