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adding receptacles question

I want to add an exterior outlet to my house by jumping off of an existing outlet inside.  The outlet I chose to use already has 3 romex cables coming into it:  one entering from the right,  one exiting from the left, and  one entering from the top, probably the cieling light.  All three lines were wired directly to the existing outlet, through clamp holes in the back of the outlet. The ground wires were twisted together, and one was used to attach to the green screw.  There are no pigtails inside the box.  

 

My question:  Is it safe to add a fourth hot and neutral wire to the back of this outlet?  And is it safe to twist a fourth ground wire to the existing bundle?  We are on a 20 amp circuit with 14/2 romex.

 

Thanks

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Posted 2012-10-19T16:42:19+0000  by cisco cisco
 

Good afternoon cisco,

 

Thank you for joining here on the community, welcome!

 

Adding a receptacle can be an easy electrical project provided you know what is already on the circuit as well as knowing any codes that could be of use.

 

You can add off what you have already, but as stated earlier, you'll need to make sure what is on the line now. I'd hate for you to do all that work to see if the one receptacle you added was one too many, creating an overload.

 

Simply trace what devices are on the circuit, starting from turning the circuit breaker off and using a tester to find out where it goes. If its only 2-4 receptacles and the ceiling light, you are fine with adding another outlet.

 

It shouldn't be an issue tapping off to the back of the existing outlet and bonding all your grounds together, but always refer to any local codes if you run into any issues.

 

Make all your connections safe and be sure to use an exterior grade cover/receptacle/box to make sure it is safe and long-lasting. One shown and linked below comes in a kit that has all those items in one package:

Red Dot Weatherproof GFCI Kit with Metal Cover

 

 

Also, I would reconsider using a 15-amp breaker for your 14 gauge Romex, since the wire only goes up to 15 amps, using a 20 amp breaker wouldn't cut off in time in case of any circuit overloads or breaks. Most single pole breakers run at or under 5 dollars, and that could mean a big difference in case something ever happened to the line.

 

Let me know if you have traced the circuits and if you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

 

aboveaveragejoe

Posted 2012-10-20T16:56:59+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
 
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