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Old 12-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #5031
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: central IL
Oddometer: 3,321
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
First, make sure you know what else (if anything) is on that circuit and make sure the breaker is sized correctly for the wire gauge that is used.
Excellent advice.

We bought an estate house, directly from the estate. Our city doesn't require home inspections. Furthermore, we have no code inspector. The previous homeowner had someone add circuits to the existing circuits. He changed all the breakers to 30A, even though none of the wiring could ever support that much amperage. See below.

Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
Then if you want to tie into that circuit, do it by pigtailing the wires -- ie the feeder wire has wire nut connections on the hot, neutral and ground that split off -- one for the existing outlet, and another line for your new line. This way, the wire nut connection is bearing the load, not the existing outlet, and if you remove or have problems with the existing outlet, it won't affect your new line circuit.
Pigtailing is the correct way.

In my house, I found 6 circuits pigtailed together, in one of the light fixture boxes. As mentioned, the guy had a 30A fuse on this circuit. He electrical taped this mess together, as no wire nut could ever fit. This tape was crispy hard. I could see smoke trails out of this junction box. Scary shit!!!!

I had the inbound service updated, with a new meter box and proper weatherhead. I hired an electrician to do the work, as this work coincided with work that my utility provider was doing. A couple years later, I got to looking at the electrician's work and realized he didn't install a ground rod. This is required. Rather than call him back, I just did it myself. I've had issues, with two other electricians, as well. Now, I do all my own work.

"go::ahead", There are electrical books at your local home improvement store. They may not be exact to your local codes, but, they'll get you headed in the right direction and give you a better idea how it all works.
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