1 Reply Latest reply: Jul 30, 2013 3:25 PM by GOrrigo RSS

Receptacle Wiring and Pass-Thru


Back in the old days, I had always heard that if you needed to install two duplex receptacles in a double-wide box you had to use a wire nut to connect the incoming hot wire to two short "pigtail" wires, and then attach each pigtail to one of the duplex receptacles. You had to do the same thing for the neutral and ground wires. You could not connect the hot, neutral, and ground wires (coming from the breaker box) to one of the receptacles, and then run wires from there to the other receptacle.


I was told that you were supposed to do this for several reasons:

1) You were never supposed to put two wires under the same screw.

2) If you ran the wires from the breaker box to one set of screws on the duplex receptacle, and then ran wires from the other set of screws to the second duplex receptacle, the "downstream" receptacle would be fed through the break-off tab which connects the two outlets in the duplex receptacle, and the tab is not designed for that.

3) If you ever removed the first receptacle, the second one would be dead.


These same rules applied (and even more so) if you were feeding a duplex receptacle in one box, and then running a second cable to one or more separate boxes.


OK, suppose I use a Leviton Commercial grade receptacle with "8 hole pass-thru back" wiring. Since there are two holes for wires per screw, can I put the wires from the breaker box into one set of holes, then run wires from the seciond set of holes to another receptacle and/or to another box? In other words, can I use the receptacle to replace the wire nut? And what about using the other set of holes for the continuaton (that is, feeding the downstream receptacles through the break-off tab)?


Is this approved by the manufacturer? Is it OK with the NEC?

  • Receptacle Wiring and Pass-Thru



         Yes, if you're looking to wire multiple duplex receptacles together on the same circuit, you can use the quickwire holes on the back of the device to replace the use of a wire nut, when feeding two receptacles in a 2-gang box.  This does not interfere with NEC regulations. You may want to consider running just a single pigtail from the wires coming in and run it to the first duplex, and then use the backwire holes to feed the next receptacle in the box, and continue to run the line wire through to the next box in circuit.  Doing it as such will allow you to remove one outlet, and still have power at the other boxes downstream.