Continuing a wire circuit

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 05:23 PM GMT

Question

I am trying to add an electrical outlet to a circuit in order to have my cable box plugged in and sitting in the closet so you don't have wires hanging everywhere and have to have a comcast box visible. I successfully completed the first bedroom because the outlet I tapped into was at the end of a circuit so all I had to do was take the existing outlet and continue the circuit to a new one, cut a hole and install an electrical socket.

My problem is with the next bedroom which is located above the first bedroom on the second floor of my house. When I unscrewed the outlet I came across TWO electrical lines being fed into the one socket. Fortunately from the first bedroom I have access to behind the wall because of a chimney being located there but this is where I am still confused. Both of those electrical lines go straight down from the second floor at that socket all the way down into the basement. Thats where I drew a blank b/c I assumed one was coming from the basement and the other one continued on to another socket somewhere.

I NEED to use that electrical outlet to get my electricity for the new socket which I am going to have in my closet. This is a new construction home. I also don't mind completely getting rid of the socket that I want to use b/c its located in a ridiculous position of the room. It will never be used so I can just put a plate cover over it if need be. However I don't know which of the two I should connect the new line to and run it.

The current electrical socket is one of those that you can stick the wire directly into the back of it and it locks. SO my first thought was connect the new wire via the screws on the side of it. But something tells me you arent supposed to do that. I don't know if thats going to overload it. If thats not a problem then thats the EASY FIX in my opinion.

I hope this all makes sense.

Thanks

Answer

People sometimes use both the screws and the push ins, but that is not the correct way of doing things. The push ins eventually fail, and I get a lot of questions about dead circuits because of them.

You should use wire nuts to connect all the blacks together, plus a short black wire for the outlet in that box. Same with the whites, and same with the grounds. You can connect one of the other wires to the second outlet screw if you want, so you have only 3 wires wire nutted together.

You shouldn't remove the outlet, because the code requires that no place along the wall be further than 6 feet from an outlet.

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