Installing a Split Receptacle


Code may require that adjacent receptacles be on different circuits. You can split receptacles to achieve the same effect.

Run three-wire cable from the service panel to the boxes for the two circuits. Codes may call for connecting both circuits to a double-pole breaker. That way an overload on one circuit shuts off both, deadening all wires in each box.


About 3 hours to install several receptacles (not including cutting and patching walls)

Voltage tester, drill, saw, hammer, fish tape, lineman's pliers, screwdriver, strippers, long-nose pliers

Running cable; stripping, splicing, and connecting wire

Run three-wire cable from service panel to boxes, two-wire between last two boxes.

Receptacles, three-wire cable, two-wire cable, boxes, double-pole breaker, wire nuts, tape

Wiring Split Receptacles
When wiring a series of split-circuit receptacles, connect one outlet of each receptacle to the red wire and the other to the black wire. Be sure to break off the brass connecting tabs.

Step 1

On each receptacle, twist off the tab that connects the two brass terminals. Now the two outlets are disconnected from each other.

Step 2

Make certain no power is present in the cable or boxes. At each receptacle, pigtail the red, black, and white wires. Connect the red and black pigtails to separate brass terminals and connect the white pigtail to a silver terminal.

Step 3

At the service panel shut off the main breaker. Connect the white wire to the neutral bus bar and the ground wire to the ground bus bar. Connect the red and black wires to a double-pole breaker. Snap in the breaker.

Comments (1)
Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In
Find a Pro

Get free quotes from prescreened professionals in your area.