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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 18
D
dturner Offline OP
Member
One of my students challenged me today and said that he was told by an electrician that the terminals on a receptacle could not be used to continue the run. In other words use the receptacle to splice the hot and neutral in a 120V circuit.

I am aware that the neutral terminals on a receptacle cannot be used to carry a common neutral when two circuits are involved but I cannot find anything in the code that precludes someone from using the terminals to continue the circuit.

Additionally I do realize that the device is the weakest part of the circuit and that not using it as a splice has its advantages but I am strictly interested if it is against the code to do it.

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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597
E
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Challenge the student to provide the code reference that supports his position. . .as you didn't find one, he won't find one either.

I agree with you that pigtailing to the receptacle is a better wiring practice, but it is not the code minimum.

If the electrician that the student is quoting is the student's "boss", then the "boss" can set the higher standard to his liking.


Al Hildenbrand
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 163
D
Member
UL 'White Book' 2003 edition: Category RTRT (receptacles)
"Sgl & duplex receptacles rated 15A and 20A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors may be used to feed a single set of branch circuit conductors connected to other receptacles on a multi-oulet branch circuit."

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
D
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I think this is a rehash of the "pigtail v. no pigtail" argument of years ago.

Ask him how he would remove the receptacle for service (on a temporary basis, of course), but keep the "downstream" circuit live, without cutting, stripping, and joining the conductors.

(With the pigtail method, of course, you could simply cap the exposed ends and blank the box - until you return with the correct color receptacle [Linked Image])

BTW, the actual wording for multiwires is

NEC 300-13 ('96 version - it's what I have at the FD) Mechanical and Electrical Continuity - Conductors

(b) device removal


In multiwire branch circuits, the continuity of a grounded conductor shall not be dependent upon device connections, such as lampholders, receptacles, etc., where the removal of such devices would interrupt the continuity.

I'd just use the argument that a good practice should not be limited to a single application, just because it's not required.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
Doug

You and I can pigtail if we want to, but the correct answer to the original question is yes you are allowed by the NEC to continue a circuit with the terminals on a device.

One thing UL has not tested for is the use of back wiring (back stab or pressure plate type) in combination with the screws.

I can provide the references later if anyone needs it.

Bob


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
G
Member
The AHJ here won't allow it and I have always been taught to pigtail. It's just the right thing to do.

FWIW last winter we replaced 1/2 the receptacles in one 20 year old house because whoever did the original wiring had not pigtailed and some circuits were heavily loaded, several devices had failed.

GJ

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I
Moderator
What NEC article does your AHJ cite in his disapproval of this?

I pigtail too, but other than only the neutral of a multi wire branch circuit it is not required by the NEC which is what the original post was asking. [Linked Image]

by dturner
Quote
Additionally I do realize that the device is the weakest part of the circuit and that not using it as a splice has its advantages but I am strictly interested if it is against the code to do it.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
E
Member
Golf junkie, what right does the ahj have require above the NEC? Is that how things work there? Also millions of homes are wired with the receptacle terminals as feed throughs. There is absolutetly nothing wrong with this unless it is a multiwire circuit. Your problem was probably loose connections on the original install.

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
D
Member
(At wife's work - no NEC - apologies in advance)

ElectricManScott - Because He's the AHJ, that's why! [Linked Image]

BTW, isn't there a clause in the first part of the NEC that allows Authorities adopting the code to make is more stringent, but not less?

I know our City has - incorporating changes that were adopted in later versions in the NEC - some of the requirements are unusual, but all are more stringent than the NEC - and per the AHJ.

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 11-12-2003).]

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,148
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Member
Doug,
The governmental unit that adopts the code can make any changes that they want when they adopt the code. These changes become part of the code for that area. The inspector cannot require more than what the local code requires. If the adopted code does not require that all receptacles have pigtails, then the inspector cannot require this.
Don


Don(resqcapt19)

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