My scenario is that I have a receptacle that currently feeds to bedroom lights, which is the end of the series on the circuit. I would have to fish the wire a good distance from the light switch and would not be ideal.

Option 1: Would it be appropriate to pigtail like below? Pretend that last outlet is a light switch.

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Option 2: The incoming power to the receptacle in the diagram goes through unfinished basement area. I could do a junction box and splice there.

Option 3: I can't think of what they are called, but I could use a new receptacle that has the ability to feed multiple receptacles with a bar with push in, or something like that. I am not talking about the scary stab ins. I would replace the first receptacle with this new one.

  • You need 18³ in capacity for what you show. You are likely OK for capacity if you have a standard plastic box and no undisclosed additional wires. But if you have and old metal box with built in clamps or want to run 14/3 to run a half switched outlet then further evaluation is warranted. Nov 6, 2020 at 16:57
  • I am not positive of the size box yet. I plan on just making it s 20cu inch box to have the extra room. Problem is the box stores are all sold out of boxes in my area. So I have to do a bit of searching.
    – junta
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:59
  • Sorry, I wasn't specific enough, I was concerned about the existing box where 3 sets of conductors will be required. And oops, can't edit comments, obviously meant 18 in³. Nov 6, 2020 at 17:16
  • Is the outlet currently switched by the light? Also, don't worry about splicing methods, there are plenty of ways to do that... Nov 6, 2020 at 19:39
  • No. The light switch just hooked up to the lights at the end.
    – junta
    Nov 6, 2020 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Your Option 1 is 100% acceptable. Several key points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you use appropriate gauge wire.

    • If the existing wire is 12/2, it's likely that you've got a 20amp breaker and your new wiring must be 12/2. It's possible that you've got a 15amp breaker and the wire is over provisioned and that's perfectly acceptable. I'd suggest sticking with 12/2 in case someone (maybe you) ever replaces the breaker with a 20am based on the cable they see in the panel & don't check all the wiring on the circuit.
    • If your existing wiring is 14/2, you've got a 15amp breaker (or a code violation and potential fire starter), and you can use 14/2 or 12/2 wiring for the new extension.
  • Is the outlet switched? If so, be careful about how you attach wiring to ensure that your new outlet is switched or is not switched, depending on what you're after.

Based on a comment on the OP about replacing the box with a larger one to ensure there's enough room for wiring:

  • Removing wiring from an existing box in a wall can be a bit of a... challenge...
    • If you need to increase the size of the box, you may be better off going with your Option 2

Your Option 2 is also acceptable with caveats:

  • It's likely that when you cut the supply cable leading to the outlet that you will no longer have enough cable available to make into the box with both cut ends and have enough cable in the box to meet code requirements for all the wiring.
    • This can be rectified by using 2 junction boxes. Feed the wires into one box and connect them to a short piece of wire that then leads into the second box. In the second box, pig-tail the wires to the existing cable leading to the existing outlet and to the new cable leading to the new outlet.
  • It is a 15amp breaker and the current wire is all 14/2 as well. Thanks for pointing that out. I should have mentioned that in the OP. Option 1 seems like the easiest method then. Thanks!
    – junta
    Nov 6, 2020 at 16:29
  • @junta note the update just above the horizontal line
    – FreeMan
    Nov 6, 2020 at 17:10

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