Extending Circuit from Existing Outlet

scottmelJanuary 23, 2012

I have a standard 15A duplex outlet that is middle-of-run and backwired in my family room. I want to tap into this outlet to install a brand new outlet in a closet on the other side of the wall.

I'm pretty handy with basic home electrical work, but want to verify something - can I just tap into the family room outlet using the screw terminals (as noted above, both sets of backwire slots are in use).

That would be a simple way to get the new closet outlet installed, but not sure if having three connections on one outlet (i.e., two existing backwire sets and adding one set of screw terminals) is "in code" or something potentially dangerous? FYI - the existing family room box is deep, so no wire capacity problems...I just want to avoid having to create a "pigtail" and tap the new outlet directly into the screw terminals of the existing family room outlet.

The new closet outlet will have low draw - just some recharging units for small vac, etc.


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Ron Natalie

If it is truly backwired, you can't put it both in the backwire and under the screw at the same time. It won't tighten the backwire.

If it's a backstab, you can use the screws but the thing is an unholy mess.

Use pig tails and watch the box fill units.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 6:57PM
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Absolutely not - the screw terminals are designed for ONE WIRE ONLY and not a supplementary connection.

Backstab is a poor method of connection. Use pigtails as mentioned. Also make sure you're not overloading the circuit.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 1:41PM
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