I want to add a new outlet to a old circuit I have old wiring and would like to add new wires the only wire they had at the store was 8-3. What will this do if anything my house was built in 1962. I do have a breaker box not fuses. And it is a very short run is it better to take the old wire to the new receptacle and then jump to the old receptacle or does it matter? How can I tell what my old wire is and whether I have a neutral

Thank you everyone. After many responses I drove over to a bigger town and got 10-2 and used a junction box. To answer questions I was wiring in a 15 amp receptacle with 2 USB charging ports in the old receptacle spot and running a new receptacle behind my TV to hide all the wires. I did notice that my Circuit breaker what's a 20 amp breaker with 15 amp receptacles. I plan to change that in the future. We will be burying 400 amp to the home soon and adding a 22kw Generac so I want to have his many circuits on the back up as possible.

  • Can you post a photo of the box you're branching this new receptacle from? Feb 4 '17 at 20:46
  • My photos are too large I tried to resize them to 2 mb I have a white wire and a black and a ground so I guess no neutral. The wire has paper in it and the coating looks like snake skin
    – A.farrow
    Feb 4 '17 at 21:01
  • I have two sets of old wires I can email you pictures but they are too large to post here i would be adding one more set of wires
    – A.farrow
    Feb 4 '17 at 21:10
  • Post the pictures to imgur and post links here, then we can edit them in Feb 4 '17 at 21:26
  • It would be nice to know what type of outlet. Standard outlets only require 12 awg wire.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 4 '17 at 23:30

8-3 copper is totally inappropriate for a normal branch circuit in the US. What kind of store has only 8-3 ?! Where are you located? Is this single phase two leg 240 & 120 V as in the US or 240 V single leg as in the UK?

For one thing 8 AWG will not fit on the screws of ordinary receptacles sold in the US. #10 AWG will barely fit on receptacles at least in aluminum. I have 10-2 + gnd aluminum in my original 20-A cicuits. The 20-A circuits I added are all in copper 12-2 + gnd.

The most you should use in copper is 12-2 + ground (12-3 + gnd to feed a split receptacle from two different breakers on different legs). If this is a 15-A circuit use either 14-2 + gnd or 12-2 + gnd, but the former is a lot easier to work with. If a 20-A circuit, then you must use 12-2 + gnd.

  • 1
    8-3 is totally legal. You are always allowed to use wire that is too big. But as you say, they will need to pigtail it to get it to fit on a receptacle, so they're going to need a couple feet of 12AWG for qll the pigtailing required.. I have no idea why the nearest shop would only stock that, but they're clearly not an electrical supply. Maybe they sell ovens and stoves. Feb 4 '17 at 22:09

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