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#23097 - 03/11/03 02:13 PM Using a surface raceway starter box as an extender
SvenNYC Offline
Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
This Saturday I was replacing a two-pin outlet for a grounded outlet (the system is grounded - I checked with a tester).

The duplex outlet had two conductors per screw (someone in the past had ran power from this middle-of-the-run receptacle to another outlet). In order to fix this, I "pigtailed" the wires so that only one wire would be wrapped around each screw:

OK, to explain my little ASCII attempt

The continous top and bottom lines represent each wire that was previously wrapped to the scrw. The { is a splicing cap. The X is the screw.

Now....when I went to stick the device back in the box, I discovered that the shallow 4 x 4 box plus mudring was...well...full. This is a thin masonry wall in a housing project.

Having someone rip open the wall and replace the box with something much deeper would probably have been out of the question, so I used a metal starter box for Wiremold raceways.

This allowed room in the original box for the wires and the device was contained in the starter box.

Now...was this a proper solution or could this be a violation?

Picture this as putting in a raceway system and tapping off an existing box, but of course there's no raceway, it's only the box (with all knockouts closed).

I will have to do this again to another room where there are off-set open backed boxes that feed receptacles in adjacent rooms (the things are almost back to back, open in the rear so you can see the back of the receptacle in the adjoining room. Once again the lazy ass who tapped power from one room to the other did the two wires per terminal thing in a middle of the run outlet:

neutral------[||]----- existing wire (hot)

neutral------[||]----- existing wire (hot)
------ ----- new "tapping"

There is absolutely no more room in the box for the pigtails I'm going to use (and the splicing caps). It's already a tight squeeze in there with those receptacles. Ripping open the walls is not an option, that's for sure.
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#23098 - 03/11/03 02:56 PM Re: Using a surface raceway starter box as an extender
Electricmanscott Offline
Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
Some may think I am out of line but I have to ask. Are you an electrician? According to your profile you are not. I am somewhat troubled by what you are doing. Are you doing this work for someone? If I owned property, I would not be happy to have someone other than a licensed and insured electrician working on the electrical system.
#23099 - 03/11/03 03:32 PM Re: Using a surface raceway starter box as an extender
SvenNYC Offline
Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Hi Scott,
You're not out of line. No....I'm not an electrician. I was doing this at my mom's apartment.

It's a city-owned housing project....the people who would likely be doing work on this place are the building maintenance people (jerk-of-all-trades).

They are the ones who originally did the "wrap two wires under one terminal screw"!! I've seen them replace outlets.

Hell...when I was a kid (13 years old)the guy that replaced the wall sconce in my bedroom didn't even hook up the ground wire to the device box! I had to do that after he left - it was pinched between the wall and the flange of the damned fixture.

And he was about to work on the circuit live. I had to run and turn off the breaker before he opened the box up!

These housing authority maintenance people are the same ones responsible for what happened in this story:

So you see the element we're dealing with?

What would an electrician do in a case like what I described, with a full box, where ripping open the wall and replacing the entire box is NOT an option? That was my reason for asking this.

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 03-11-2003).]
#23100 - 03/12/03 01:03 PM Re: Using a surface raceway starter box as an extender
HotLine1 Offline

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6833
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
I posted a reply to this in the other part of the Forum


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