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In my bedroom I found four split receptacles at 14 gauge wire connected to the switch. Is this okay by NEC standards to have in bedrooms? The reason was that the previous owners moved their furniture in the room around.


In the other bedroom same situation except that it is tamper whereby it has 2 different 14 gauge circuits. In the panel box I have too shut off two breakers. Again this. Was done 30 yrs ago. Is there a way for me to correct this (if it is a Nec problem)? Walk me through this please. Is this truly tamper? Can it be corrected at the switch? Or do I get a double breaker connecting both those circuits to it.? The problem is that both of these different circuits connect hallway lights and the other connects to another bedroom and even a front room light.

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That is totally fine. NEC requires receptacles be at a certain spacing (so extension cords are not needed). It does not care if those receptacles are split and half controlled by a light switch.

If anything, split receptacles all around help avoid the need for extension cords. I see many homes where the solitary split receptacle is stupidly placed, and you are stuck with a bad placement, or must run an extension cord.

You need to be very careful with splitting receptacles. You must break off the correct tabs. If you fail to break off a tab that needed to be broken, you will cross circuits into each other, defeat light switches, or make a rather big bang if it's an MWBC. If you break off one too many tabs, one outlet won't work. If it's getting confusing, then break off both tabs and pigtail both sides of the receptacle, and hook them up as if they are 2 separate receptacles, one at a time.

If another bedroom has 2 complete circuits for bedroom receptacles, that is fine. It would be rather unusual to see a receptacle split between two different circuits, but this is a rarely-seen feature, not a bug.

It's also possible that a duplex receptacle, or even a receptacle chain, could be fed by a multi-wire branch circuit. This carries 2 full circuits on a single /3 cable (black red white). These are very efficient ways to bring a lot of power to a room, if you know what you're doing. If you don't, you can inadvertently create a serious hazard. This MWBC solution would not be used in new work, because it makes AFCI and GFCI protection more expensive, it is cheaper to simply run two separate /2 cables.

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  • In the other bedroom same situation except that it is tamper whereby it has 2 different 14 gauge circuits. In the panel box I have too shut off two breakers. Again this. Was done 30 yrs ago. Is there a way for me to correct this (if it is a Nec problem)? Walk me through this please. Is this truly tamper? Can it be corrected at the switch? Or do I get a double breaker connecting both those circuits to it.? The problem is that both of these different circuits connect hallway lights and the other connects to another bedroom and even a front room light. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 3:41
  • Or a /2/2 cable, for that matter... Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 20:43
  • @larrypinsky Please explain further your use of the word "tamper" because that is not a conventional usage and I don't understand it. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 21:47
  • Sorry meant to say tandem. So with respect to MWBC Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 4:18
  • Also could you clarify the difference between tandem and MWBC for a receptacle? By the way all four receptacles hot brass tab was removed only. Never the neutral. Thank u Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 4:46

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