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I've got a feed from my electrical panel in the garage to a single outlet inside the house (for the entertainment center). This was installed by an electrician back in 2009. Through the garage, the wires run through conduit until it reaches a wall where it punches through and continues via romex under the house in the crawlspace. I've moved the entertainment center and want to branch that feed to serve both the existing outlet (now unused) and a new one near where the entertainment center now sits.

I'm wondering if I'm able to simply wire nut a 2nd length of romex onto the existing junction where the conduit meets up with the romex. This would result in a Y at that point, with one part of the Y going to the existing outlet, and the other part going to the new outlet.

I'm not sure if this is acceptable practice or if it would meet code. Most examples of wiring I've seen have the outlets run in a single string rather than branched. If it's not valid, is my only good option running a new line from the existing outlet to where the new one wants to be?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If there is a junction box where the cable in the conduit connects to the cable not in the conduit, then you can make your connection there. Otherwise, you'll want to run a cable from the existing receptacle to the new location.

If there is a junction not in a box at the end of the conduit, fire your electrician, and find a new one to do future work.

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Yes, there is a junction box there. I believe I'll need to make sure it's big enough for all the wires, but it is there. Good to hear that the branch idea does not sound completely crazy. :) –  SredniV Jan 23 '12 at 19:59
    
Here's a nice article on how to make sure your box is legally sized per National Electrical Code. If you have doubts it's not hard to put a larger box in. As always turn the power off. I have Thomas Edison himself turn the transformer off feeding the block;) –  lqlarry Jan 24 '12 at 4:20

All junctions must take place in a junction box (as Tester101 pointed out). This junction box must be available to easily service, as in you need to be able to take a plate off and get to the box, or if in an attic or something, can have no plate at all.

As for actually making the connection, almost every outlet I have ever used has 2 sets of connections for the hot and neutral. If the outlet is at the "end of the line" or is the only outlet on the circuit (as you have said it is) then only 1 set of the hot and neutral will be used. Because of this you can connect you new wire to the currently open connection points instead of having to use a wire nut. This is what pretty much every electrician would do in a new installation and it will also save you some space in your box. And this is what I would prefer to do instead of making a Y at the junction of the conduit.

Your ground line will only have one place to connect to, so you will need to make a Y out of it in order to connect everything together. You probably don't even need to use a wire nut for the ground wire as long as you twist the two together tight enough.

If you can't feed a new line to where your outlet is, or would rather put it else where, then you can make a junction any where along the line as long as you follow the rules I stated above.

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I'm pretty sure you do need to use a wirenut or another mechanical means to connect the grounds. The wirenut is supposed to be green (if you're following code). I think it was @Tester101 who pointed out in another post a day or so ago.. –  Steven Jan 23 '12 at 21:02
    
@Steven Could be, although I have never seen them used even in my house built in 2007. Might be different in each region. The config I have seen is one wire cut short and twisted around the other, then the longer wire running to the outlet. –  Kellenjb Jan 23 '12 at 21:05
    
My preference for doing the Y was to make a shorter run of new cable (~30 feet instead of ~50 feet), and coming from the existing outlet drives me right by the conduit junction. So, it sounds like the Y idea is OK, but preference would be to extend from the existing outlet? –  SredniV Jan 23 '12 at 21:23
    
That would be my preference, but there is nothing wrong with the Y in the conduit junction. I just like things to be standard instead of a mix of different configurations. –  Kellenjb Jan 23 '12 at 21:26
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@Steven I didn't say anything about a green wire nut (I think it was @shirlockhomes). As a matter of fact, I'd like to see where in code it says you have to use green wire nuts for equipment ground. That's like saying you have to use white for neutral, and black for hot. The color of the wire itself dictates it's usage, not the connector color (AFAIK). –  Tester101 Jan 23 '12 at 21:35

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