Questions on series versus parallel outlets in garage/shop

I have been learning a lot and realized I may have done a bad thing. I
think I wired all my garage outlets in "series". The first outlet is a
GFCI, wires from panel go in the "line" side and all the other outlets
in the garage are regular outlets on the "load" side. I think this is
correct for keeping all outlets as required GFCI protected.
What I am wondering is the way I connected the rest were white and
black wires were on the appropriate screws on the outlets. I have not
pigtails other than the ground. I guess what I am getting at and
asking is don=92t most people wire outlets in "parallel" using a pigtail
also on the black wire so that if one outlet goes out, the others stay
on?
Is it so bad to have them wired in series as I have them?
Also, I am not to the point of wiring outlets for lights in the
ceiling yet. Should they be wired in series or parallel?
Thanks for all your help!
Reply to
stryped
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You did wire the outlets in parallel. Pigtailing isn't necessary when you have only a 2-wire coming in and a 2-wire going back out. In such a case the receptacle is designed to accommodate all 4 of the wires.
I have been learning a lot and realized I may have done a bad thing. I think I wired all my garage outlets in "series". The first outlet is a GFCI, wires from panel go in the "line" side and all the other outlets in the garage are regular outlets on the "load" side. I think this is correct for keeping all outlets as required GFCI protected.
What I am wondering is the way I connected the rest were white and black wires were on the appropriate screws on the outlets. I have not pigtails other than the ground. I guess what I am getting at and asking is don?t most people wire outlets in "parallel" using a pigtail also on the black wire so that if one outlet goes out, the others stay on?
Is it so bad to have them wired in series as I have them?
Also, I am not to the point of wiring outlets for lights in the ceiling yet. Should they be wired in series or parallel?
Thanks for all your help!
Reply to
Rich.
That makes me feel better. I have 2 wires (black and white) going in on one wire and a new wire with 1 black and 1 white going to the next outlet. I think the snipet I read online was a little confusing.
Reply to
stryped
That makes me feel better. I have 2 wires (black and white) going in on one wire and a new wire with 1 black and 1 white going to the next outlet. I think the snipet I read online was a little confusing. ------------------ Should you be doing any wiring at all? Your insurance broker and widow won't be happy
Until you learn more, don't try it.. -- Don Kelly snipped-for-privacy@shawcross.ca remove the x to reply
Reply to
Don Kelly
They're in parallel either way, electrically.
Most houses are wired using the passthrough terminals on the receptacle to feed the next one down the line. Pigtails are arguably superior, and I would recommend them for circuits likely to carry high currents. The only time I have ever found them used in a house is one that was previously owned by a commercial electrician.
Reply to
James Sweet
Get a book on the subject that has illustrations, this isn't something to be doing if you are not *certain* that you are doing it safely. I like the 'For Pros By Pros" series personally, the one on electrical is a great reference, lots of pictures and tricks of the trade.
Reply to
James Sweet
When I built my garage in NY, the inspector insisted on it for neutrals and grounds. Pass-thru was allowed, though discouraged, for hots. Forget back-stabs, though.
Reply to
krw
I am using 12 gueage wire so no "back stabs" if you mean the spring connections on the back. I do have a book with illistrations I am using and it showed what I am doing, one wire on one side of the outlet, wire to the next outlet on the other side. I was reading on the net another article and it showed the "pigtails" someone is referign to that got me confused.
As far as if high current will be used in theis garage it is possible although would be for a short time period. I have a 110 30 gallon compressor and a chop saw that probably use alot of juice but will be run intermittantly.
Is the way I am wiring going to be ok for such loads?
Reply to
stryped
I agree on not using backstabs. Fortunately they don't work with #12 wire anymore. (Now if they would just change it so they only worked with #20 or smaller....)
The ground connection has only one screw so pigtailing is necessary (very likely required by the NEC too - I am too lazy to look).
Pigtailing is required for neutrals of a multiwire branch circuit (2 circuits with 1 neutral). Else if you worked hot and broke the neutral the voltage downstream on the 2 circuits could float, with less than desirable results. For a 2 wire circuit the NEC doesn't care. Multiwire might be what you had, or might be what the inspector remembered.
Reply to
bud--
Correct. The screw/nut lugs on the back of the better grade outlets are fine though.
Pigtails are preferred, though not always required (the inspector always has the last say) on neutrals.
The chop saw isn't a biggie. I'd put the compressor on its own circuit. It may operate when you're using other equipment. I also alternated outlets (one every four feet) on opposite 240 legs. The idea was that I could simultaneously run a shop vac on one circuit with a table saw or jointer on the other. The other thing was the lights on a separate circuit. If a breaker tripped I wouldn't be completely in the dark. ;-)
It is as far as I'm concerned. If an inspection is required, it is always a good idea to ask the inspector what he wants to see. For the most part they're reasonable people and appreciate it when others appreciate them.
Reply to
krw
Just ban them.
I'm sure you're right.
A broken neutral will float those down stream. The idea is that a pigtail is less likely to fail than a screw loosen. It wasn't code when I did it, but that's what the inspector wanted anyway. He's the boss.
Reply to
krw
Talk to UL.
Doesn't need to fail. If the neutral is wired through the outlet you have to break it when you replace the outlet.
Reply to
bud--
UL isn't the only testing lab. Woldn't NFPA be the authority?
At least when you're replacing the outlet you're there. All sorts of dangers lurk when you're working on the system.
Reply to
krw
They ought to just eliminate the damn things altogether. I've seen multiple near-fires and one actual fire caused by those.
If you're gonna pigtail the neutrals, do it with the hot too. They make ground pigtails that are a green wire nut with a pigtail attached to it, nice and convenient.
Reply to
James Sweet
Backstab holes are UL tested and approved, the problem is with the installer. The wire has to be straight and inserted straight. Every time I've seen one that failed, it was because the inserted portion of the wire had a curve to it. I've seen an equal number of failures using the screw terminal too. Some people stick the wire under half the screw without a loop and tighten it down. Others wrap the loop the wrong way so that the screw loosens up as the receptacle was pushed into the box, or wrap it too far so that the wire doubles back onto itself. I've also seen two (and more) wires looped under the same screw. The solution isn't to ban the device or the backstab feature, the solution is to keep incompetent morons from working with electricity, period!
Reply to
Rich.
All of the ones I've seen fail were installed by licensed professional residential electricians. My observation is that they are fine for a while, but eventually thermal cycles, mechanical stress, humidity, etc cause the connection to degrade, then it heats up, which causes more corrosion and eventually weakens the metal and it loses springiness and arcs or just has so much resistance that it heats up red hot, as happened in my grandmothers house with the refrigerator running down the chain. When I replaced all the receptacles in my house, at least one out of every five of them had a wire pull right out as I was removing it from the box. The contact area is too small, the connection relies solely on spring tension, it's just a bad design. IMO the only reason they're legal at all is because the union guys love the time they save when building cheap housing developments.
I won't use them, period, and neither will a number of electricians I know. I won't use the cheap 75 cent receptacles either, another buck or so will get spec grade stuff that is much better made. Screw clamps or regular screw terminals provide a far more dependable connection. Lives depend on this stuff being reliable, really, what's an extra 10 bucks and 20 minutes per room?
Reply to
James Sweet
That can be the difference between winning and not winning a bid. Just last month a GC that I bid with all the time lost an $185,000 renovation job by $32. That's a hard pill to swallow, when you have to lay off a couple of good men because you lose a job like that over $32. I myself learned the hard way, when you bid you give them what you bid on. If they want more, or a better grade of material, then it's up to them to pay for it, not us.
Reply to
Rich.
So ban the inferior product and then everyone is on level ground. Just because something is approved and legal does not make it good or safe. All kinds of stuff was legal in the past that was later outlawed because of potential safety issues.
I have seen so many problems with these, and I'm not even an electrician by trade. There's a really good reason spec grade and better receptacles don't have them.
Reply to
James Sweet
On the other hand:
This is less that 0.02% difference in quotes so it is apparently not related to the quality of the materials used but possibly the coin flip between two suppliers which offer equal goods. If the difference was 10% then the complaint has a more solid basis. There is no evidence that the successful bidder was offering inferior product or services. There is evidence that accountants were involved in the decision.
Reply to
Don Kelly
Seems like a device should not be that subject to failure. (I am not convinced that is the only reason they fail.)
That is my opinion.
And backstabs are not allowed with #12 wire anymore.
In theory unions guys should hate them because they take less time. I suspect it is contractors that love them. If backstabs were not allowed bids would be equalized with more conscientious electricians and contractors.
Reply to
bud--

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