07:05PM | 08/10/07
Member Since: 08/09/07
1 lifetime posts
I'm finishing my basement and have completed half of the wiring with an experienced electrician, but now he's out of town for a while and I need to know if I made a mistake on the second half (he will be checking my work before we connect to the box, I am just trying to save myself some time by asking)

I wired a string of 5 outlets but only once I got to the end did I realize I had been working backwards from the end of the line to the junction box. All of the incoming wires from the box will now be on the bottom grip holes and outgoing will be from the top holes. Does it matter? He had made a point of saying the incoming wires go on top and outgoing go on bottom. The 2 runs of recepticles are on completely separate breakers so they have no contact with each other.

Thanks! And I know it's probably a stupid question!


06:04AM | 08/11/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
That is strickly the local electricans practice.

For things like a run of receptacles it does not matter.

But when running something like a switch box where you might have incomeing power, outgoing power, and a drop to the light when you do the final connections you need to know what cable is which. Thus is a standard is used for which hole is which then you don't need to remember or write notes that get lost.


07:39AM | 08/11/07
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
yeah its an issue.

When you wire a receptacle you need to have the line and load terminals wired correctly, especially since you're chaining them instead of pig-tailing them.

I expect you are either affording ground fault protection (basement!) either through a GFI circuit breaker or having a GFCI receptacle on the line side of this circuit.

You really should be pig-tailing these - and frankly and especially in a basement - using the screw terminals and not the back-stab, since usually the back-stabs won't accept the guage wire for a 20 amp flow through circuit - and that's usually what's required for basement circuits (although the face is 15 amps).

The 15/20's are easily confused with 15/15's.

So....pig-tail and use terminal screws for series parallel on your recps, and pay attention to line and load terminals.

regarding reverse polarity - imagine going to change a lightbulb in a lamp that is still plugged in with bare feet on a damp floor (cement). the resulting zap could be unpleasant to say the least.


08:49AM | 08/11/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Reversed Polarity is when the hot and neutral wires are reversed. That is important and why the recepacle faceplate is polarized.

And receptacles don't have a load and line side.

I think that what you are talking about is wiring up a GFCI receptacle backwards. IE, power into the load terminals.

If that does happen the GFCI won't work. And for GFCI receptacles made since July, 06 the faceplace will also be dead.

"I'm finishing my basement "

Finished basement, no need for GFCI protection.

"using the screw terminals and not the back-stab, since usually the back-stabs won't accept the guage wire for a 20 amp flow through circuit - and that's usually what's required for basement circuits (although the face is 15 amps)."

There nothing in the NEC that requires general pupose circuits to be 20 amp, whether it is in the basement or otherwise. However, there might be local amendments.

"The 15/20's are easily confused with 15/15's"

I don't know what you are talking about. But ALL duplex receptacles are rated for 20 amps feedthrough (and 20 per duplex). The individual receptacles are rated for either 15 or 20 amps. But that is clearly seen by the difference in the faceplaces.

And to make it clear it fine to use 15 amp receptacles on a 20 amp circuit if you have more than one (and the duplex receptacle counts as 2).
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