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  • Do outlets have to be run in a series?


    I'm thinking of adding a new electrical outlet to a wall that I have access to from behind. I've hung a permanent box by attaching it to the 2x4 and all that is taken care of. My question is in how to wire it.

    The box I'm going to tap into is a double gang box with 2 outlets in it. This box is in the middle of the electrical run as the wire comes in one side. goes to one outlet, then through short 3" wires to the next then out and onward.

    My question is if I want to add my outlet into that series is it simply a matter of removing one of the 3" wire ends adding a new 3" wire to the contact I removed them from and then splicing both of those to my wire coming in or should i run two sets of wires from the new box to the old so the new outlet is in a series like the existing ones?

  • #2
    Re: Do outlets have to be run in a series?

    If you draw the connections on paper you should see that the connections are actually in parallel not series. May seem simple but there are codes to consider and they are different based on geographical location. Two issues that come to mind are the number of connections allowed in a box and maximum number of devices on a feed.


    • #3
      Re: Do outlets have to be run in a series?

      Here is a quick mockup of what I was talking about. Take the short wires A and B and splice them in with new short wires C and D and together with the wires from the cable to the new outlet.

      3x 14/2 Romex going into a 2gang box with 2 outlets and 2 wingtwist caps.

      Is this a good idea?


      • #4
        Re: Do outlets have to be run in a series?

        At the box where the splice will be made, remove the receptacle. Remove the wire nuts. Install your cable. Connect all the wires back together with an extra 6" tail (short piece of wire) on each, using wire nuts or wing nuts (Marrets in Canada). Use the pigtails to reconnect the original receptacle. That's one wire under each terminal (1). Three wires total. Yes, it's that easy.
        Licensed Electrician