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Home wiring

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Rick, Apr 28, 2005.

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  1. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Hi Group,

    I am wiring a room in my basement. It is a new room. I have purchased 2
    books on home wiring and I am confident about doing the work myself. I
    have 4 plug outlets, one light switch, two light ceiling outlets. I am
    'daisy chaining' these together to go on the same circuit. As such, I
    am pig tailing the wires to connect to the actual outlet devices. My
    question is about the grounding. To save a few dollars, I purchased
    these metal cases for the outlets that seem to be all I would need.
    Except, when I look at the existing ones that were put in when the
    house was built, they are a bit different, namely, there are two screws
    in the case for the ground wires. Since I have 2 wires passing through
    for the daisy chaining, I also have two ground wires. So, finally, the
    question: Is it OK to put two ground wires on the same screw? Or, is
    the double screw cases really made for a reason? IE. Do I need to buy a
    new metal case to provide appropriate grounding.

    I would think not, since even with the double screws both grounds are
    for all intents and purposes connected to the same box?

    Anyhow, thought I would ask to be safe.

    Thanks for your time and resonses.

  2. tlbs

    tlbs Guest

    Disclaimer: you need to check your local building codes to be
    absolutely sure.

    What I have seen (and done) time-and-time again is this: Connect the 2
    ground wires together along with a 3rd short pigtail, all in a
    wire-nut. Connect the pigtail to the ground lug on the outlet or
    switch (or to the box).

    I believe it is safer to connect the ground pigtail directly to the
    outlet or switch ground-lug.

    One other suggestion: if you can, don't connect all the outlets and
    the overhead light to the same circuit breaker. The load on the
    circuit breaker is not the issue -- the problem is, if that particular
    breaker goes bad you lose everything in that room simultaneously. If
    one or two outlets are on a different breaker, and a desk lamp or
    nightlight is plugged into those outlet, then you would still have some
    light/power in the room when the light breaker failed.

    This has happened to me (breaker failure -- overhead light only). I
    have observed the practice I described in several homes.
  3. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    As tibs says, put the plug outlets onto a separate breaker to the lights.
    Also, create a ring for the plug outlets, not just daisy-chain. (I.e. loop
    the end of the daisy-chain back to the breaker). Should give you (a) smaller
    wire requirement, thus a bit cheaper, and (b) a second path if something
    breaks in one leg.
  4. Frankly, I am not so sure. At least, have your work checked by somebody
    qualified. In most jurisdictions, you are actually required to do that
    by law.
    Normally, you have 3 wires in house installation: live (usually brown),
    neutral (usually blue) and protective earth (PE, usually green/yellow
    bicolour). Some heavy duty equipment may have 3 different live wires
    (brown, grey and black) carrying the voltage with different phase,
    giving a total of 5 wires. This includes kitchen ovens, air
    conditioning, flow through water heaters and the like.

    Only in very old installations are neutral and PE connected at the
    outlet ("nulling"), this type of wiring has been forbidden for a long
    time, because it prevents the use of residual current devices (RCDs).

    By the way, have you included a RCD in your fuse box? If not, reconsider
    because these thingies are real life savers if things go wrong. 30 mA is
    the prefered size for house installation.
  5. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    when wiring lighting and plugs, the 2 two are not to be on the same
    circuit. they need their own breakers.
    color codes normally are Black for HOT, white for Neutral and Green
    for earth Ground. the neutral and earth ground are to be connected in
    the breaker box on the ground bus bar, then an earth ground electrode
    and possibly a water pipe that is near by that has been conductive
    tested connected to the ground bus bar using no smaller than 10 #awg bar
    this is the NEC codes the last time i looked.
    Remote fault breakers (GFI's) are also required in some localities.

    just thought i was spit in my 2 cents worth.
  6. Eric R Snow

    Eric R Snow Guest

    It's obvious that the two responders are from different countries. So
    color are different. That said, the original poster's question about
    running pigtails to the receptacles is right on. Running a pigtail
    with a ground is the way to go. If the box is metal ground it too.
    Don't rely on the box to ground the receptacle. Even if this is OK in
    some municipalities it is bad practice. Especially since you don't
    know what the next homeowner is going to do. Some people use the push
    in type of receptacle to bring the power in and use the screws to
    bring the power out to the next receptacle. Bad idea. Instead, use the
    screws provided for both power in and out. But a pigtail is still
    better. You can buy a high quality screwdriver in either phillips or
    flat. These screw drivers have a pin sticking out of the handle
    parallel to the screwdriver shaft. This short pin is for sticking the
    end of the wire in and making a U shape to fit the receptacle screw.
    These are high quality tools, low in price, and make the job go way
    faster. My father-in-law, who is a commercial electrician, helped me
    wire my machine shop from scratch. He worked hard but I worked a lot
    harder and learned tons. The guy from Puget Sound Energy, our power
    supplier, said it was one of the best wiring jobs he'd ever seen.
    Doing your job right will only add a small amount of time and expense
    and pay off with no trouble later on. A good example is your pig tail
    wiring of the receptacles. If one goes bad only a short wire needs to
    be removed and maybe replaced. Wirenuts are real easy to use and
    replacing the pigtail with the receptacle is no big deal. If the pig
    tail is OK then only one wire set needs to be messed with: the
    pigtail. You will not have to worry about any other wires in the box.
  7. Jamie wrote:

    What place are you in? Here in Europe, there used to be black - live,
    grey - neutral and red - PE many, many years ago, but now its brown,
    blue and yellow/green. IIRC the change was made so that colour blind
    people (regardles of the type of colour blindness) couls safely do the
    connecting (dark-live, bright-neutral, bicolour-PE).
    Yes, but that's all "behind" the fuse box. The idea is that all metal
    items (water pipes, heating...) is at ground level and can't "bite"
    anybody touching them.
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