I have a circuit that's starting to reach its limits and there's an outlet (on that circuit) mounted to the stud almost directly below the circuit breaker. My goal is to create a dedicated circuit for the outlet below the breaker panel and I thought I had a simple solution to my problem, but it turns out one line goes into the outlet and two lines come out of it. My original assumption was that only a single line came out of the outlet box and I originally planned to simply move that line directly to the breaker, but when I determined there are actually two lines coming out of the box, my plan fell apart.

What are my options? The only one I can think of is to create three individual circuits, but that's not really what I would like to do because one of the lines runs to an electric blower that probably draws no more than five amps (if even).

Just to recap, I want to move the outlet below the breaker to a dedicated circuit and I would like the two lines running out of the outlet box to stay on the original circuit. Is there any good way to accomplish this?

2 Answers 2


A breaker box is a perfectly legitimate junction box.

Assuming (since you mentioned moving the cable to the breaker) that you have adequate slack in the cables to move them to the breaker box:

So (if the breaker is not listed for two wires - varies with many details, I know the SquareD QO ones I have are, for copper wires of limited gauge range) just put a pigtail on the breaker and wirenut it to the two hot wires from the two cables you want to relocate, and either do the same from the neutral bar (Only ONE wire per hole on the Neutral bar, though) and wirenut to the neutrals on the cables you are relocating, or use two holes on the neutral bar if you have room to do each of the neutrals you are relocating.

Likewise, connect the grounds to the ground bar (which might or might not be the same as the neutral bar, depending if it's a main panel or a sub-panel) and which might be listed for more than one ground wire per hole (check the box label for that information, and the required torque value for the ground and neutral bar screws. Breaker torque value my also be noted, or you may have to look on the breaker itself for that number.)

Use a torque screwdriver (or low-value inch-pound torque wrench) to make the connections properly.

  • I do have SquareD QO breakers. I did not realize they were capable of running two wires to them. But even if I didn't, I also never considered the option of using a breaker box for junctions. Thank you very much!
    – senfo
    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:05
  • 2
    Not if they are GFI or AFI, (or tandems) but the standard 10-30A breakers do: "The 10–30 A circuit breakers have pressure plate terminals suitable for single or two-wire terminations. Copper or aluminum conductors may be used as outlined in Table 2. QO-GFI 15–30 A and QO-AFI circuit breakers have pressure plate terminals suitable for single-wire terminations. These circuit breakers are suitable for use with 60°C or 75°C conductors." download.schneider-electric.com/files?p_Doc_Ref=0730CT9801
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:14

Remove the dedicated outlet from the circuit, but leave everything else in that box connected. Then run another line from the newly dedicated circuit breaker to the dedicated outlet.

  • Ah, I think I understand what you're saying. Just wire nut everything together and leave it in the box (move nothing)?
    – senfo
    Feb 16, 2021 at 3:53
  • 3
    Mind the box fill if you're adding another cable to that box... Feb 16, 2021 at 3:54
  • 1
    Yes, you remove nothing -- unless, as ThreePhaseEel points out, the box is too small. Then you have to replace the box, but you still don't have to move any existing cables. Feb 16, 2021 at 3:56
  • 1
    Well you would have thought of it tomorrow after a night's sleep. Feb 16, 2021 at 4:00
  • 2
    Box fill could become critical, if you don't set up as MWBC you've got a wire count of at least 8, plus 2 for device, and probably +1 for ground, you will need junction box (+cover) capacity of at least 22 in³ for #14/15A circuits or 24.75 in³ for #12//20A. Details may increase capacity requirements. A picture could help. Feb 16, 2021 at 6:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.